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    1. #1
      BlackMic Radio's Avatar
      BlackMic Radio is offline Station Terrorist

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      Lightbulb Walter Rodney: Revolutionary historian and activist

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      Published Feb 17, 2005 9:58 PM

      "We must understand that we are still locked in struggle. And
      we are reaffirming our commitment to struggle, and we are
      saying we are ready to proceed. We are moving forward, we are
      not intimidated, we recognize the pressures, but we are far
      from bending under those pressures." -- Walter Rodney, June
      6, 1980, Georgetown, Guyana

      This June will mark the 25th anniversary of the assassination
      of Walter Rodney--an African-Caribbean Marxist revolutionary
      activist, theoretician and internationalist.

      Born in multiracial Georgetown, British Guiana (now Guyana)
      to working-class parents in 1942, Rodney was involved early
      on in political activity as a result of his father's
      participation in the anti-colonial movement with the People's
      Progressive Party (PPP), led by the Indo-Guyanese leader
      Cheddi Jagan. Rodney's mother was a domestic worker and a
      seamstress. His grandparents were farmers.

      As a result of this upbringing Rodney was introduced to class
      relations in Guyana and to an intimate understanding of
      Britain's (and later the United States') artificially created
      divisions between different nationalities, including South
      Asians, Africans, Portuguese, Indigenous people and Chinese.

      Under the British colonial system, working-class and peasant
      students had to win scholarships to attend school beyond a
      few initial grades, if they attended school at all.

      Rodney attended the University of the West Indies at Mona,
      Jamaica, majoring in history. He received his undergraduate
      degree in 1963. He then received a scholarship to study
      African history at the University of London. He earned his
      Ph.D. in 1966 at age 24.

      To research his dissertation, "A History of the Upper Guinea
      Coast, 1545 to 1800," Rodney learned to read Spanish,
      Portuguese and some Italian to decipher the slavery records
      of these former colonial powers.

      Globalizing the struggle

      During his short life, Walter Rodney lived and worked on four
      continents and in several areas of the Caribbean.

      He became a Marxist in London, learning the science of
      dialectical and historical materialism in study groups with
      leading West Indian Marxists, often led by C.L.R. James.

      The London group's work was grounded in works by Amilcar
      Cabral, Aime Cesaire, Frantz Fanon, Marcus Garvey, V.I.
      Lenin, Marx and Engels, George Padmore and W.E.B. DuBois.
      Rodney also traveled to the USSR and China.

      Rodney first taught history at the University of Dar-es-
      Salaam, Tanzania, from 1966-1967. He returned to Tanzania in
      1969 after a year in Mona, Jamaica, teaching courses in
      African history.

      He applied his Marxist teachings and activities on-and-off
      campus in Jamaica. He worked with Rastafarians and the super-
      exploited in the shantytowns and elsewhere. This resulted in
      the government banning him from the country upon his
      attempted return from a Congress of Black Writers in
      Montreal, Canada, in October 1968, which sparked massive
      demonstrations and a parliamentary crisis for the ruling
      Jamaica Labor Party.

      Living in Tanzania from 1969-1974, Rodney taught courses on
      the African Diaspora and was a key figure in the socialist
      movement in Tanzania, where he collaborated with President
      Julius Nyerere.

      In 1972 Rodney's best-known book, "How Europe Underdeveloped
      Africa," was published. This work was an earth-shaking
      analysis of the economic and social underdevelopment of
      Africa by European powers, mainly through the slave trade.

      Rodney's work refuted the racist bourgeois argument that
      slavery existed on a large scale in Africa before the
      Europeans invaded. This fallacy was an attempt to deflect
      responsibility for the development of the African slave trade
      from the Europeans to Africans.

      Expounding on Eric William's "Capitalism and Slavery", Rodney
      introduced a Marxist analysis "and the concept of the
      penetration of Africa by, and its subordination to, the world
      capitalist system of production," wrote Edward A. Alpers
      in "Weapon of History in African Liberation."

      Rodney left Tanzania in 1974 to assume the chair of the
      History Department at the University of Georgetown, Guyana.
      [However, he was never allowed to assume his faculty
      position.] He formed the Working People's Alliance with the
      goal of developing a new independent revolutionary party to
      help build a true Guyanese socialist republic.

      Throughout the 1970s Rodney traveled periodically to the
      U.S., lecturing at many colleges and universities.

      He connected the Black liberation movement and other
      oppressed people's struggles to the struggle against
      imperialism. He also worked closely with progressive and
      revolutionary leaders in the Caribbean, such as the
      assassinated president of Grenada, Maurice Bishop.

