“Intellectual Murder”: Walter Rodney’s Groundings in the context of the
Department of Political Science
How many on our flesh have fattened!
But if the noisome birds of prey
Shall vanish from the sky some morning
The blessed sunlight then will stay.
(Eugene Pottier, L’Internationale)
Walter Rodney became a public figure – as distinguished from someone well known in academic or radical circles – as a result of his being made persona non grata by the government of Jamaica in 1968. To understand that exclusion, we have to look at Rodney in the context of the
No impassable barrier separates colonial
Early independent Jamaica was a continuation of what it had been under late colonial rule with one substantial difference – apart from the fact that the governor no longer exercised a power of veto over the elected government – that until independence the local authorities were subject to the British and after independence paid close attention to the wishes of the United States. A two-party system, the conservative Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) facing the social-democratic People’s National Party (PNP), had been established over the course of the 1940s and 1950s, and local politicians had, in stages, taken over responsibility for local affairs from the Colonial Office between 1944, when universal adult suffrage was introduced, and independence in 1962.
The JLP government, which came to office shortly before independence and was to remain in power for the first decade of independent Jamaica, was sensitive both to the concerns of the United States government and to social pressures which manifested themselves in the emergence of the Rastafari movement and in such events as the anti-Chinese riots of 1965. Foreign investment (particularly in bauxite and sugar), tourism, and the continued existence of ethno-racial minorities (particularly since some of them controlled much of the wealth of the island), were central concerns to the JLP prime ministers, Sir Alexander Bustamante, Sir Donald Sangster, and Hugh Shearer, as they presided over the government. They had been central concerns of the pre-independence PNP administration of Norman Manley.
The island’s social structure, in the years following the achievement of independence, showed little change from the years preceding. The upper class continued to be dominated by whites, with a few Chinese and brown (mixed race) Jamaicans on its fringes, the middle class was made up mostly, but by no means entirely, of brown Jamaicans, and the lower classes, urban and rural, were overwhelmingly black. Habits of deference, and habits of dominance, developed over the three centuries of British rule, and the long period of plantation slavery during that rule, were still ingrained in parts of the population.
Others, however, had developed and refined forms of resistance to racial and class oppression, of which the most significant was Rastafarianism. And that drew, in its turn, from the black nationalism of Marcus Garvey, perhaps the most important political figure to emerge in late colonial
in the 1960s Jamaica
An observer of
The growth of the middle class, as tourism, the bauxite mining industry, and import substitution industrialization expanded the island’s economy, and access to middle-class employment through education, were outcomes of a political transformation that had begun with the labour rebellion of 1938 which had produced, over a decade and a half, two political parties that competed for popular support and two large trade unions that connected those parties to the rural and urban working classes.
The emergent middle class, for all that its members were mostly the children of peasants, yeomen and workers, looked upon the lower classes with a mixture of pride, scorn, and fear. Middle class Jamaicans, especially brown (mixed race) people, were quick to apply racial explanations for poverty, or to blame habits of African origin or remnants of African culture for the ‘backwardness’ of much of the population. Yet, while the middle class had gained, and grown, in the 1950s and 1960s, ‘much larger sections of the people’ had been marginalized and faced increased suffering.
We might say that to middle class status anxiety was allied a racial fear, a fear of being mistaken for the uneducated, backward African rather than seen as educated citizens of a modern nation and participants in Western civilization.
At the same time, the government of the newly-independent nation had its own anxieties. One had to do with the burgeoning urban slums and how they ought to be controlled. Another had to do with
The loan agreements and the economic and technical aid given by the United States, Great Britain and Canada seemed sufficient proof that amicable relations with these powers would take care of Jamaica’s needs. During these years,
This policy of continuity faced challenges. The PNP did not constitute a major challenge, of course, during most of the 1960s, but significant challenges to the continuation of the late colonial order were made on racial grounds.
