Showing 1–20 of 22 results

  • Oh, Sorry! Rituals of Forgiveness, Crises and Social Struggles in Postmodern Capitalism

    As the world grapples with the legacy of crimes of enslavement, colonialism, genocide and mass killings, imprisonment and murder of children, attempts at eliminating cultures and history of Indigenous peoples, looting and other crimes against humanity, the performance of public atonement has become increasingly prevalent. Apologies from state actors and institutions are issued in solemn ceremonies, often acknowledging the collective guilt for historical atrocities. Despite the solemnity of these events, there is a growing scepticism surrounding the sincerity of these apologies, particularly when they are not accompanied by tangible reparations, healing, reconciliation or systemic change. This scepticism is rooted in a perception that these acts of contrition are sometimes less about making amends to the aggrieved and more about assuaging the guilt of the aggressors and maintaining the status quo, providing the illusion of progress without the substance.
    In this compelling work, Oh, Sorry! Rituals of Forgiveness, Crises and Social Struggles in Postmodern Capitalism, the authors unveil the complex interplay between public apologies, social justice and popular mobilisations. The chapters are devoted primarily to the experiences of Latin America, particularly of Mexico, Guatemala, Chile, and Brazil. But there is also a chapter on the struggles for Palestine — so relevant in the face of the current genocidal invasion by the Zionist State of Israel into Gaza, the world’s largest and most densely populated concentration camp.

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    Being Anti-Colonial

    Being Anti-Colonial by Jayan Nayar presents a profound critique of the contemporary engagements with ‘decolonial theory’ and the popular usage of ‘decolonisation’. This work argues that much of the current discourse within critical theory tends to overlook the intricate, essentially praxiological underpinnings of the anti-colonial struggle, thereby comfortably situating itself within the post-colonial status quo. Nayar’s book serves as a radical call to authentically re-engage with the anti-colonial ethos, emphasizing the necessity to confront the enduring architectures of coloniality that define our present. Distinctly divided into two parts, the book first elucidates the conceptual groundwork to reconceptualise ‘anti-colonial’ as a philosophical stance deeply entwined with the fabric of the global (post)colonial reality. Through meticulously argued philosophical foundations, Nayar underscores the (post)colonial present as a state of ‘resettlement’, where the architecture of post-colonial world-making loses sight of its colonial matrices. Being Anti-Colonial is both an invitation and a challenge to the academic community to critically revisit and re-energize the conversation about coloniality.

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    Rastafari Movement, The: A Beginners Guide

    Why is this book necessary today?

    Rastafari: A Beginner’s Guide” holds immense relevance due to its unique approach to addressing the complex movement of Rastafarianism. It’s complex nature, encompassing elements of social movements, Pan-Africanism, Afrocentrism, philosophy, and religion, can be overwhelming for new readers. This book serves as an accessible introduction, providing a foundational understanding that caters to both Rastafarians and individuals with limited knowledge of the movement.

    By delving into the essence of the Rastafari lifestyle beyond superficial attributes like dreadlocks and cannabis use, the book helps dispel misconceptions and offers a more accurate representation of the movement’s beliefs and principles. Further, this guide aids in shedding light on the depth and significance of Rastafarianism’s contributions to culture, spirituality, and social thought but also its philosophical challenges.

    The book’s coverage of Rastafarianism’s historical trajectory and foundational values provides crucial context for understanding its development over time. By highlighting its evolution from its origins in Jamaican ghettoes to its expansion into a more inclusive and diverse community that includes professionals and the middle class, the book underscores the movement’s adaptability and relevance in changing societal landscapes.

    Despite existing scholarly contributions, there remains a need for a concise, approachable guide that synthesizes the wealth of information available on Rastafarianism. This book fills that gap, providing readers with a comprehensive yet accessible overview that can serve as a starting point for further exploration.

