Groundings With My Brothers
(Written by Walter Rodney, 1969)
Walter Rodney had graduated from University College of the West Indies (in Jamaica) and got a PD from the prestigious School of Oriental and African Studies (located in London), and secured a teaching gig at the top university in Tanzania. Renowned for his radical writings and considered as one of the most powerful public speakers of the 20th century, Rodney became an international icon for Black Power and the proletariat and anti-colonialist struggles of ‘Third World’ nations before his assassination in 1980. In October of 1968, a year that witnessed a global surge of political protest, assassinations, riots, and revolutions, Rodney’s outspoken anti-imperialist rhetoric and prolific organizing resulted in his being banned from Jamaica by the Prime Minister and his subsequent firing from his professorial post at his alma mater UCWI. Forbidden from ever returning, the edict caused mass disruption in West Kensington, Jamaica, where students and impoverished citizens rioted, inciting a years-long wave of political awakening across the Caribbean, notably activating an even-more radical Afrocentrism among the burgeoning Rastafarian movement. Rodney, undeterred, returned to Africa in order to continue teaching while also ramping up his traveling and speaking engagements, the most notable of which are compiled here in The Groundings of My Brothers.