Remembering Randall Robinson and his Transnational Politics of Race
Randall Robinson, the towering intellectual who founded and led the TransAfrica Forum, passed away at the age of 81 on March 24, 2023. Robinson was active in the civil rights movement and attended Harvard Law School. His internationalist approach to racial justice and foreign policy led him to lead protests against the Apartheid terror of South Africa. He helped to influence U.S. policy toward South Africa and pushed for the release of Nelson Mandela. He was also active in broader efforts for humane and just policies toward African and Caribbean nations. He relocated from the U.S. to St. Kitts, a nation in the West Indies, where he lived until his passing.
On June 18, 2015, Professor Robinson joined me in person at the studios of KPFK Pacifica Radio in Los Angeles for a sweeping discussion about his life’s work and his many books–mostly non-fiction including The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks, and Quitting America: The Departure of a Black Man from his Native Land–as well as a fiction book named Makeda. Here, to mark Randall Robinson’s legacy, is an edited version of that discussion, which took place just one day after a white supremacist man gunned down nine African Americans at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.
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