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ROAPE Journal

Walter Rodney's Legacy

The birth of the Working People’s Alliance in Guyana

In 1974 the Working People’s Alliance emerged as an anti-racist and anti-imperialist formation that fought for socialism from below. To start with it was not an electoral party, but a pressure group that united Pan-Africanist and Indian socialist organisations. Chinedu Chukwudinma describes how Walter Rodney’s uncompromising use of Marxist theory and practice transformed him into the foremost organiser of the Guyanese working people.

Building Solidarity: Walter Rodney & the Working People’s Alliance – an interview with Anne...

When Guyanese Revolutionary Walter Rodney returned to Guyana in the mid-1970s, he joined a socialist organisation called the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) to fight against Fordes Burnham’s dictatorship. Anne Braithwaite speaks to ROAPE’s Chinedu Chukwudinma about her experience as a founding member of the WPA's Support Group in the UK ahead of the 41st anniversary of Walter Rodney’s assassination.

The World Turned Upside Down: Rodney’s 1972 masterpiece

In 1972 Walter Rodney published his masterpiece How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Rodney’s book took a similar approach to Eduardo Galeano’s 1971 classic, examining four hundred years of European intervention and occupation in Africa. In this blogpost, Leo Zeilig looks at the context and approach Rodney took in his 1972 book. 

Five Centuries of Pillage and Resistance: Latin America and Africa

In 1971 and 1972 two of the most important books of the 20th century were published – volumes that have made an enormous difference to scholarship and activism. In 1971 the Uruguayan journalist and writer, Eduardo Galeano, published, Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent. The book has sold over a million copies and been translated into more than a dozen languages. The following year Walter Rodney’s How Europe Underdeveloped Africa was published. Rodney’s book took a similar approach, examining the history of slavery and colonialism across Africa. Like Galeano, he examined how a continent was driven back – ‘underdeveloped’ – by European occupation and economic control. In this blogpost, Brian M. Napoletano, Héctor Ignacio Martínez Alvarez and Pedro S. Urquijo look again at Galeano’s Open Veins of Latin America – next week we will be examining the context and content of Rodney’s 1972 masterpiece. 

Walter Rodney’s Legacy

Walter Rodney’s influence on radical political economy and history, on subjects that continue to be of central importance to the Review of African Political Economy, is immense. To mark the continued vibrancy of his ideas and work, roape.net is hosting an on-going debate on Walter Rodney’s legacy.

In Defence of Walter Rodney: Workers, Imperialism & Exploitation

In a robust defence of Walter Rodney’s work, Walter Daum argues that we must recognise and celebrate Rodney’s commitment to working-class internationalism. Rodney did not regard workers in the North as ‘natural allies’ of their own exploiters. Daum explains how Rodney’s argument that African (and by extension Southern) workers were more exploited applies all the more to the world we now live in today