Before independence, a black preacher, Claudius Henry, played a role as ‘a leading militant’ demanding that black Jamaicans be repatriated to
In the 1962 elections, shortly before independence, the People’s Political Party, led by Millard Johnson, a brown barrister whose racial consciousness was developed during his education in Britain – and reviving the name and outlook of a party founded by Marcus Garvey in 1930 – was, as Gannon notes, ‘the only Jamaican political party ever to run a slate of candidates on a racial platform’. To Gannon, the PPP’s defeat in the elections (it picked up only 2.24 percent of the vote in the 16 constituencies, out of 45, that it contested) was an ‘apparent rejection of black nationalist ideology’ by an electorate that, in spite of being overwhelmingly black and lower class, gave greater importance to economic than racial or cultural issues, and for whom class differences were of more direct relevance than racial differences. Even so, ‘PPP support was concentrated in the urban lower classes where black skin and material dispossession were perfectly correlated’.
Nevertheless, the poorest, blackest constituency in
Ras Sam Brown was seen by some in the early 1960s as a significant representative of the Rastafarian movement. George Mikes, who interviewed him in 1966, giving him the transparent pseudonym of ‘Jack Smith’, quotes him as saying ‘There is no solution other than bloodshed. I don’t welcome it. I regret it. But there is no way out. It is inevitable. The white man will have to pay with his life for the crimes he has committed.’ While Mikes considered Brown ‘a sham and a ham’ and ‘a snob and an upstart’ – in part because he demanded money for being interviewed, in part because he had become a kind of tame revolutionary pet providing a delightful frisson of horror for the Jamaican rich – it cannot be doubted that he articulated a real feeling among the urban poor of Kingston and that the Rastafari movement symbolized that feeling.
The two-party system, however, was the main means of mobilizing the lower classes. In the mid-1960s, an increase in political violence (led, to a large extent, by Edward Seaga’s efforts to consolidate control of his constituency) obliged the government to impose a state of emergency in
After the Henry incident of 1960, there had been a conflict between six Rastas and the police at
Even though the rumblings among lower class Jamaicans involved issues of race, both parties used appeals to class in their 1967 campaigns: the JLP presented itself as the party of the small man while the PNP emphasized the JLP’s increasing orientation to the wealthy. References to race were rare in that election campaign, and multiracialism and racial harmony were depicted as the norm.
Beneath the surface, however things were different. It was perhaps in recognition of the need to acknowledge Jamaica’s racial reality that Edward Seaga, as the minister with responsibility for culture, ensured the repatriation of the remains of Marcus Garvey and their entombment in a monument to the father of black nationalism in 1965; in that same year, the centenary of the Morant Bay Rebellion was commemorated by the proclamation that Paul Bogle and George William Gordon were henceforth to be National Heroes.
The state visit of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie in 1966 can be seen as part of the same process. However, even though it was an official occasion, and Haile Selassie was present as a guest of the government, the visit was, because of its significance to the Rastafari community, a ‘catalysing’ event for lower-class black Jamaicans.
The government gave with one hand and withheld with the other. While Garvey was celebrated, contemporary black nationalists were not. The works of Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X, Elijah Muhammad and H. Rap Brown were all banned. So were publications of the Cuban, Soviet and Chinese governments, seen as promoting communism, and the novel The Children of Sisyphus by the Jamaican sociologist H. Orlando Patterson which contains a depiction of Bustamante (‘Montesaviour’ in the novel) as a two-faced liar as well as detailed descriptions of life for the urban poor, particularly residents of the ‘Dungle’.
In addition, the government kept a wary eye on lecturers at the University of the
Walter Rodney’s arrival at the UWI in 1968 to teach African history was in itself an indication that interest in
I would go further down into
It was these lectures that caused the government to refuse him reentry into the island when he returned from the Congress of Black Writers in
Rodney’s self-presentation, Lewis states, was that of ‘a 1960s black radical though unexaggeratedly so’ while his wife, Pat, ‘wore a low haircut and dressed in African print wraps’. He was determined to avoid the isolation of the university and what he saw as the philistinism of many of his colleagues by living off campus and connecting himself directly to ordinary Jamaicans.