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    I see the invisible

    Truth be told, I never thought I would write another volume of poetry after the last, I will not Dance to Your Beat (2011). The reason was that my previous volumes were reactive to the circumstances of the times. Patriots and Cockroaches (1992) was a reaction to the socio-political corruption that had engulfed Africa and dimmed the enthusiasm that had been built by the years of struggle for independence. Whereas we thought we were stepping into a post-colonial era, what we stepped into was a vicious neo-colonial times. The next collection, Poems on the Run (1995) was a reaction to military autocracy and the repression that followed. The volume was literally written underground. This was followed by Intercepted (1998) all written while detained at Kalakuta Republic of Alagbon Close. We Thought it was Oil But it was Blood (2002) responded to two things primarily – extractivism and the accompanying human and environmental rights abuses in the Niger Delta and elsewhere. The massive erosion of biodiversity and attacks on food sovereignty through the introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into our agricultural system inspired I Will not Dance to your Beat.

    What you have in your hands, or on your screens, is a compilation that is largely more meditative than the previous collections. There are moments of reflection on the colonial and neoliberal foundations that permit a willful disconnection from nature and the resultant destructive extractivism.

    Some of the poems came through conversations and poetry writing sessions with Peter Molnar, Maryam al-Khawaja — Rafto Human Rights laureates and Salil Tripathi, a member of the board of PEN International, in August 2017. The sessions held at a beautifully rustic location in Celleno, Italy, were documented on celluloid by the duo of Maria Galliana Dyrvik and Anita Jonsterhaug Vedå of SMAU, a multimedia firm in Norway. Poetic relationship with Maria and Anita has continued over the years and their work continues to inspire more and more poems.

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    “Not Bad for a N—, No?” / «Pas mal pour un N—, n’est-ce pas? »

    Written during the seventy-fifth anniversary celebrations of the publication of Frantz Fanon’s Peau noir, masques blancs (“Black Skin, White Masks”), “Not Bad for a N—, No?” offers reflections on the circumstances of the publication of this classic work with Fanon’s insights on what he called the attempted “murder of man” and the urgent need for humanity to become “actional.”

    Écrit lors des célébrations du soixante-quinzième anniversaire de la publication de Frantz Fanon de Peau noir masques blancs, «Pas mal pour un N—, n’est-ce pas? » offre des réflexions sur les circonstances de la publication de cette œuvre classique avec les idées de Fanon sur ce qu’il a appelé la tentative de «meurtre de l’homme» et le besoin urgent que l’humanité devienne «actionnelle».

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    Partitions of the Heart: Unmaking the Idea of India

    In Partitions of the Heart: Unmaking the Idea of India, human rights and peace worker Harsh Mander takes stock of whether the republic has upheld the values it set out to achieve and offers painful, unsparing insight into the contours of hate violence. Through vivid stories from his own work, Mander shows that hate speech, communal propaganda and vigilante violence are mounting a fearsome climate of dread, that targeted crime is systematically fracturing our community, and that the damage to the country’s social fabric may be irreparable. At the same time, he argues that hate can indeed be fought, but only with solidarity, reconciliation and love, and when all of these are founded on fairness.

    ‘At last a book that turns a powerful searchlight on the evil tide of hatred and violence stalking our country, where our minorities live in fear, and Muslims among us are killed under a government that has declared war on Islam.’ —Nayantara Sahgal, journalist, author of Day of Reckoning: Stories (2015).

    ‘Harsh Mander’s is the voice of Kabir come alive in our violent times. We can hear it to our redemption, ignore it to our peril.’ —Gopalkrishna Gandhi, former administrator and diplomat, Governor of West Bengal 2004-2009

    This book is absolutely mandatory reading. You owe it to the much-vaunted “motherland” which is being abused so shamelessly.’—Kiran Nagarkar, novelist, playwright, film critic and screenwriter.

