Cedric J. Robinson: Black Marxism | | Rhode Island Media Cooperative
Robinson took Marxism to task for its inability to comprehend the racial character of capitalism or radical movements outside of the West. He essentially re-wrote the history of the rise of the West from Ancient times to the mid-20th century, scrutinizing the very idea that capitalism could impose universal categories of class on the entire world. Tracing the roots of black radical thought to a shared epistemology among diverse African people, he shows that the first waves of African New World revolts were not governed by a critique structured by Western conceptions of freedom but a total rejection of enslavement and racism as it was experienced. Revolts, Robinson emphasized, which were often led by women. However, with the advent of formal colonialism and the incorporation of black labor into a more fully governed social structure, emerges the native bourgeoisie, more intimate with European life and thought, assigned to help rule. Their contradictory role as victims of racial