Rodney’s public lectures in
Rodney defines blackness as central to the experience of black people: ‘I’m putting it to my black brothers and sisters that the colour of our skins is the most fundamental thing about us’. This is not an idea, merely an acceptance of reality, a reality imposed by the white world which ‘defines who is white and who is black’. Whites define those who are not white as black; thus black people are those ‘hundreds of millions whose homelands are in Asia and Africa, with another few millions in the Americas’ with persons of African descent in a position ‘clearly more acute than that of most non-white groups.’
White racial domination is a product of white imperialism, thus ‘the Russians are white and have power but they are not a colonial power oppressing black peoples’.
Imperialism continues even after the achievement of independence, ‘but a black man ruling a dependent State within the imperialist system has no power. He is simply an agent of the whites in the metropolis, with an army and a police force designed to maintain the imperialist way of things in that particular colonial area’.
At the same time, whiteness is associated with wealth and blackness with poverty as a result of the ‘imperialist relationship’ which ‘makes the whites richer and the blacks poorer’. This is an exercise of ‘white power’ which has held blacks down and kept them impoverished both relatively and absolutely.
Conscious blacks cannot possibly fail to realise that in our own homelands we have no power, abroad we are discriminated against, and everywhere the black masses suffer from poverty. You can put together in your own mind a picture of the whole world, with the white imperialist beast crouched over miserable blacks. And don’t forget to label us poor. There is nothing with which poverty coincides so absolutely as with the colour black – small or large population, hot or cold climates, rich or poor in natural resources – poverty cuts across all of these factors in order to find black people.
Black power, as it has emerged in the
For blacks in the
Now we need to be specific in defining the West Indian scene and our own particular roles in the society. You and I have to decide whether we want to think black or to remain as a dirty version of white.
Capitalists established slavery in the
The labour revolts of the 1930s surprised the British, and the Royal Commission that investigated them produced a ‘report of the conditions [that] was so shocking that the British government did not release it until after the war, because they wanted black colonials to fight the white man’s battles.’
After the war, concessions had to be made to ‘certain groups in colonial society’ in order to prevent social upheaval and maintain the basic structure of imperial control as well as the concerns of the United States in the West Indies.
In response to continued imperial control exercised through ‘a white, brown and black petty-bourgeoisie who were culturally the creations of white capitalist society’ black power had to break with imperialism, secure the control of power by the black masses, and reconstruct West Indian society ‘in the image of the blacks’. By black, Rodney goes on to say, he means the mass of the population, ‘either African or Indian’.
The Chinese, mulattoes, and ‘so-called West Indian whites’ have to either relinquish the role of exploiters or be deprived of it ‘before they can be re-integrated into a West Indian society where the black man walks with dignity.’ This is a choice for these groups to make themselves as black power ‘is not racially intolerant’ and ‘is not incompatible with a multi-racial society where each individual counts equally’.
That, however, would require the equitable distribution of power. The image of a multiracial society projected by the government of the day, however, was nothing more than ‘a myth designed to justify the exploitation suffered by the blackest of our population, at the hands of the lighter-skinned groups.’
Rodney concurs with Stokely Carmichael’s calling Fidel Castro ‘one of the blackest men in the Americas’, because white power is white imperialism, and the Cuban Revolution in rejecting the latter had also rejected the former:
Black Cubans fought alongside white Cuban workers and peasants because they were all oppressed. Major Juan Almeida, one of the outstanding leaders of
That being so, black Cubans ‘can in fact afford to forget the category “black”. In
Educated black West Indians, including students and teachers at the university had to make a choice. Did they want to continue as agents of the white power system, or did they want to overcome the cultural inferiority that had resulted in black West Indians ‘thinking white’. Blacks had to overcome the assumption that white standards of beauty and white symbols of value were normative. The acceptance of white values has distorted how the masses – African and Indian – see themselves and each other, and black power had to begin ‘with a revaluation of ourselves as blacks and with a redefinition of the world from our own standpoint.’