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    Claim No Easy Victories: The Legacy of Amilcar Cabral

    “Never has it been more certain that our victory depends principally on our own actions. Tell no lies, claim no easy victories . . .” —Amílcar Cabral On the centennial of Amílcar Cabral’s birth, and fifty years after his passing, Claim No Easy Victories brings to life the resonance of his thought for today’s freedom movements. World-renowned revolutionary, poet, liberation philosopher, and leader of the anticolonial independence movement of Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde, Amílcar Cabral’s legacy stretches well beyond the shores of West Africa. His profound influence on the pan-Africanist movement and the Black liberation movement in the United States and the English-speaking world spans the ages—and is only growing in an era of renewed anti-imperialist internationalist struggle. In this unique collection of essays, radical thinkers from across Africa, the United States, and internationally commemorate Cabral’s life and legacy and his relevance to contemporary struggles for self-determination and emancipation. Claim No Easy Victories serves equally as an introduction or reintroduction to a figure and militant history that the rulers and beneficiaries of global racial capitalism would rather see forgotten. Understanding Cabral then and now sheds light on the necessity of grounding radical change in the creation of theory based on the actual conditions within which movements develop. The depth and dimension of Cabral’s theoretical ideas and revolutionary practice of building popular movements for liberation are assessed by each of the authors and critically reanimated for a new generation of freedom fighters. The book features contributions by: Kali Akuno, Samir Amin, David Austin, Jesse Benjamin, Angela Davis, Bill Fletcher Jr, Mireille Fanon-Mendès France, Lewis Gordon, Firoze Manji, Asha Rodney, Patricia Rodney, Olúfémi Táíwò—and others.

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  • Lines of Fire: Poetry of the Afro-Asian Writers’ Movement

    This collection of poems features some of the voices that were persecuted for the power of their words. The poetry cries out against the injustices and brutality of the colonial powers of their time, raging against tyranny and the festering wounds of racism, especially in Palestine. Many of the writers of the Afro-Asian Writers Movement faced torture, imprisonment, exile, and even death, but their words continue to call for a just world. These poets span the length and breadth of Africa and Asia, and their poems speak to all of humanity. Embedded in their verses is a spirit of resilience that knows loss, love, anger, and anguish yet insists on enduring hope.

    Edited by Tariq Mehmood, this collection includes poems by:

    Salah Abdel Sabour (1931-1981, Ali Ahmad Said Esber, also known as Adunis (1930- ), Mulk Raj Anand (1905-2004), Anar Rasul oghlu Rzayef (1938- ), Nobuo Ayukawa (1920-1986), Fadhil al-Azzawi  (1940- ), Abd Al-Wahhab al-Bayati (1926-1999), Mahim Bora (1917- ), Bernard Binlin Dadié (1916- ), Mahmoud Darwish (1942-2008), Osamu Dazai (1909-1948), Mário Pinto de Andrade (1928-1990), D.B. Dhanapala (1905-1971), Mohammed Dib (1920-2003), Gevorg Emin (1918-1998), Sengiin Erdene (1929-2000), Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1911-1984), Rasul Gamzatov (1923-2003), Daniil Granin (1919- ), Colette Anna Gregoire, better known as Anna Greki (1931-1966), Malek Haddad (1927-1978), Pham Ba Ngoan, better known by his pen name Thanh Hai (1930-1980), Buland al-Haidari (1926-1996),  Suheil Idris (1925-2008), Yusuf Idris (1927-1991), Fazil Iskander (1929- ), Zulfiya Isroilova (1915-1996), Ali Sardar Jafri (1913-2000), Ghassan Kanafani (1936-1972), Edward al-Kharrat (1926- 2015), Hajime Kijima (1928-2004), Mazisi Kunene (1930-2006), Alex La Guma (1925-1985), U Gtun Kyi, better known by his pen name Minn Latt Yekhaun (1925-1985), Abdul Hayee better known by his pen name Sahir Lundhianvi (1921-1980), Zaki Naguib Mahmoud (1905-1993), Nazik Al-Malaika (1923-2007), Mouloud Mammeri (1917-1989), Yuri Nagibin (1920-1994), Sergey Narovchatov (1919-1981), Dashdorjiin Natsagdorj (1906-1937), Hiroshi Noma (1915-1991), Gabriel jibaba Okara (1921- ), Amrita Pritam (1919-2005), Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo (1901-1937), Richard Rive (1931-1989), Rady Saddouk (1938-2010), Badr Shakir al-Sayyab (1926-1964), Ousmane Sembene (1923- 2007), Leopold Sedar Senghor (1906-2001), Yusuf al-Sibai (1917-1978), Fadwa Tuqan (1917-2003), Sonomyn Udval (1921-1991), Ramses Younan (1913-1966), and Tawfiq Ziad (1929-1994).