      And in his homeland, Guyana, Rodney always worked shoulder-to-
      shoulder with the working class, be it in the sugar cane
      fields or bauxite mines or other work and cultural spaces.

      Rodney was assassinated on June 13, 1980, in Georgetown by a
      bomb explosion. Some say the political forces involved in the
      bombing were linked to the CIA. There was never an inquest
      into Rodney's death and to this day no one has been held

      Rodney's funeral cortège was attended by thousands of
      mourners from inside Guyana and internationally who felt the
      deep loss of one of the most potent Marxist revolutionaries
      to have lived.

      Marxism--a weapon for the oppressed

      Rodney was an internationalist. He understood working-class
      and oppressed people's need for their own party for self-
      emancipation, one that has flexibility in tactics and
      strategy and that is attempting to build socialism.

      And as his "Marxism and Liberation" talk at Queens College in
      1975 attests, Rodney rejected racist and bourgeois assertions
      that Marxism couldn't be applied outside of a European
      context, which was one of his greatest contributions.

      "They seem not to take into account that already that
      methodology and that ideology have been utilized,
      internalized, and domesticated in large parts of the world
      that are not European.

      "That it is already the ideology of 800 million Chinese
      people; that it is already the ideology which guided the
      Vietnamese people to successful struggle and to the defeat of
      imperialism. That it is already the ideology which allows
      North Korea to transform itself from a backward, quasi-
      feudal, quasi-colonial terrain into an independent industrial
      power. That it is already the ideology which has been adopted
      on the Latin American continent and that serves as the basis
      for development in the Republic of Cuba.

      "That it is already the ideology which was used by Cabral,
      which was used by Samora Machel, which is in use on the
      African continent itself to underline and underscore struggle
      and the construction of a new society.

      "It cannot therefore be termed a European phenomenon; and the
      onus will certainly be on those who argue that this
      phenomenon, which was already universalized itself, is
      somehow not applicable to some Black people..." ("Yes to
      Marxism" pamphlet, February 1986, People's Progressive Party
      of Guyana)

      As Alpers wrote, "...What stands out is that to the very end
      of his life Walter Rodney recognized and used history as a
      weapon in the revolutionary struggle for liberation."

      Sources for this article include: Rupert Charles
      Lewis, "Walter Rodney's Intellectual and Political Thought";
      Walter Rodney, "Groundings with my Brothers; History of the
      Guyanese Working People, 1881-1905," "History of the Upper
      Guinea Coast, 1545-1800," "How Europe Underdeveloped Africa,"
      and "Walter Rodney Speaks: The Making of an African
      Intellectual"; Edward A. Alper and Pierre-Michel
      Fontaine, "Walter Rodney, Revolutionary and Scholar: A
      Tribute" (includes appendix of Rodney's writings and
      lectures); Kwayana, Eusi, "Walter Rodney."
      Be Sure To Tune Into Our Very Own BlackMic Radio or bring ya mic and holla at ya boy in voice chat

    2. #2

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      modern day rome,belly of the beast!
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      Thumbs up thanks blac mic!!

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      thanks man for that i havent seen anything on walter rodney or marice bishop some just posted about bishop wants to thank youa million for that posting man!!!

    3. #3
      BlkSpartacus's Avatar
      BlkSpartacus is offline Warrior

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      Where the Queen was setup.
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      Big up Walter Rodney all the time

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      Good looking on this post Blackmic.Guyana willl never get a great leader like him again. From what Ive heard from my Uncles, he was a great person an eloquent speaker. He should still be with us,doesnt make sense that you would send your leader to check out a guy that makes bombs for a living without anyone with him.
      "You think if there really is a God, he would agree with the man that shot Joanne Chesimard(F*** Naw) You listen what I learn to tell, I got a prophecy them crackers that framed Herman Bell gonna burn in Hell.". Saigon

    4. #4
      Akyeame Kwame's Avatar
      Akyeame Kwame is offline Abibikasawura

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      Remembering Walter Rodney

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      Remembering Walter Rodney

      Remembering Walter Rodney
      Rickey Singh
      Sunday, May 22, 2005

      NEXT month, a very significant political/cultural
      event will take place in Guyana to mark the 25th
      anniversary of the most sensational act of
      assassination of a Caribbean icon to have shocked
      governments in this region and Africa and peoples in
      many countries of the world.

      It was the murder of that outstanding Caribbean
      thinker and political activist, Walter Rodney on the
      night of June 13, 1980 by a bomb that was concealed in
      a walkie-talkie and delivered to him by an officer of
      the Guyana Defence Force, Sergeant Gregory Smith,
      acting as an agent of the then governing People's
      National Congress.