To this end, Rodney delivered a series of nine public lectures on African history. He states the purpose of these as to counter the deliberate hiding and distortion of African history in and by the West which has produced the result that ‘our knowledge of
Rodney’s examination of African history involved an explicit rejection of racism, defining it as a tool of white exploitation. His assertion on the subject, as well as his view on how Western technology ought to be appropriated, as presented in the summary of the fourth lecture, is worth quoting at length:
As Africans, we will use the question of race to unify ourselves, and to escape from the oppression at the hands of white men and their black lackeys. So long as there are people who deny our humanity as blacks, then for so long must we proclaim and assert our humanity as blacks. That is why our historical and cultural heritage is so important, and that is why we must proceed to live our culture because culture is a way of life. We must recover what was taken away from us and we must adapt in order to survive and keep on growing as a section of humanity.
Here it is very important to notice the question of technology. Europeans accuse black people of not inventing the wheel. They claim that our culture never included the construction of machines which work on the principle of the wheel – e.g., mills and wheeled transport. This is partly true, but all that can be said is that we never borrowed the principle of the wheel, for it was invented in
Rodney was to make it clear, in addressing the Congress of Black Writers in
Anticipating his major work, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, Rodney asserts that ‘stagnation in the “Third World” was causally related to advance in Western Europe, and that blacks needed to reject European ‘cultural egocentricity’ that defined the world in terms of one European achievement, the ability to organize large states and mobilize their populations.
Against this, African values such as hospitality should be praised.
Rodney’s assessment of the Jamaican situation at that conference was that ‘a new phase is beginning in the epochal march forward of the Black Humanity of Jamaica’.
Condemning the prohibition of the ‘liberation literature of Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X and Elijah Mohammed’ he noted that the gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ was increasing and the repressive power of the state was being used to control the latter. Interestingly, his first example of that increasing repression was that ‘the number of charges imposed on black people for the possession of ganja (marijuana) are astronomical’. He went on, though, to point out that a charge of ‘suspicion’ had been made law and that this was used ‘in much the same way’ as the vagrancy laws to control poor black people.
The issue of race was openly discussed, despite government efforts to sweep it under the rug, and even though they had been employed by the two parties to wage violence on each other, black youths were ‘becoming aware of the possibilities of unleashing armed struggle in their own interests.’
A few days later, Rodney was to comment on one aspect of that struggle, his exclusion from
Educated black West Indians were sucked into the establishment; intellectuals were given economic security in exchange for their souls. To break from this ‘Babylonian Captivity’, the black West Indian academic had to attack the distortions of black history promoted by imperialism, to challenge the ‘social myth’ of multiracial harmony, and to ‘attach himself to the activity of the black masses’.
He had spoken about black power on the university campus and off it: ‘I was prepared to go anywhere that any group of Black people were prepared to sit down to talk and listen’. That was the very definition of black power – black people coming together to discuss and think through their situation. He had spoken at the UWI Extra Mural Centre, at sports clubs, schoolrooms, church halls, and in gully corners, wherever people would gather to discuss their lives and history, with people whom prime minister Shearer had dismissed as ‘criminals and hooligans’.
The student protest, at one of ‘the most bourgeois of universities’, was an act unprecedented in the history of that institution. It would not have occurred in his days as an undergraduate. Beyond that, the ‘Black Brothers’ in
The Jamaican parliament debated the protests on 17 October. Before they could do that, an opposition Member of Parliament, Maxwell Carey, from southeastern Westmoreland seized the mace and cried out ‘This is intellectual murder!’ before being escorted from the parliamentary chamber. In the debate that followed, Prime Minister Shearer stated that Rodney ‘openly declared his belief that as
A different position was taken by the spokespeople for Jamaican popular culture. Bob Marley and the Wailers, in ‘Fire, Fire’ noting that ‘
Fire, fire – They have no water…
Who you gonna run to? – Who you gonna run to?
Who you gonna run to? – They have no mercy.
Stand up and fight it – Stand up and fight it
Stand up and fight your fight
Till you give me freedom.
