The Black Radical Tradition: Cedric Robinson in the UK

James Pope's picture
October 11, 2021
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, Black History / Studies, Ethnic History / Studies, Political History / Studies, World History / Studies
Josh Myers will present and engage in a discussion on the ideas in his new book, Cedric Robinson: The Time of the Black Radical Tradition.

About this event

This webinar will explore the transnational character of Robinson’s theses. Cedric and Elizabeth Robinson visited the UK many times, including a year in 1981 when they made important and lifelong connections with radical activists and intellectuals at the Institute of Race Relations/Race & Class with whom they found common cause in the global struggle for human liberation and what Cedric called the "collective resistance" of which Black peoples in Britain were heirs.

With participants including those who knew Robinson, the event seeks to put his seminal work in context and to show the collaborative, collective and transnational aspects of his practice that helped create a global community of militant scholars.

The book:

Cedric Robinson – political theorist, historian, and activist – was one of the greatest Black radical thinkers of the twentieth century, whose work resonates deeply with contemporary movements such as Black Lives Matter.

In this powerful work, the first major book to tell the story of Cedric Robinson, Joshua Myers shows how Robinson's work interrogated the foundations of Western political thought, modern capitalism and the changing meanings of race. Tracing the course of Robinson's journey from his early days as an agitator in the 60s against the US's reactionary foreign policy, to the publication of his seminal works within Black Studies such as Black Marxism, Myers frames Robinson's mission as one that aimed to understand and practise resistance to "the terms of order”. In so doing, Robinson excavated the Black radical tradition as a form of resistance that imagined that life on wholly different terms was possible.

In the current moment, the need to continue that resistance is as clear as ever, and Robinson's contribution only gains in importance. This book is essential reading for anyone wanting to learn more about it.

The book is available for purchase in the UK and preorder in the US [use discount code: MYE21]

Presented by: Africa World Now Project; Institute of Race Relations [IRR/Race & Class]; Polity | Books


James Pope, Winston Salem State University & Africa World Now Project


Josh Myers, Howard University & Africa World Now Project, author: Cedric Robinson: The Time of the Black Radical Tradition

Colin Prescod, Chair of the Institute of Race Relations & member, editorial working committee of Race & Class

John Narayan, King’s College, London, Lecturer in European and International Studies & member, editorial working committee of Race & Class


Elizabeth Robinson, Host, No Alibis and wife of Cedric Robinson

Avery Gordon, Professor Emerita, University of California, Santa Barbara and Visiting Professor at Birkbeck School of Law, University of London & member, editorial working committee of Race & Class, co-host of No Alibis

Time: 5-7PM BST [12-2PM EST]