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    The revolutionary ecological legacy of Herbert Marcuse – 2nd Edition

    Description (2188 / 2500)
    The author appeals to the energies of those engaged in a wide range of contemporary social justice struggles such as ecosocialism, antiracism, the women’s movement, LGBTQ rights, and antiwar forces. As the dialectical counterpart of Marcuse’s Great Refusal, the book, which culminates with the ‘EarthCommonWealth Project’ is keyed to what we are struggling for, not just what we are struggling against. The author argues that regressive political forces must be countered today, and this is best accomplished through radical collaboration around an agenda recognizing the basic economic and political needs of diverse subaltern communities. System negation must become a new general interest. The author discusses core ethical insights from African philosophical sources, indigenous American philosophy, and radical feminist philosophy. Humanity’s first teachings on ethics are to be found in ancient African proverbs. These subsequently served also as a critique of colonialism and neocolonialism. Long-suppressed indigenous American sources supply a philosophical and political critique of Euro-centric economic and cultural values. They also offer an understanding of humanity’s place in nature and the leadership of women and attest to modes of cooperative and egalitarian forms of community. Feminist anthropology furnishes an historical context for understanding the origins of patriarchy and how to move beyond dominator power to new forms of partnership power.

    The book envisions the displacement and transcendence of capitalist oligarchy as such, not simply its most bestial and destructive components. This is a green economic alternative because its ecological vision sees all living things and their non-living earthly surroundings as a global community capable of a dignified, deliberate coexistence. It is searching for a new system of ecological production, egalitarian distribution, shared ownership, and democratized governance, having its foundation in the ethics of partnership productivity with an ecosocialist and humanist commitment to living our lives on the planet consistent with the most honorable and aesthetic forms of human social and political fulfillment.

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    Domains of politics and modes of rule/ Sphères politiques et contrôle étatique (en/fr)

    This work consists of a brief attempt to orient the study of the neocolonial state in Africa through an assessment of the manner in which it rules its people. It is argued that the state produces different modes of rule by deploying different politics over different parts of the population. In this manner, it can combine a genuinely democratic rule in the image of the West over some while subjecting the majority to colonial forms of domination. Imported political subjectivities from the West and its obsession with human rights discourse are reserved largely for a sphere of civil society in which the right to have rights is conferred upon citizens. In the domains of uncivil society and traditional society, the right to rights is not observed by the state so that different subjectivities, regularly including violence, govern the manner political problems and solutions are addressed both by the state and by people. In consequence, distinct political subjectivities prevail in the conceptualization of popular resistance in all three domains, and it becomes difficult to rally such different concerns and conceptions within an overall anti-neocolonial struggle.
    Il s’agit d’une brève tentative d’orienter l’étude de l’État néocolonial en Afrique à travers une évaluation de la manière dont il gouverne son peuple. On soutient que l’État produit différents modes de contrôle étatique en déployant différentes politiques sur différentes parties de la population. De cette manière, il peut combiner une règle véritablement démocratique à l’image de l’Occident sur certains tout en soumettant la majorité à des formes coloniales de domination. Les subjectivités politiques importées de l’Occident et son obsession du discours sur les droits de l’homme sont largement réservées à une sphère de la société civile dans laquelle le droit d’avoir des droits est conféré aux citoyens. Dans les domaines de la société incivile et de la société « traditionnelle », le droit aux droits n’est pas respecté par l’État, de sorte que différentes subjectivités, y compris régulièrement la violence, régissent la manière dont les problèmes politiques et leurs solutions sont abordés à la fois par l’État et par le peuple. En conséquence, des subjectivités politiques distinctes prévalent dans la conceptualisation de la résistance populaire dans chacun des trois domaines, et il devient difficile de rallier des préoccupations et des conceptions aussi différentes au sein d’une lutte anticoloniale nation

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  • Politics of Turbulent Waters
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    Politics of Turbulent Waters: Reflections on Ecological, Environmental and Climate Crises in Africa

