Cathy Bergin, University of Brighton

24 October 2017

The Russian revolution of 1917 is rarely thought about in relation to the black radical tradition  yet the impact of Bolshevism on African American and Afro-Caribbean activists was significant. This paper looks at the ways in which the revolution inspired those activists and asks what this tradition might mean for ‘race’ /class politics in 2017.  How did the black radical claim on the revolution influence later generations of black power activists and what has been the legacy of this often neglected political moment? In the context of the current rise of racism in the US and the resurgence of black liberation struggles in terms of the Black Lives Matter Movement what, if anything so these race/class politics have to tell us about Marxism and black liberation. If we are Thinking the politics ‘Race’, are these instances of  interracial class solidarity an historical anachronism  or do they contain a politics of ‘race’  which challenges the structures of  racialised capitalism?

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