Abdul Alkalimat opens, Dialectics of Liberation: The African Liberation Support Movement with this first-hand observation of the events that led up to and after the African Liberation Movement, he writes: “in just five years, ALSC [African Liberation Support Committee], which began as part of the anti-imperialist movement in support of the national liberation struggles in Africa, became the preeminent context for debates about the development of revolutionary vanguard cadre organization.”
Integral to these debates were national discourses that explored the ideological parameters of theories of radical social transformation. Discourses that were part of global discourses, articulating themselves at local levels, as the global economic and political conditions faced by African revolutionaries were a part of the conditions faced by people of African descent all over the world.
For Professor Alkalimat, as it is my concurrence, a study of “the ALSC experience enables us to examine the dialectics of how a mass social movement process can transition into an organizational process debating the possibility of revolutionary ideological unity”, within a global order that is primed to violently repress any efforts to challenge its hegemony .
Dialectics is an essential concept to utilize, particularly as we enter another phase of racial capitalism’s attempt to reconstitute itself.
However, there is a difference in this current phase. Racial capitalism must reconcile itself with its soiled roots, as birthed in violent dispossession, fueled by a philosophy of life guided by a cruel inhumanity coupled with practices of anti-nature that has led us to face ecological catastrophe.
When applied to gain clarity on the formation, sustainability – or instability – of a movement, history as a construct becomes a telescope to map a future … a clarifier to understand the intricacies in the reciprocal relationship of human action and inaction … at, in, and around what comes to be known as – decisive moments.
As Professor Alkalimat highlights, “dialectics is an important concept. It is the process by which differences within and among different phenomena interact and produce the change by which new developments take place. This is a process of opposites contending and in the process being transformed into something entirely new.”
For Professor Alkalimat, “this universal process applies to the historical development of ALSC.”
Today, Dialectics of Liberation & the African Liberation Support Movement w/ Abdul Alkalimat.
Abdul Alkalimat is a founder of the field of Black Studies and Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. A lifelong scholar-activist with a PhD from the University of Chicago, he has lectured, taught, and directed academic programs across the U.S., the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, and China. His activism stems, as former chair of the Chicago chapter of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the 1960s, to a co-founder of the Black Radical Congress in 1998.
Our show was produced today in solidarity with the Native/Indigenous, African, and Afro Descendant communities at Standing Rock; Venezuela; Cooperation Jackson in Jackson, Mississippi; Brazil; the Avalon Village in Detroit; Colombia; Kenya; Palestine; South Africa; Ghana, Ayiti, and other places who are fighting for the protection of our land for the benefit of all peoples!
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