      Smith was spirited out of the country into
      neighbouring Suriname and later moved to Cayenne where
      he died. He never returned to Guyana since that
      tragedy that occurred at the height of a campaign
      Rodney was leading against what was profiled as the
      "Forbes Burnham dictatorship".

      Rodney was just 38 years old at the time of his
      assassination, leaving behind three children - Shaka,
      Kanini and Asha - wife Patricia, and an entire
      generation of young people in Guyana, Africa, across
      the Caribbean and the West Indian Diaspora for whom he
      was their idol; their hope for a new political
      culture, the symbol of a Herculean struggle against
      racism, colonialist oppression and the evils of

      Comrades and associates of various nationalities and
      professions have planned a week of activities,
      starting on June 8, to commemorate the anniversary.
      Chairman of the US-based planning committee is the
      Jamaican academic and author of Reclaiming Zimbabwe,
      Horace Campbell.

      Organised around a series of "groundings" - the
      concept of inter-personal relations popularised by the
      murdered historian in his The Groundings with my
      Brothers, first published in 1969 - the central theme
      for the commemoration is "Another World is Necessary".
      The events will take place from June 8-13.

      Last week, the Guyana Government Information Agency
      (GINA) announced that it would be hosting an
      exhibition on the life and times of Dr Rodney at the
      National Library in Georgetown, featuring a number of
      his speeches, books and articles. The exhibition is to
      be opened by minister of culture, youth and sports,
      Gail Teixeira.

      The Rodney commemoration committee explained at a
      media briefing in Georgetown that the "series of
      groundings" will include public lectures/discussions
      on the politics of oppression, race and violence, food
      security, the trade union and social justice
      movements; issues of regional and international
      importance, as well as an exhibition, film shows, a
      cultural unity concert and a closing vigil.

      Twelve years before his assassination in the heart of
      Georgetown, a stone's throw away from a mobile police
      unit, Rodney was banned from re-entering Jamaica where
      he was then residing and working as history lecturer
      at the University of the West Indies Mona campus.
      Then 27 years of age, the former lecturer in history
      at the University College of Tanzania was returning to
      Jamaica from participating in a Congress of Black
      Writers in Montreal, Canada.

      This dramatic political development on October 15,
      1968, under the administration of then Prime Minister
      Hugh Shearer, was to erupt into what came to be known
      throughout the region and beyond as "the Rodney riots"
      in Kingston.

      Some of the pro-Rodney militants who participated in
      the protests and political disturbances later became
      parliamentarians, cabinet ministers and one a prime
      minister - Ralph Gonsalves of St Vincent and the

      Gonsalves, as well as the novelist George Lamming, who
      had delivered the eulogy at Rodney's funeral service
      at the Roman Catholic Cathedral, will be among
      Caribbean, African and American personalities
      attending next month's "groundings" in Guyana.

      In his introduction to Rodney's The Groundings with my
      Brothers that begins with the statement that Walter
      had presented to the Black Writers Conference in
      Montreal on "The Jamaica Situation", the Jamaican
      lawyer and close family friend of the Rodneys, Richard
      Small, reflected on how quickly the young
      Guyanese-born scholar had endeared himself to ordinary
      Jamaicans as "the man who knew about Africa..."

      Small reminds us that within a short period after his
      arrival from Tanzania to lecture at the UWI, "the news
      of a man who knew about Africa, who would talk to
      anybody who wanted to hear him, spread..."
      "The response to the history of Africa and the
      achievement of the black people throughout the world
      was not born from an academic curiosity. It sprang,"
      said Small, "from a people who used it for

      By 1974, six years after being banned from returning
      to Jamaica, Rodney, the militant anti-colonial
      nationalist and patriot, respected for his inspiring
      public discourses on multi-ethnic and working-class
      unity of the Caribbean peoples, returned to his native
      It was a time of social and economic horrors, with the
      country under the burden of the heinous political
      doctrine of "party paramountcy" under the rule of
      Burnham's PNC.

      Intervention at the highest level of state authority
      was to deny him promised employment at the University
      of Guyana. Undaunted, he, along with a group of
      equally dedicated friends and associates, launched the
      then very integrated, militant, high profile Working
      People's Alliance (WPA) with a strong multi-ethnic

      With Rodney at the helm, the WPA was to shake the
      traditional ethnic-based turfs of both Burnham's PNC
      and Cheddi Jagan's People's Progressive Party in the
      face of ominous warnings about the physical survival
      of the flamboyant, charismatic people's historian.

      Before long, there was the open, boastful threat to
      Rodney and his WPA comrades from PNC headquarters,
      Congress Place, that "our steel is sharper". That
      threat was recorded in sections of the local and
      regional media.

