African Revolutionary Writers, Part 10c
Walter Rodney was a revolutionary intellectual born in Guyana who is also eternally associated with the Dar-es-Salaam University school of African Revolutionary Writers, of which we have already featured two others in this series, namely Issa Shivji and Mahmood Mamdani.
Rodney was assassinated in his birthplace of Georgetown, Guyana, on 13 June 1980, while running for office in Guyanese elections. There is another biography of Walter Rodney here.
This downloadable text linked below is a much longer one than usual in this Communist University African Revolutionary Writers Series. It is the last item in the last part. It is the 44-page Chapter Six of Walter Rodney’s “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa”.
The entire book can be downloaded in PDF format by clicking here (1069 KB).
More writings of Walter Rodney are available in the MIA Walter Rodney Archive .
In particular, the following five articles are recommended:
- Tanzanian Ujamaa and Scientific Socialism, 1972
- The African Revolution, 1972
- Marxism and African Liberation, 1975
- Class Contradictions in Tanzania, 1975
- International Class Struggle in Africa, the Caribbean and America, 1975
“How Europe Underdeveloped Africa” made a huge impact when it was first published. It still continues to have legendary status among the African Revolutionary writings, and rightly so.
Rodney marshals the facts and the literature and he makes the arguments. He takes on Imperialist theories of “underdevelopment” head-on, and he overturns them.
Bourgeois theorists and academics, to the surprise of the naïve among us, proceeded to ignore Rodney after his death, and to revert to even more reactionary theories than before in their universities. Hence the importance of maintaining the currency of this literature, and keeping the dialogue around it fresh, in a virtual University, or Republic of Letters.
The late Walter Rodney was himself a scholar of the literature that we have attempted to revisit, and sample, in this CU African Revolutionary Writers Series. This is apparent from the essays that are in the Walter Rodney Archive, linked above. Rodney is a very good example for us. Not only did he have his own ideas, but he also knew where they fitted in relation to past writers, and to contemporary writers.
Rodney gives his reflections on the historic place of many of our chosen African Revolutionary Writers, including Kwame Nkrumah and Julius Nyerere, as you will see if you read these essays.
Therefore all these works of Walter Rodney’s can serve well to conclude our series, as a critical summing up by an eminent scholar as well as by a leader and revolutionary martyr.
Viva, Walter Rodney, Viva!
Viva all the African Revolutionary Writers, Viva!
Please download and read the text via this link:
Walter Rodney, Colonialism, System for Underdeveloping Africa, C6, 1973, 1973 (34211 words)
Kwame Nkrumah, Neo-colonialism, 1965, Compilation (10643 words)
Kwame Nkrumah, African Socialism Revisited, 1967 (2587 words)
Julius Nyerere, Arusha Declaration, 1967 (7170 words)