One significant consequence of the protests was the establishment of new political organizations as the barriers between ‘the militant poor’ and the intelligentsia collapsed after the repressive power of the state had been directed against both simultaneously. The immediate result was the establishment of the Abeng collective, an organization which sought to continue Rodney’s work. The group issued the first copy of its weekly paper Abeng in February, 1969. Abeng, which was distributed throughout the island and had a circulation of 20,000, sought to link popular culture to class struggle and black nationalism. The paper lasted from February to October 1969, when the print shop where it was produced burned in a suspicious fire.
After the fire, the collective dissolved and its members moved in a number of different directions: some went on to form Marxist-Leninist organizations such as the Workers’ Liberation League, the Independent Trade Unions Advisory Council, and the Communist Party of Jamaica (all pro-Soviet), and also the Youth Forces for National Liberation (Maoist). Others went into the People’s National Party Youth Organisation or into the PNP itself under the leadership of Michael Manley, who had taken over from his father, Norman Manley, in February, 1969.
The elections of 1972 were a watershed. As Waters puts it
Her Majesty’s loyal opposition, in contrast to the ‘racial harmony’ of the previous campaign [in 1967], was now saluting with clenched fists and threatening to ‘beat down
Manley’s government was to unban previously forbidden writings, and, in 1975, to remove the bans on Clive Thomas and Walter Rodney.
Michael Manley’s commitment to democratic socialism involved an appropriation of Rastafari symbolism and expressions of solidarity with the suffering poor. In the 1980s, the party sought to weld black nationalist and socialist appeals using a language of Third World Solidarity that echoes Rodney’s.
What was the impact of Rodney’s intellectual activism? On the one hand, it is clear that he moved both academics and middle class youths to see themselves as organically connected to the black masses. On the other hand, he presented African history and African identity to Jamaicans of all classes in a manner that connected that history to the conditions of life of black Jamaicans in the late 20th century. Obika Gray saw Rodney as having overcome the isolation of the intellectual ‘by fusing theory and practice’ and as having ‘served notice that the knowledge of the intellectual could and would be put at the service of the masses.’
That Rodney’s historiography contained elements that were dubious (the invention of the wheel in China, the Soviets as non-oppressive whites, Jesus as an Egyptian) is not as much to the point as the fact that he presented African history as part of an overall project of promoting both pride in that history and revolutionary consciousness. Rodney’s vision of the role and concerns of black people in a world dominated by whites, however, is not without its problems. His description of World War II as a ‘white man’s war’, for example, is problematic as the war against Nazism was surely as much the battle of the black as of the white. Notwithstanding this, Rodney’s achievement was to tie two approaches to political resistance – cultural protest and anti-imperialism – into a single golden thread of political affirmation.
Rodney has been seen, by
Benn notes that Rodney had
succeeded in forging a link between a radical black consciousness ideology and the dispossessed elements within the society, drawn largely from among the Rastafari, and thus set the stage for the emergence of a short-lived, but effective, social movement which threatened to create a ‘revolutionary’ juncture within the society.
Even though Rodney was ‘in the tradition of Garvey’ as a spokesman for a black identity, and like Garvey emphasized ‘race as the basis of political theory’, Benn notes, correctly, that Rodney was influenced by Fanon’s theory of revolution and an ‘orthodox Marxist class analysis and critique of imperialism’. For Benn, Rodney’s work recasts Garveyism by adding the element of class. This made Rodney’s activism
the most important effort since Garvey to articulate a systematic doctrine of black consciousness specifically relevant to the needs of the
The inclusion of class analysis ‘marked a break in the trajectory of the development of black consciousness.’
