“Kimathi Mohammed’s essays represent a creative and brilliant attempt to forge an organizational path for black radical politics, away from the well known limitations of elite vanguardism. His engagements with the work of C.L.R. James, the Black Panther Party and the League of Revolutionary Workers make his contribution a neglected and important part of the history of black radicalism, and of considerable relevance today.”
— Aaron Kamugisha, Lecturer in Cultural Studies, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus
“It is somewhat disgusting to hear self-styled Black leaders talk about leading the ‘unorganized’ masses,” writes Kimathi Mohammed. “It was the ‘unorganized’ masses who congregated in the streets, defied curfews, engaged in direct confrontation with the police and military…and unleashed a burning assault upon the property of their oppressors. If the Black masses were unorganized, it definitely didn’t appear that they were.…All the major rebellions erupted spontaneously and violently—Harlem in 1964, Watts in 1965, Newark and Cleveland in 1967.…No one had to tell them what to do; they mobilized and organized themselves and did what had to be done."
Kimathi Mohammed’s Organization & Spontaneity was originally published in 1974 as a response to key contradictions of the Black freedom movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Mohammed was among the most original political theorists of the Black Power era. His work emphasized the self-organization of ordinary African Americans and their liberating, self-directed activism.
The updated 2012 edition includes a new introductory essay by Modibo Kadalie, an afterword by Matthew Quest, and Kimathi Mohammed’s previously unpublished essay, “Beyond Measure,” which explores the influence of C.L.R. James on the League of Revolutionary Black Workers.
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