CLR James Lectures

CLR James Lectures: Lectures 2 and 3 – ‘The Caribbean’ and ‘Africa’, a film produced by H O Nazareth in 1983/1985.

The renowned Trinidadian historian, intellectual, writer and cultural activist, CLR James, is known as one of the most significant thinkers and cultural commentators of his time.  Resident in the UK at various stages of his life since the 1930s, it was in the 1980s that UK producer Nazareth managed to capture on film the eloquent reflections of the octogenarian in a series of six lectures.  Each lecture was on a specific theme:  Cricket, The Caribbean, Africa, Shakespeare, American Society and Solidarity; each filmed with riveted invited audiences –including many significant names in the Black media and cultural scene of the time who then engage in a Q&A with James.  The lectures were shown on Channel Four Television in the 1980s but have not been seen for over 20 years, yet they have a resonance for the world we live in today.  In the Caribbean Lecture (filmed at the Commonwealth Institute)  James talks about Cuba and the proposition of a Caribbean Federation, about Martinique and Guadeloupe; about Walter Rodney and Guyana; Barbados and Jamaica and about the question of African Independence. In the Africa Lecture (filmed at the Africa Centre) he stressed that his lecture was not on Pan Africanism, but on Africa.  He spoke about about Ethiopia’s resistance to Italian attacks and about his formation of the International African Friends of Ethiopia with Jomo Kenyatta:  about meeting Nkrumah and encouraging Padmore and Nkrumah to become friends in the anti-colonial struggle – referred to as ‘one of the greatest political combinations of the 20th century’.  There is mention of the 1945 Congress and further commentary on the pattern of the anti>colonial struggle that swept the continent.

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