    For the past 10 years, the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) has been on the front line of the struggle for environmental justice, climate justice and food sovereignty in Africa and the globe. It has been a decade of non-stop probing of the exploitation of resources, peoples and nations, which has given rise to numerous environmental and climate injustices. HOMEF has had a decade of witnessing and standing against the injustice, the powers and structures (industries and policies) suffocating the rights of the people to a healthy environment and standing with the neglected to take charge of their once self-managed food and agricultural systems. The struggle has necessitated the reawakening of communities’ consciousness to the injustices that besiege them and to their ‘people power’ – power to be utilized in seeking the desired change.mPolitics of Turbulent Waters is a compendium of selected articles in the 36 issues of the Eco-instigator published from 2013 to 2022. The Eco-instigator is yet another tool used by HOMEF to pull together thoughts and reports of activities that advance environmental justice and food sovereignty. Issue by issue, these thoughts and reports flow from within HOMEF and other environmental/climate justice and food sovereignty advocates from across Africa and the globe.They form this rich assemblage (Politics of turbulent waters) to commemorate HOMEF’s 10th anniversary. The title of the book is one of Nnimmo Bassey’s (the director of HOMEF) numerous articles that have graced some pages of the different issues of the Eco-instigator. The article cum title encapsulates the messages that the book intends to convey to you, the reader. It crystallizes the dire condition of Africa and its waters and the power imbalance together with the spatial disposition that plunged the continent into the calamitous environmental situation it faces. It speaks of the politics of economic development and market fundamentalism that avows to maintain the status quo in terms of destructive exploitation of Africa’s marine and other natural resources.

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    Domains of politics 
and modes of rule
: Political structures of the 
neocolonial state in Africa


    “A concise, dense and illuminating dissection of the workings of the post-independence African state that also charts a path towards imagining and working for a true politics of liberation.”Ndongo Samba Sylla, Senior Researcher, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.


    This is a brief attempt to orient the study of the neocolonial state in Africa through an assessment of the manner in which it rules its people.  It is argued that the state produces different modes of rule by deploying different politics over different parts of the population.  In this manner, it can combine a genuinely democratic rule in the image of the West over some while subjecting the majority to colonial forms of domination.  Imported political subjectivities from the West and its obsession with human rights discourse are reserved largely for a sphere of civil society in which the right to have rights is conferred upon citizens.  In the domains of uncivil society and ‘traditional’ society, the right to rights is not observed by the state so different subjectivities, regularly including violence, govern the manner political problems and solutions are addressed both by the state and by people.  In consequence, distinct political subjectivities prevail in the conceptualization of popular resistance in all three domains, and it becomes difficult to rally such different concerns and conceptions within an overall anti-neocolonial struggle.

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    Anticapitalist Economy in Rojava: The Contradictions of Revolution in the Kurdish Struggles

    This book looks at the anti-capitalist economy and the organization of social relations in the context of the revolution and autonomy of Rojava (Kurdistan-Syria). It questions both the limitations and the historical problems of the phenomenon of revolution, and the conflicts and contradictions that emerge in this process. It also draws from the conflicts and contradictions the author has consistently felt as a “political subject” who wants to change the world, especially through her experience in the Kurdish struggle and the Kurdish Movement. For this reason, every question she raises and attempts to answer in this book—about the Kurds, Rojava, and the world in general, involves what she says is her own subjectivity.
    The idea and dreams of revolution have existed since humans created systems of domination. Indeed, revolution, meaning the liberation from systems of domination, has undoubtedly been one of the most discussed subjects in history. There have been moments when the possibility of revolution has been clearer, and there have also been certain agreements on what it is and how to get there, but it has never been something completely definable. This continues to be true today. This book does not intend to define this great phenomenon, rather it looks at the revolutionary practices that create emancipating realities and embraces revolution as an undefined, contradictory and dynamic process. Although the rulers have traditionally written history, the history of social struggles has been and is still being created by many revolutionary and transformational processes. The future is being shaped based on desired revolutions and the struggles that, in turn, transform their actors, the people. Therefore, the desire and quest of the Kurdish people for liberation from the colonial rule of the nation-states of the Middle East—the subject of this book—has always been directly linked to the phenomenon of revolution.

