Back to Black traces the long and eminent history of Black radical politics. Born out of resistance to slavery and colonialism, its rich past encompasses figures such as Marcus Garvey, Angela Davis, the Black Panthers and the Black Lives Matter activists of today. At its core it argues that racism is inexorably embedded in the fabric of society, and that it can never be overcome unless by enacting change outside of this suffocating system. This is an appeal to reclaim Black radicalism, a movement that has been diluted and moderated over time, willfully misrepresented and caricatured by others, and divested of its potency and potential for global change.
Kehinde Andrews explores the true roots of this tradition, and connects the dots to today’s struggles by showing what a renewed politics of Black radicalism might look like in the twenty-first century.
About the Author
Kehinde Andrews is associate professor in sociology in the School of Social Sciences at Birmingham City University. He is also director of the Centre for Critical Social Research, founder of the Harambee Organisation of Black Unity, and cochair of the Black Studies Association. He writes for the Guardian and the Independent.
“A fiery, in-depth investigation of black radicalism and a call for a more revolutionary, liberated society across the globe.”
— Mya Alexice
“(A) dense and erudite book that speaks to both British and American issues. . . . This analysis will be of interest to anyone looking for a deep, considered take on liberatory politics.
— Publishers Weekly
“A new survey of western black radical thought is lucid, fluent and compelling. . . . Andrews’s attacks on western black radicalism make for highly readable blows. . . . You might not agree with Andrews, but we need him.”
“For debates about global inequality and injustice to progress, we need writers like Kehinde Andrews. . . . We can only hope Back to Black will inspire many more radical thinkers.”
— New Statesman
“No more timid, liberal b*llshit or empty jingoism. Andrews is a brilliant, black British intellectual who searingly and expertly reveals the cost of real change, for those willing to face it. In a time of flux, doubt and uncertainty, Andrews provides a clear and lucid voice. Back to Black is an important book for anyone interested in real change and what that is likely to cost.”
— Russell Brand
“Andrews takes the concepts that underpin so much of our woolly, contemporary talk about blackness, structural racism, pan-Africanism and—most of all—radicalism, and does the hard, essential work of re-inserting meaning and critique into the debate. An unflinching and authentic contribution.”
— Afua Hirsch, author of Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging
“Andrews pulls no punches. His concept of black radicalism is raw and powerful. This book is sure to provoke, and will gain him adversaries—both black and white—because of the home truths it exposes.”
— Femi Nylander, activist and an organizer of Rhodes Must Fall