Anthony Bogues, however, begins his examination of Rodney by taking note that Rodney considered himself a ‘black Marxist.’ For Bogues, Rodney was ‘a postcolonial revolutionary theorist following in the tradition of Frantz Fanon.’ This links him to a tradition of
Responding to criticisms that Marxism was one more European ideology, and thus unsuitable to the needs of black people, Rodney took the position that Marxism was an analytical tool that could be used with an understanding of the ‘internal realities of a given African society’. Rodney’s analysis of post-colonial politics was not, however, orthodox Marxist. He sought, rather, to show how postcolonial elites in the
Bogues notes that, ironically, one of the most serious critiques of Rodney’s approach came from the dean of Caribbean Marxism, C.L.R. James, who felt that Rodney did not wait (in the context of Guyana) for the ‘revolutionary people and the revolutionary class’ to be engaged in conflict with the government before raising the question of revolt. James also saw Rodney’s conception of political leadership as flawed because he had not seriously studied the question.
Bogues sees Rodney, along with Fanon, as trying to find ‘forms of authentic liberation’, and sharing with Fanon an ethic of political engagement. Rodney, for Bogues, sought to ‘integrate the local dialect with the dialectic’ and in doing so forged a connection with the prophetic stream of black political radicalism.
Another take on Caribbean Marxism, that of Silvio Torres-Saillant, places Rodney within a tradition of
added to the region’s visibility through the vigorous embrace of a near orthodox Marxism of internationalist aspirations while they unabashedly upheld their identity as black Caribbeans.
Rodney, on this view, belongs to a tradition that included Anton de Kom of
Of these approaches, it is that of Bogues, which by foregrounding Rodney’s own self-identification with Marxism makes the most sense in understanding Rodney. Rodney’s achievement, seen in this light, is an assimilation of the ethnic and class struggles of black people in the
Even given his importance to black and Caribbean intellectual history, though, we have to note that Rodney’s political role has been largely elided in the social memory of
That scholars examining
Rodney’s Groundings is a work that, curiously, continues to matter in spite of a superficial datedness. It matters, I would say, not only to the audience for which it was intended, but for a wider audience seeking to understand the aspirations of colonized and racially oppressed peoples. Rodney’s exclusion from Jamaica, by a government fearful that he was bringing to the poor and dispossessed the news that they were poor and dispossessed, was indeed ‘intellectual murder’, but the victims of such murders have a habit of rising again.
Rodney brought to the
Rodney’s thought and activism in 1968 remains relevant despite moments of naïveté – the uncritical approach Rodney takes in the Groundings to the Soviet Union comes to mind – and despite the fact that, with the end of the Cold War, it is shorn of part of its context; that is to say, the assumption that Marxism, or Marxism-Leninism could provide a viable alternative to the bourgeois state in the form of the state socialism that existed at that time.
Nonetheless, decades later, it continues to ring true. To be black is to be a locus of poverty and deprivation. It still means social and political exclusion in the
While the collapse of the
 In the Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. URL: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1852/18th-brumaire/ch01.htm
 Obika Gray, Radicalism and Social Change in
 Gray also notes that colonial laws continued to be used after independence against ‘groups and individuals thought to be subversive’ (Gray, 47).
 American concerns were driven by the exigencies of the
 Gray, 38.
 John Charles Gannon “The Origins and Development of Jamaica’s Two-Party System, 1930-1975”; Ph.D. Dissertation, Washington University, St Louis, 1975, 257 fn 2.
 Rastafarianism is a much-studied religious and cultural phenomenon. Some of the most significant works on the subject are The Rastafari Movement in Kingston, Jamaica, by M.G. Smith, F.R. Augier, and R.M. Nettleford (Mona, Jamaica: Institute for Social and Economic Studies, 1960), Dread: The Rastafarians of Jamaica, by Joseph Owens (Kingston: Sangster’s Bookstores, 1976), The Rastafarians: The Dreadlocks of Jamaica, by Leonard Barrett (Kingston: Sangster’s Bookstores, 1977), Race, Class and Political Symbols: Rastafari and Reggae in Jamaican Politics, by Anita M. Waters (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1984), and Rasta and Resistance: From Marcus Garvey to Walter Rodney, by Horace Campbell (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1987)
 Waters, 29. Anthony J. Payne, Politics in Jamaica Revised Edition;
 I follow here the argument of Carl Stone in Class, State and Democracy in
 F.S.J. Ledgister, Class Alliances and the
 This derives from a long history of self-contempt within the culture of Jamaicans of African descent. This involved such things as valuing ‘good’ (straight or loosely-curled) hair over ‘bad’ (nappy) hair, using terms like ‘niggeritis’ to refer to indolence, and ‘Yu too black an ugly’ as an insult (particularly striking when delivered by one person of noticeably African features to another).
