Taking Intercommunalism Seriously: Black Power, Indigeneity, and Peoples’ Struggles for Recognition and Anti-Racist democracy

Friday, 28 March 2014
Prof James Lance Taylor

The U.S. Black freedom struggle developed a series of political, ideological, social, and intellectual projects aimed at resolving the dilemma of the American nature of the Black American situation. The particularity of U.S. race relations during the 20th Century informed peoples’ struggles throughout the emerging anticolonial thrust of subaltern populations and was equally shaped by developments beyond the U.S. This reciprocity or mutuality is at the heart of Huey P. Newton’s Advocacy of Revolutionary Intercommunalism and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination which forms the basis of this presentation. Intercommunalism reflects Newton’s prescience on the need to internationalize the “race struggle” of the world. Newton’s Kantian claims of universality are born of the specificity of the African American predicament and freedom struggle which are most instructive largely because they occurred against the grain of an encroaching U.S. global hegemony. The U.S. Black freedom struggle was a democratic one; it was the force for Democracy dejure, apart from the universalizing claims of reactionary forces in the dominant U.S. group and society. The presentation argues that since restitutive justice has eluded racialized minority populations, in their particular struggles around aborigineity, indigeneity, and categories of “blackness”, solutions should be sought out of students’ and activists’ surveys of analogues across national boundaries.