Black Marxism, Revised and Updated Third Edition

The Making of the Black Radical Tradition

Revised and Updated Third Edition

By Cedric J. Robinson

With a new preface by Damien Sojoyner and Tiffany Willoughby-Herard and a new foreword by Robin D. G. Kelley

Black Marxism, Revised and Updated Third Edition

496 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, notes, bibl., index

Not for Sale in the UK or Commonwealth

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-6372-2
    Published: February 2021
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-6371-5
    Published: February 2021
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-6373-9
    Published: December 2020
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-6242-6
    Published: December 2020

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In this ambitious work, first published in 1983, Cedric Robinson demonstrates that efforts to understand Black people's history of resistance solely through the prism of Marxist theory are incomplete and inaccurate. Marxist analyses tend to presuppose European models of history and experience that downplay the significance of Black people and Black communities as agents of change and resistance. Black radicalism, Robinson argues, must be linked to the traditions of Africa and the unique experiences of Blacks on Western continents, and any analyses of African American history need to acknowledge this.

To illustrate his argument, Robinson traces the emergence of Marxist ideology in Europe, the resistance by Blacks in historically oppressive environments, and the influence of both of these traditions on such important twentieth-century Black radical thinkers as W. E. B. Du Bois, C. L. R. James, and Richard Wright. This revised and updated third edition includes a new preface by Tiffany Willoughby-Herard, and a new foreword by Robin D. G. Kelley.

About the Author

Cedric J. Robinson (1940-2016) was professor of Black studies and political science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His books include The Terms of Order, An Anthropology of Marxism, and Forgeries of Memory and Meaning.
For more information about Cedric J. Robinson, visit the Author Page.


"A towering achievement. There is simply nothing like it in the history of black radical thought."—Cornel West, Monthly Review

"Black Marxism has become an unlikely handbook for a new generation of radicals and activists.”—London Review of Books

"Robinson demonstrates very clearly . . . the ability of the black tradition to transcend national boundaries and accommodate cultural, religious and 'racial' differences. Indeed, he shows that, in a sense, it has emerged out of the transformation of these differences."—Race and Class

"For those interested in pursuing political and ideological alternatives to capitalistic exploitation and underdevelopment of African peoples in the Americas and Africa, Black Marxism provides a well-documented foundation upon which to build ideological and mass social movements."—Phylon

"As Cedric Robinson’s ideas guide us through an era when we are publicly reevaluating the structural racism embedded in all of our major institutions, we rely above all on his concept of racial capitalism and on his identification of an intellectual and activist culture of resistance--one he named the Black Radical Tradition. This is a text that should be read and reread and then read again."--Angela Y. Davis

"A towering achievement. There is simply nothing like it in the history of black radical thought."--Cornel West, Monthly Review