Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Groundings with My Brothers

Rodney, Walter, The Groundings with My Brothers, London: Bogle-L'Ouverture Publications, 1969.[two copies]

Available online.

Walter Rodney (23 March 1942 – 13 June 1980) was a prominent Guyanese historian, political activist and preeminent scholar, who was assassinated in Guyana in 1980. (…) Rodney earned a PhD in African History in 1966 at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, England, at the age of 24. His dissertation, which focused on the slave trade on the Upper Guinea Coast, was published by the Oxford University Press in 1970 under the title A History of the Upper Guinea Coast 1545-1800 and was widely acclaimed for its originality in challenging the conventional wisdom on the topic.

From the Introduction by Richard Small:
It is in that belief, therefore, that we publish the main speeches that Walter Rodney made over that nine-month period when he was in Jamaica. The two specifically on Black Power are the ones that set off the great response. The nine pieces on African History are summaries of the open talks that he gave on Sunday mornings at the Wembley Sports Ground. Like Eric Sealy in Barbados, Walter Rodney could expect to be speaking to 200 or 300 people on these occasions. ‘Statement on the Jamaican Situation’ was presented to the Congress of Black Writers a few days before the events of October 16. Rodney and Bobby Hill, the other speaker from Jamaica at the Congress, thought that the situation in Jamaica was at such an important stage that they prepared this special report. It therefore serves as the best introduction to what took place. ‘African History in the Service of Black Revolution’ is the address delivered to the Congress of Black Writers on the morning of Sunday, October 13, 1968. ‘The Groundings with my Brothers’ consists of excerpts from his speech in Montreal on Friday, October 18. It was first published in full in Jamaica by African Youth Move.

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