      The year was 1979, and the Rodney-led "anti-Burnham
      dictatorship" campaign was gaining momentum across the
      country, particularly in Georgetown, where the crowds
      had started to dwarf those at public meetings of the
      ruling PNC.

      Close colleagues of Rodney, among them two 'comrades'
      who had, at different periods, appeared as bodyguards,
      were shot to death in separate mysterious
      circumstances, with the police claiming self-defence
      against "armed" men. Others were regularly beaten,
      harassed or forced out of employment, including the
      teaching and public services.

      Finally, on the night of June 13, 1980, a bag
      delivered by GDF officer Gregory Smith contained the
      powerful bomb that blew Rodney apart, cutting his body
      in virtually two halves and injuring his younger
      brother Donald, who was sitting in the driver's seat
      of their parked car.
      The subsequent inquest into the circumstances of
      Rodney's death proved a total farce, as archival
      records will show. None of the key players were
      invited to testify.

      GDF soldier Smith was hurriedly and secretly moved out
      of Guyana by agents of the governing party within 24
      hours of Rodney's assassination - never to return; and
      neither the slain historian's brother, Donald, nor his
      widow, Patricia, was allowed to testify.

      Eusi Kwayana, a most valuable source on Guyana's
      social, political and cultural history, has provided a
      very relevant documentation of that so-called

      After refusing for at least a dozen years to respond
      to increasing demands for an arrest warrant for
      Gregory Smith to answer a murder charge, the PNC,
      under then President Desmond Hoyte, was to initiate a
      highly controversial "inquest" (sic) that determined
      that Rodney's death was "by misadventure".

      But a subsequent mission by the Geneva-based
      International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), mounted
      with the help of the then Caribbean Human Rights
      Organisation, was to point to "grave defects" in that
      very restricted "show inquest", as leading figures of
      the WPA were to remind Guyanese.

      It is all part of the documented history of the best
      known political assassination in the Caribbean of one
      of the most outstanding, revered sons of this region,
      and respected internationalist. Prior, that is, to the
      nightmare of political executions in and military
      invasion of Grenada in October 1983.

      The Jamaican historian, Rupert Lewis, has offered a
      profound examination of Walter Rodney's Intellectual
      and Political Thought. Published in 1998, it stands
      out among various books, pamphlets and other
      publications on Rodney, his ideas and struggles,
      including Perry Mars' very thoughtful Ideology and

      As Lewis noted, Walter Rodney "belonged to the
      generation of post-colonial historians of Africa and
      the Caribbean who embarked on the project of writing
      the history of the regions affected by the Atlantic
      slave trade from the standpoint of those whose voices
      had been muted in the historical record. It was
      pioneering work and it was, as well, a pioneering

      Hopefully, the coming series of "groundings" to
      commemorate Rodney's assassination can inspire young
      and old across the Caribbean to work for a better life
      and oppose all forms of oppression and injustices
      against which Walter had so valiantly struggled.
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    5. #5
      Im The Truth's Avatar
      Im The Truth is offline Organizer

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      Happy B-Day Walter Rodney!!
      "If the enemy is not doing anything against you, you are not doing anything"
      -Ahmed Sékou Touré

      "speak truth, do justice, be kind and do not do evil."
      -Baba Orunmila

      "Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the question: is it political? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience asks the question: is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor political, nor popular - but one must take it simply because it is right."
      --Dr. Martin L. King

      Get Involved!

    6. #6
      Erzulie Danto's Avatar
      Erzulie Danto is offline justice for Ayiti!!!

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      happy earthday, Beloved Warrior, Walter Rodney, Great Afrikan Ancestor, may your legacy continue to guide and inspire us! may your energies propel us toward Liberation from the other side! ase!
      justice for Ayiti!!!

    7. #7
      GT4LIFE's Avatar
      GT4LIFE is offline Premium Member

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      Black Spartacus, you Guyanese? Whappnin deh bannah!
      Wuh part of Jersey you deh in? I got family in the Illtown

    8. #8

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      modern day rome,belly of the beast!
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      Thumbs up the famous three!

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      eric willians,maurice bishop and doctor walter rodney were really good friends! rest in uhuru walter rodney,eric willians and maurice bishop
      along with marcus mossiah gavrvey

      sotito! sododo! soora masika!
      " perform truth,perform righteousness,perform kindness and avoid cruelty!"

      Nipa nye abe dua na ne ho ahyia ne ho. Or, Se mmerenkensono si ne ti ase a, na ewo dea asase reka kyere no. Also, Nnua nyinaa bewu agya abe.

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