Yesu Persaud Centre For Caribbean Studies
University of Warwick
Walter Rodney Memorial Lecture
R0.21, Ramphal Building, 5.00pm
The Fanon-Rodney approach to Neo-colonialism
and the Caribbean Nation-state Today
Frantz Fanon (1925-1961) and Walter Rodney (1942-1981) are two of the most significant revolutionary activist-intellectuals of the twentieth century. Both were African-Caribbean, functioning in the era of the Cold War. Their complex praxis saw them directly engaged in both African Diasporic and Continental African territories (Martinique and Algeria for Fanon; Jamaica, Guyana and Tanzania for Rodney). Both made important contributions to more than one academic discipline (between them psychiatry, political science, political economy and historiography). Their urgent and active concern with and for human liberation led them both to recognize capitalist-imperialism as the crucial current form of domination-exploitation. Both saw that, for Africans, victories against the colonial projection of such power represented an insufficient rupture, given its reincarnation in the structures and processes of neo-colonialism and its hegemonic global hold. This led them both to contribute theoretically and practically to the ongoing struggle against capitalist-imperialism as neo-colonialism, the concept having been coined by Kwame Nkrumah. Lasting victories in this struggle have to date been few. The principal concern of this lecture will be to examine the contemporary Caribbean nation-state, in all its apparent variety, in the light of Fanon’s and Rodney’s anti-neocolonial praxis.