 Payne, 17.
 That race was seen in this way, and not only by middle class Jamaicans, can be noted from the impressions of an outside observer of the
 Samuel J. Hurwitz and Edith F. Hurwitz,
 Gray, 49.
 Gray, 50.
 Gray, 51. Gray also notes that Henry had written a letter to Fidel Castro announcing his willingness to rise in revolt against the colonial regime.
 Gannon, 256.
 Gannon, 257-274.
 Gannon, 274.
 Seaga was to go on to become Minister of Development and Welfare (1962-1967), Minister of Finance (1967-1972), Leader of the JLP and of the parliamentary opposition (1974-1980), Prime Minister (1980-1989), and Leader of the Opposition again (1989-2005). He relinquished leadership of the JLP only last year, at the age of 75.
 Gannon, 283-287. Waters, 63-64. Thompson, a brown Jamaican lawyer who had served with distinction in the Royal Air Force during World War II, was the candidate with the most genuine African connection having practiced law in
 Gannon, 287.
 Waters, 63-64.
 Mikes, 102.
 Mikes, 103-104.
 Waters, 69. Payne, 20.
 Payne, 20.
 Waters, 76-77.
 Waters, 79.
 Seaga was responsible for the annual Jamaica Festival, held in commemoration of independence, from 1962 to 1971. The Festival Commission following him from the Ministry of Development and Welfare to the Ministry of Finance in 1967. In 1968, a poem of his ‘River Mumma’ won a silver medal in the Festival Literary Competition.
 Waters, 80.
 Rupert C. Lewis, Walter Rodney: 1968 Revisited;
 Gannon, 311 fn. Walter Rodney, The Groundings with my Brothers;
 Copies of the original Writers & Readers edition were circulated clandestinely in the late 1960s and early 1970s; one was passed to me in 1971. The Dungle (Dunghill) was the municipal rubbish dump in west
 Lewis 40.
 Gray, 151.
 Lewis, 41.
 Lewis, 40-41.
 Rodney spent eight and a half months as a lecturer at the Mona campus of the University. (Lewis, 2.)
 Rodney, 64.
 Gannon, 311 fn.
 Gannon, 311 fn.
 Lewis, 41. The Special Branch is the political unit of the police force.
 Lewis, 3.
 Lewis, 4, 16, 37-38.
 Rodney, 16.
 Rodney, 16-17. Lewis notes that some students feared the implications of Rodney’s argument as this meant socialist revolution (Lewis, 34).
 Rodney, 18.
 Rodney, 18.
 Rodney, 19.
 Rodney, 19.
 Rodney, 20.
 Rodney, 21-22.
 Rodney, 23.
 Rodney 24. Emphasis in the original.
 Rodney, 26-27. In fact, Rodney’s statement contains a significant false assertion – that the British abolished the existing Old Representative constitution of
 Rodney, 27. Ken Post notes that ‘passages in the report… presented a very unfavourable picture of the results of centuries of British rule’ and that this would have given the German propaganda machine ‘splendid material for attacks on British colonialism’ (Ken Post, Strike the Iron, A Colony at War: Jamaica 1939-1945; The Hague, Martinus Nijhoff, 1981, I. 86).
 Rodney, 27.
 Rodney, 28.
 Rodney, 28.
 Rodney 29.
 Rodney, 29.
 Rodney, 29.
 Rodney, 31. Almeida, a mulatto, was at the time the only non-white member of the Cuban government.
 Rodney, 31. There are white peasants in the parishes of Westmoreland and St Elizabeth whose conditions of life do not differ from those of their black neighbours.
