By C. L. R. James
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Additional resources for A History of Pan-African Revolt
10. Theodore Draper, American Communism and Soviet Russia (New York: Viking Press, 1960), 320–21, 327–28; Robinson, Black Marxism, 304; Roger E. Kanet, “The Comintern and the ‘Negro Question’: Communist Policy in the United States and Africa, 1921–1941,” Survey 19, no. 4 (Autumn 1973): 89–90; Harry Haywood, Black Bolshevik: Autobiography of an Afro-American Communist (Chicago: Liberator Press, 1978), 225; Claude McKay, A Long Way From Home (New York: Lee Furman, 1937), 177–80; Billings [Otto Huiswoud], “Report on the Negro Question,” International Press Correspondence 3, no.
He admitted that the new society he had hoped for was not built, and that Nkrumah allowed bureaucratic corruption to take over. Ghana’s failure provided James with two critical lessons for constructing postcolonial society, both of which carried over into A History of Pan-African Revolt. First, a revolutionary society cannot be created unless the colonial state is completely dismantled. Second, the new generation of African leaders needs to create and sustain democratic institutions throughout the country.
Of course, there are leaders, but like Toussaint L’Ouverture in San Domingo, leaders are made by the masses and the times in which they live. James makes a point of describing how the masses defend their leaders by freeing them from jail cells, hiding them in huts and cellars, pummeling their detractors into silence. It is the masses, and only the masses, that can make the Utopian speeches of a Simon Kimbangu, a John Chilembwe, a Marcus Garvey, or a Kwame Nkrumah a reality. A History of Negro Revolt, however, was not simply an outgrowth of James’s vision and brilliance.