What is (or could be) black about revolution? How does race shape or reshape the history of Marxist activism? And what does literature have to do with radical politics in the first place? This course approaches these questions by examining how Marxist practice and theory have been developed in African diaspora across the United States, the UK, and West and South Africa. In so doing, we will explore how race, lineage, nation, and migration affect black peoples’ understanding of class struggle and freedom. Literature can help us see how revolutionary ideas evolve over time, but this course builds up our shared understanding of “why” and “how” radical freedom visions change. Drawing together writings from the Black Panther Party, British Cultural Studies, and the editors of African Socialism and, we explore how geography, racial and ethnic identity interact with theories of the state and the liberatory potential of art. This course toggles between twentieth century and nineteenth century cultural artifacts, and materials are likely to include critical theory (Karl Marx, Stokely Carmichael), poetry (W.E.B. DuBois, Leópold Senghor), novels (Ralph Ellison), plays (Lorraine Hansberry), music (Paul Robeson, Alice Coltrane) and social media (Rhodes Must Fall/Fees Must Fall). Assignments may include short essay responses, visual and film analysis, a slogan poster, and a 10-15 page final paper or creative final project. No previous experience with theory required!