 Rodney, 32.
 Rodney, 33-34.
 The texts in chapters 4 and 5 of Groundings are summaries of the lectures, rather than the lectures themselves. They nonetheless constitute a brief and lucid overview of the subject.
 Rodney, 35.
 Rodney, 37.
 Rodney, 39.
 This is a particularly odd claim, especially in light of the fact that in the next lecture Rodney was to unambiguously claim ancient
 Rodney, 39-40.
 Rodney, 51.
 Rodney, 51.
 Rodney, 53.
 Rodney, 56.
 Rodney, 56-57.
 Rodney, 58.
 Rodney, 12.
 Rodney, 12.
 Rodney, 13. The terms ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ were given currency in Jamaican political life in the maiden speech of Edward Seaga to the Legislative Council (the forerunner of the present-day Senate) in 1959.
 Rodney, 13.
 Rodney, 13-14.
 Rodney, 14.
 Rodney, 14-15.
 Rodney, 60-61.
 Rodney, 62-63. The term ‘Babylonian Captivity’ is a deliberate echo of Rastafarian belief. Rastas compare the condition of blacks in the diaspora to that of the Jews captive in
 Rodney, 63-64.
 Rodney, 64. Lewis lists a number of the places where Rodney spoke (Lewis, 20)
 While the scale of the protest was unprecedented, UWI students had taken direct action in protest at the expulsion of Bertell Ollman in 1966 (Gray, 151).
 Rodney, 65-66.
 Rodney, 65.
 Payne, 23.
 Payne, 23-24.
 Gray, 160. Payne, 25-26.
 Payne, 26.
 Carey, a PNP back-bencher, had not previously been known for any particular activism. He died the next year and was succeeded in his constituency by a young lawyer, P.J. Patterson who campaigned using the slogan ‘Young, gifted, and black.’ Patterson has been since 1993 the Prime Minister of Jamaica; the first person of purely or overwhelmingly African ancestry to hold that office.
 Gannon, 311 fn.
 Gray, 161.
 Payne, 26-27. The president of the Guild of Undergraduates, and principal organizer of the student protest, was Ralph Gonzales, a white student from
 Payne, 27.
 Waters, 100.
 Gray, 160.
 The abeng was the cowhorn used as a means of communication by the Maroon rebels of the 18th century. The word is of Twi (Fanti and
 Abeng was also inspired by the fortnightly journal Moko published in
 Waters, 96. Gray, 169-182.
 Waters, 97.
 Later to become the Workers’ Party of Jamaica.
 Waters, 98.
 Waters, 90.
 Waters, 164.
 Al Creighton, ‘The Walter Rodney factor in West Indian literature’ URL: http://www.guyanacaribbeanpolitics.com/wpa/rodney_literature.html (Originally published in the Stabroek News,
 Waters, 139.
 Waters, 164-176.
 F.S.J. Ledgister and Anita M. Waters "Commemorating Caribbean public scholarship: the memory of Walter Rodney in
 Gray, 153.
 One is not sure that this point of view would have been acceptable to, say, a Crimean Tatar.
 Rodney, 40.
 Denis Benn, The
 Benn, 249.
 Benn, 250.
 Benn, 250.
 Benn, 250.
 Anthony Bogues, Black Heretics, Black Prophets: Radical Political Intellectuals;
 Bogues, 126.
 Thomas, a Trinidadian, was the first black West Indian to directly challenge white assertions of inherent black inferiority requiring colonial rule into an infinite future.
 Bogues, 127.
 Bogues, 128.
 Bogues, 137. Bogues is here citing a speech Rodney gave in
 Bogues, 142.
 Bogues, 143-144.
 Bogues, 150.
 Silvio Torres-Saillant, An Intellectual History of the
 Torres-Saillant, 152.
 Ledgister & Waters, 4.
 Ledgister & Waters, 4. Gray, 157. Lewis, 36-37.
 It is worth noting, though, that Stokely Carmichael, who first used the phrase, was a Trinidadian.
 Rodney, 19.