Reference Entry

International African Opinion.

Michael Niblett

in Oxford Companion to Black British History

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780192804396
International African Opinion.

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Journal first published in London in July 1938 . The successor to Africa and the World and the African Sentinel, it served as the media organ for the International African Service Bureau (IASB). When Wallace‐Johnson , editor of the previous two IASB journals, returned to Sierra Leone , the Trinidadian historian, theorist, and activist C. L. R. James assumed control of the new, monthly publication. Fellow IASB founder member Ras Makonnen was equally influential, securing publishing offices and managing to have printing costs defrayed.Under James, the journal sought to be more radical than previous black writing from London. It called on black intellectuals to identify with the struggle of the masses around the world and no longer to rely on the supposed charity of the imperialist powers. With its motto, ‘Educate, Cooperate, Emancipate. Neutral in nothing affecting the African people’, the journal was aimed at activists and was not to be a literary paper dispensing detached advice. It also wished not to supersede other black organizations, but to coordinate their activities. Indeed, as James stated in his first editorial, ‘Problems differ from country to country, but there is a common bond of oppression, and as the Ethiopian struggle has shown, all Negroes everywhere are beginning to see the necessity for international organization.’ The magazine covered a wide range of events and exhibited a campaigning yet well‐grounded style, being one of the first to attack the biased official report into the Trinidad Oilfield riots of 1937 , for example. The outbreak of the Second World War , however, disrupted publication and forced the closure of the journal.

Reference Entry.  300 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History

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