April 2014


Pan-Africanism and Communism

Mittwoch 16.04.2014 18:00 | Saal

Eintritt: frei

Veranstalter/-in: Werkstatt der Kulturen


Pan-Africanism and Communism

The Communist International, Africa and the Diaspora, 1919-1939

Lesung mit Autor und Historiker Hakim Adi

Auf Einladung der WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN Berlin und des Seminars für Afrikawissenschaften der Humboldt Universität Berlin, sowie in Kooperation mit der Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies, dem AK Panafrikanismus München und dem Café Timbuktu in Hamburg stellt der Historiker und Universitätsprofessor Hakim Adi vom 10. – 16. April 2014 sein neues Buch „Pan-Africanism and Communism; The Communist International, Africa and the Diaspora, 1919-1939“ in folgenden Städten vor: Bayreuth, München, Hamburg, Berlin.

“Deutschland stand im Zentrum der Aktivitäten der Komintern zur Befreiung Afrikas und der Afrikaner. Die erste „International conference of Negro workers“ wurde 1930 in Hamburg abgehalten. Anschließend fand das „International Trade Union Committee of Negro Workers“, das zunächst von dem African American James Ford und dann von George Padmore aus Trinidad geleitet wurde, seinen Sitz in der Stadt – bis Padmore 1933 von den Nazis verhaftet wurde,” so Hakim Adi.



BAYREUTH # Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies
Donnerstag | 10.04.2014 | 18h

MÜNCHEN # Arbeitskreis Panafrikanismus München
Samstag | 12.04.2014 | 18h

NEU!!! HAMBURG # Café Timbuktu Dienstag | 15.04.2014 |18h

BERLIN # Werkstatt der Kulturen (in Kooperation mit HU Berlin / Seminar für Afrikawissenschaften)
Mittwoch | 16.04.2014 | 18h



book Information

This book examines the interaction between the Communist International (Comintern) and the global struggle for the liberation of Africa and the African Diaspora during the inter-war period. In particular, it focuses on the history of the International Trade Union Committee of Negro Workers (ITUCNW), established by the Red International of Labour Unions (Profintern) in 1928 and its activities in Africa, the United States, the Caribbean and Europe.

Drawing on the Moscow archives of the Communist International, archival material from Africa, the United States, Britain and France, as well as other recently published sources, it also examines the evolution and development of the Comintern’s approach to the “Negro Question,” as issues related to Africa and the Diaspora were then called, an approach that played a pivotal role in the evolution of Pan-Africanism and anti-colonial and anti-racist politics during this period. The book builds on earlier studies of the relationship between the Comintern and African Americans, as well as work on the history of the Communist Party of South Africa, to examine how and why a Pan-Africanist approach was adopted by the Comintern in relation to Africa and the African Diaspora and highlights the agency of African, African American and Caribbean activists in determining and implementing this approach. It was in this period that many well-known activists and personalities, including Paul Robeson, Langston Hughes,

Claude McKay, Jacques Roumain, Jomo Kenyatta, Isaac Wallace-Johnson and George Padmore, embraced or were connected with the communist movement, while many others expressed a great sympathy for the Soviet Union. This relationship was established not just because of the prestige that the Soviet Union enjoyed at the time but also because the approach of the Comintern and the activities of the ITUCNW strongly suggested that the communist movement was perhaps the only international movement formally dedicated to a revolutionary transformation of the global political and racial order.

Read extracts from the book and reviews


on the Author

Hakim Adi (Ph.D. SOAS, London University) is currently Reader in the History of Africa and the African Diaspora at the University of Chichester in England. He is the author of West Africans in Britain 1900-1960: Nationalism, Pan-Africanism and Communism (London, 1998); joint author (with M. Sherwood) of The 1945 Manchester Pan-African Congress Revisited (London, 1995) and Pan-African History: Political Figures from Africa and the Diaspora since 1787 (London, 2003).


He has written widely on Pan-Africanism and the modern political history of the African Diaspora, especially on Africans in Britain and has also written three books for children. He is currently working on a film documentary on the West African Students’ Union www.wasuproject.org.uk.

His latest book Pan-Africanism and Communism: The Communist International, Africa and the Daispora, 1919-1939 was published by Africa World Press in 2013.