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The Politics of Richard WrightPerspectives on Resistance$
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Jane Anna Gordon and Cyrus Ernesto Zirakzadeh

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813175164

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813175164.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 19 February 2020

Revisiting Richard Wright in Ghana

Revisiting Richard Wright in Ghana

Black Radicalism and the Dialectics of Diaspora

(p.181) 11 Revisiting Richard Wright in Ghana
The Politics of Richard Wright

Kevin Kelly Gaines

University Press of Kentucky

Kevin Kelly Gaines’s reprinted essay on Wright’s Black Power reminds readers that Wright rejected the myth of a transhistorical, transnational black cultural unity. On this point, Wright’s thinking converged with that of other black Marxist intellectuals in exile, including Padmore and James. Wright instead proposed a form of pan-Africanism founded on a shared history of oppression and a critical, dialectical consciousness of the situation of blacks in the West. The latter would have to give pride of place to the emergent political consciousness of African people, even if some of its elements would be radically foreign to New World black people. Bridging the historical differences would not prove impossible, however. After all, as Gaines observes, by the time Wright’s first daughter, Julia, reached adulthood, she had joined the black expatriate community in Ghana. It had supplanted Paris for intellectuals and artists seeking to join a black-led struggle informed by global ideals of anti-imperialism and anti-capitalism.

Keywords:   Richard Wright, Black Power, black transnationalism, African political consciousness, Ghana

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