One hundred years ago, in March 1919, the Communist International (ComIntern) was founded. The involvement of Black and African protagonists in the KomIntern is mostly ignored. However, personalities such as Joseph Ekwe Bilé played important roles. The relevance of anti-colonial struggles increased as part of the "League Against Imperialism" organized by Willi Münzenberg in 1925. Later, in 1928, at the time of the 3rd International ComIntern, the International Trade Union Committee of Negro Workers (IUCNW) was founded. Protagonists such as George Padmore pursued a "class-before-race" and strong anti-imperialist approach, which was directed against reformist socialist tendencies on the one hand and on the other hand demarcated from radical pan-African approaches such as represented by Marcus Garvey.
How relevant were transnational linkages in the anti-colonial and the international communist struggle? What were the predominating ideological strands in the ComIntern? Which role did Black or African protagonists play in Germany?
Hakim Adi is Professor of the History of Africa and the African Diaspora at the University of Chichester in England. He is author of "Pan-Africanism and Communism. The Communist International, Africa and the Diaspora, 1919-1939" (2013).
Robbie Aitken is a lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University and is extensively researching Joseph Bilé (“From Cameroon to Germany and back via Moscow and Paris: the political career of Joseph Bilé»).
The discussion will be facilitated by historian and freelance journalist Bebero Lehmann. As part of her PhD project, she works on anti-colonial, anti-imperialist and increasingly pan-African activism of Africans in Europe between 1918 and 1960. In addition, Bebero Lehmann is currently co-organizing the first Black History Month in Cologne.
The discussion will be held in English.
The panel discussion is organized by Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland, Berlin Postkolonial, Each on Teach one (EOTO) and Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung.
Referatsleiter Afrika / Referent für Südliches Afrika, Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung
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