Black British Publishers and Pan-Africanism
: 1960-1980

  • Kadija George

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Black British Publishers and Pan-Africanism: 1960-1980 analyses the role of Black British book and periodical publishers as social rights and human rights activists and the way in which they used Pan-Africanism in their efforts to achieve their goal of unifying Black people in Britain between 1960-1980. The result is a narrative collated from Black British publishers which includes, Margaret Busby of Allison and Busby, Eric Huntley of Bogle-L’Ouverture Publications, Arif Ali of Hansib Publications, Afif and Omar Ben Yedder of IC Publications, Anand Kumria of the Independent Book Company, Don Kinch of Staunch Poets and Players, Ansel Wong of the West Indian Students Union (WISU) newsletter, and Neil Kenlock of Root magazine. It also includes narratives from contributors to the publications, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Errol Lloyd, Desmond Davies, Val Wilmer, and Donald Hinds who were illustrators, photographers, and writers during this period and conversations with Leila Hassan of the Race Today Collective, Selma James, wife of CLR James, Karim Hirji, who worked with Walter Rodney on How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, E. Ethelbert Miller, the librarian at Howard University, where How Europe Underdeveloped Africa was published, Ewart Thomas, a founding committee member of Bogle L’Ouverture Publications, Roger van Zwanenburg, founder of Zed Books and Ngũgĩ’ wa Thiong’o who has been involved with New Beacon Books and Bogle L’Ouverture Publications as keynote speaker and supporter since their inception. These sixteen interviews, five conversations and a public collective memory interview which included Sarah White of New Beacon Books and Margaret Busby provide a contribution to a previously under researched aspect of Black British social and cultural history.

Periodical publishers have gone largely unnoticed as a subject for research and little has been done on the work of book publishers or the material that they produced and so they have been under utilised in knowledge production and scholarship in the field.

The producers of these material objects have been used to trace Pan-Africanism though the African Diaspora in publications produced by these publishers which has been done by means of close analysis of three episodes of international significance: the independence of African nations, the campaign against apartheid in South Africa and the global impact of the publishing of Walter Rodney’s books.

The thesis provides new evidence and a new understanding drawn from textual/thematic analysis and oral history accounts to understand how Pan Africanism was used as a cultural-political strategy to advance African philosophies and the praxis of humanism. In this, it enhances an understanding of the contribution of cultural critique in the fight for de-colonisation and confirms the importance of the continued struggle against neo-colonialism.
Date of Award2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Brighton
SupervisorLiam Connell (Supervisor), Vedrana Velickovic (Supervisor) & Alan Tomlinson (Supervisor)

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