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  • White Saviorism in International Development: Theories, Practices and Lived Experiences

    Given the growing interest in understanding the meaning, manifestations, analyses and implications of racism in North/South relations, White Saviorism in International Development seeks to remedy the shortcomings of the development studies literature on the prevalence of White Saviorism in Western development initiatives in the Global South. The volume comprises theoretical chapters, testimonies, stories and lived experiences from 19 contributors from across the Global South. With sensitivity and intelligence, these practitioners and academics create a tapestry that unveils the implicit and explicit forms of White Saviorism in international development.

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  • Episodes from a colonial present

    Postcolonial critique deconstructs global inequality in its epistemic and material dimensions. This collective comic project illuminates everyday life’s coloniality as well as the decolonising potential of everyday struggles in the spaces, discourses and practices of so-called ‘global development’.
  • Cover: Homestead, Homeland, Home
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    Homestead, Homeland, Home

    This is a collection of observations and meditations by Professor Emeritus (York University, Toronto) and philosopher Ato Sekyi-Otu on events, issues, people and ideas culled from recent history and the world, from the US and Canada to Ghana. If there is a persistent thread in these entries, it is this: Virtually all of them testify to the ironic truth of the saying that there is no place like home, no place, that is to say, which looks like the lodestar called home or comes close to approximating its promise of being a just space of human flourishing. Most of the entries are, therefore, harsh, particularly those on the USA. That is because that nation, in his view, has, in recent history, made a major contribution to rendering the world and every homestead we inhabit unhomely and sabotaging attempts to better it. But no one or place is spared, certainly not the author’s native land, Ghana. Canada appears intermittently in these pages in rather fragmentary and contrastive observations. That paucity of comments may be taken to be the complement the author pays to Canada as a place of relative civility and glimmers of decency in a mad and cruel world. It is a short work of predominantly gloomy pictures. But there are a few countervailing images and invocations of hope here and there. There are 166 entries of unequal lengths arranged around 14 headings. These epigrams are contrapuntal variations on the philosopher’s searing imprecation and visionary invocation: unfinished ode, resounding with intermittent fury, to the dawn of human existence set free from all tyrannizing enclosures.

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    Settler Colonialism

    Settler Colonialism examines the genesis in the USA of the first full-fledged settler state in the world, which went beyond its predecessors in 1492 Iberia and British-colonized Ireland with an economy based on land sales and enslaved African labor, an implementation of the fiscal-military state. Both the liberal and the rightwing versions of the national narrative misrepresent the process of European colonization of North America. Both narratives serve the critical function of preserving the “official story” of a mostly benign and benevolent USA as an anticolonial movement that overthrew British colonialism. The pre-US independence settlers were colonial settlers just as they were in Africa and India or like the Spanish in Central and South America. The nation of immigrants myth erases the fact that the United States was founded as a settler state from its inception and spent the next hundred years at war against the Native Nations in conquering the continent. Buried beneath the tons of propaganda—from the landing of the English “pilgrims” (Protestant Christian evangelicals) to James Fenimore Cooper’s phenomenally popular The Last of the Mohicans claiming settlers’ “natural rights” not only to the Indigenous peoples’ territories but also to the territories claimed by other European powers—is the fact that the founding of the United States created a division of the Anglo empire, with the US becoming a parallel empire to Great Britain, ultimately overcoming it. From day one, as was specified in the Northwest Ordinance, which preceded the US Constitution, the new “republic for empire,” as Thomas Jefferson called the new United States, envisioned the future shape of what is now the forty-eight states of the continental US. The founders drew up rough maps, specifying the first territory to conquer as the “Northwest Territory.” That territory was the Ohio Valley and the Great Lakes region, which was already populated with Indigenous villages and farming communities thousands of years old. Even before independence, mostly Scots Irish settlers had seized Indigenous farmlands and hunting grounds in the Appalachians and are revered historically as first settlers and rebels, who in the mid-twentieth century began claiming indigeneity. Self-indigenizing by various groups of settlers is a recurrent theme in story of settler colonialism, white supremacy, and the history of erasure and exclusion about which I have written elsewhere.

