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Anarchism and the Black Revolution

Anarchism and the Black Revolution

The Definitive Edition

by Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin

Foreword by William C. Anderson and Joy James

Series: Black Critique

A revolutionary classic written by a living legend of Black Liberation

'A powerful – even startling – book that challenges the shibboleths of 'white' anarchism'. Its analysis of police violence and the threat of fascism are as important now as they were at the end of the 1970s. Perhaps more so' -  Peter James Hudson, Black Agenda Report

Anarchism and the Black Revolution first connected Black radical thought to anarchist theory in 1979. Now amidst a rising tide of Black political organizing, this foundational classic written by a key figure of the Civil Rights movement is republished with a wealth of original material for a new generation.

Anarchist theory has long suffered from a whiteness problem. This book places its critique of both capitalism and racism firmly at the centre of the text. Making a powerful case for the building of a Black revolutionary movement that rejects sexism, homophobia, militarism and racism, Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin counters the lies and distortions about anarchism spread by its left- and right-wing opponents alike.

New material includes an interview with writer and activist William C. Anderson, as well as new essays, and a contextualizing biography of the author’s inspiring life.

Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin is an American writer, activist and black anarchist. He is a former member of SNCC, the Black Panther Party and Concerned Citizens for Justice. Following an attempt to frame him on weapons charges and for threatening the life of a Ku Klux Klan leader, Ervin hijacked a plane to Cuba in February 1969. While in Cuba, and later Czechoslovakia, Ervin grew disillusioned with the authoritarianism of state socialism. Captured by the CIA in Eastern Europe, he was extradited to the US, put on trial and sentenced to life in prison in 1970. He was introduced to anarchism whilst in prison, inspiring him to write Anarchism and the Black Revolution in 1979. Released after 15 years, Ervin remains politically active.

'Anarchism and the Black Revolution is a short, though powerful – even startling – monograph that challenges many of the shibboleths of “white” anarchism, the received wisdom of Black Marxist thought, and the pieties of liberalism, white, Black or otherwise. It is also stunningly prescient. Its analysis and critiques of police violence and the threat of fascism are as important now as they were at the end of the 1970s. Perhaps more so.'

- Peter James Hudson, Black Agenda Report

Preface to the New Edition

1. Anarchism Defined: A Tutorial on Anarchist Theory and Practice
2. Capitalism and Racism: An Analysis of White Supremacy and the Oppression of Peoples of Color
3. Anarchism and the Black Revolution
4. Pan-Africanism or Intercommunalism?
5. Contradictions of Race and Class in the Struggle

A Short Biography of Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin
Ungovernable: An Interview with William C. Anderson
Speaking of anarchism, racism and black liberation
Black autonomy: civil rights, the Panthers and today
Will the Revolution Be Televised?
Black People Have a Right to Rebel

Published by Pluto Press in Oct 2021
Paperback ISBN: 9780745345819
Hardcover ISBN: 9780745345802
eBook ISBN: 9780745345796

224 pages

135mm x 215mm