March 23 marks 68th birthday of fallen African martyr, Walter Rodney

In a 1974 interview with "The Black Scholar" magazine, Walter Rodney said,

"We have allowed illusions to take place of serious analysis of what actual struggles are taking place in the African continent; what social forces are represented in the government and what is the actual shape of society. We made the same mistake about Kwame Nkrumah and we were very surprised when he was overthrown because we thought that everything was fine in Ghana and that the CPP and Nkrumah had things perfectly under control.

"And we woke up subsequent to this overthrow to a realization that there was a struggle developing in Ghana and it was a natural consequence of that struggle that this particular stratum emerging as a petty bourgeois class around the Ghanaian state should act against an option which seemed to threaten them — with or without the direct intervention of imperialism.

"That the African states, however progressive, are at the present time far more likely to strike up an alliance with the Caribbean states as such is an abject lesson here. It indicates that the class which governs Africa is prepared to ally with the class which governs the Caribbean.

"From there we may inquire further to recognize the same class is operating in both societies…That is the most important lesson for us Caribbean people — that we cannot romanticize the situation in Africa. We must draw distinctions. Who is who in Africa? What are the state structures? What are the classes?"


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