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    MATHARE: An Urban Bastion of Anti-Oppression Struggle in Kenya.

    History is written by the victors of any war. But what happens when the victors forget to write down their history or omit the cog of the struggle? This is the untold story of Mathare Slum that has never been told to the world: of the role it played in anti-colonial struggle and the planning ground for the Mau Mau struggle which culminated with the fall of the British Colonial Empire in Kenya in the midnight of December 12th 1963. Mathare has also played a critical role in anti-oppression struggle against the four regimes that we’ve had since independence and continues to do so up to date. This history has not been documented and has only been done piecemeal. This has overtime eroded the rich history of Mathare and led to a distorted history of once a planning ground and a bulwark of Kenya Land and Freedom Army (KFLA). The current generation are not cognizant with the critical role Mathare played in the independence of our country. Presently, Mathare is majorly known for all the negative reasons and its proximity to Mathari Mental Hospital has contorted its image to the outside world. My story tries to re-tell the history of Mathare from an informed insider perspective by threading the struggles from the colonial era to the present day and the role it has played in agitating for social justice. My story brings to view the past history of this informal settlement in the heart of Nairobi, the present struggle and the promising future through community organizing.

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  • International Brigade Against Apartheid
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    International Brigade Against Apartheid: Secrets of the People’s War That Liberated South Africa

    We hear for the first time from the internationalist secretly working for the ANC’s armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), in the struggle to liberate South Africa from apartheid rule. They acted as couriers, provided safe houses in neighbouring states and within South Africa, helped infiltrate combatants across borders, and smuggled tons of weapons into the country in the most creative ways. Driven by a spirit of international solidarity, they were prepared to take huge risks and face great danger. The internationalists reveal what motivated them as volunteers, not mercenaries: they gained nothing for their endeavours save for the self-esteem in serving a just cause. Against such clandestine involvement, the book includes contributions from key people in the international Anti-Apartheid Movement and its public mobilisation to isolate the apartheid regime. These include worldwide campaigns like Stop the Sports Tours, boycotting of South African products and black American solidarity. The Cuban, East German and Russian contributions outlined those countries’ support for the ANC and MK. The public, global Anti-Apartheid Movement campaigns provide the dimensions from which internationalists who secretly served MK emerged. Edited by Ronnie Kasrils. First published by Jacana Media (Pty) Ltd in 2021, ISBN: 978-1-4314-3202-8, this Daraja Press edition is available in North America and East Africa.

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  • Politics and Culture in African Emancipatory Thought
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    Politics and Culture in African Emancipatory Thought

    The current absence of any emancipatory vision for Africa lies at the heart of our political problems of racial capitalist and colonial oppression. Any attempt to rethink political emancipation on the African continent must be able to locate a universal conception of freedom within singular cultural experiences where people live. Irrespective of the specific manner in which such struggles for freedom were thought within different historical contexts, emancipatory politics always exhibited such a dialectic when it was based within popular traditions. Yet only some militant intellectual leaders understood the importance of this dialectic in thought.
    The present volume outlines and discusses two particularly important views concerning the role and importance of popular culture in emancipatory politics in Africa. Each is the product of distinct forms of colonial capitalist exploitation: the former saw the light of day within a colonial context while the latter is directly confronted by the neocolonial state. All emancipatory politics are developed in confrontation with state power, and all begin with a process of discussion and debate whereby a collective subject begins to be formed. The formation of such a collective political subject has been fundamentally informed by popular cultures on the African continent.
    The two authors whose essays are included here understood this and posit popular culture at the centre of their politics. The first, Amílcar Cabral, addresses the central role of popular culture in the independence struggle of Guinea Bissau in the 1970s; the second, Ernest Wamba-dia-Wamba, addresses the centrality of African popular culture in an emancipatory politics for the current Democratic Republic of Congo. Despite the distance in time that separates them, both Cabral and Wamba-dia-Wamba develop a dialectics at the core of their politics which activates the universals of culture in the present. It is this that makes their views of central importance to emancipatory thought today.

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