The Black Antifascist Tradition: Fighting Back from Anti-Lynching to Abolition

Regular price $ 24.95

by Jeanelle K. Hope and Bill V. Mullen

Haymarket Books

4/2/2024, paperback

SKU: 9798888900949


The story of the fight against fascism across the African diaspora, revealing that Black antifascism has always been vital to global freedom struggles.

At once a history for understanding fascism and a handbook for organizing against, The Black Antifascist Tradition is an essential book for understanding our present moment and the challenges ahead.

From London to the Caribbean, from Ethiopia to Harlem, from Black Lives Matter to abolition, Black radicals and writers have long understood fascism as a threat to the survival of Black people around the world--and to everyone.

In The Black Antifascist Tradition, scholar-activists Jeanelle K. Hope and Bill Mullen show how generations of Black activists and intellectuals--from Ida B. Wells in the fight against lynching, to Angela Y. Davis in the fight against the prison-industrial complex--have stood within a tradition of Black Antifascism.

As Davis once observed, pointing to the importance of anti-Black racism in the development of facism as an ideology, Black people have been "the first and most deeply injured victims of fascism." Indeed, the experience of living under and resisting racial capitalism has often made Black radicals aware of the potential for fascism to take hold long before others understood this danger.

The book explores the powerful ideas and activism of Paul Robeson, Mary McLeod Bethune, Claudia Jones, W. E. B. Du Bois, Frantz Fanon, Aime Cesaire, and Walter Rodney, as well as that of the Civil Rights Congress, the Black Liberation Army, and the We Charge Genocide movement, among others.

In shining a light on fascism and anti-Blackness, Hope and Mullen argue, the writers and organizers featured in this book have also developed urgent tools and strategies for overcoming it.


"As we confront, arguably, the greatest assault on our already severely limited form of liberal democracy, The Black Antifascist Tradition is essential reading for not only diagnosing the problems that we face, but rather for providing us with historical tools to fight ascendant fascism and right wing authoritarianism in the United States. Drawing inspiration from Octavia Butler to anti-lynching campaigns and the 'We Charge Genocide' movement, Hope and Mullen offer a powerful lens onto the Black Radical Tradition that moves the discussion of fascism from a narrow focus on interwar Europe to the transnational questions of racial apartheid, settler colonialism and anti-Black racism. Beautifully written and cogently argued, this book is a must read for this moment. I can't wait to assign it in my undergraduate and graduate classes." --Donna Murch, author, Assata Taught Me: State Violence, Racial Capitalism, and the Movement for Black Lives

"The Black Antifascist Tradition is a handbook a century in the making. It is a historical synthesis of how the forerunners of anti-colonial struggle, Pan-Africanism, and Black revolutionary theory and practice identified and confronted fascist emergence and organization from a local to an international scale and across the formative epochs. Richly detailed and thoroughly researched, this highly accessible and readable text is also wide-angled and multi-layered in scope--adeptly interconnecting people, places, events, and actions with their resultant insights, observations, and practical formulations. This book is the complete exposition of Black antifascist thought, and a necessary guide for the antifascist struggles of today." --Justin Akers Chacón, author, Radicals in the Barrio

"The Black Antifascist Tradition offers an indispensable framing that places Black experience at the center to show how anti-Blackness is inseparable from the development of US fascism, past and present. Through a crisp synthesis of essential writings by Ida B. Wells, W. E. B. Du Bois, Aimé Césaire, William Patterson, Huey P. Newton, Angela Y. Davis, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, and Mariame Kaba, Jeanelle K. Hope and Bill V. Mullen make a compelling argument for reconceptualizing a race-based history of Black life through the lens of racialized fascism. An important read for anyone interested in understanding how we arrived at today's US style of authoritarianism and state repression." --Diane Fujino, author, Heartbeat of Struggle: The Revolutionary Life of Yuri Kochiyama

About the Authors:

Jeanelle K. Hope is the Director and Associate Professor of African American Studies at Prairie View A&M University. She is a native of Oakland, California, and a scholar-activist, having formerly been engaged in organizing with Socialist Alternative, Black Lives Matter-Sacramento, and various campus groups, and as a current member of Democratic Socialists of America. Her work has been published in several academic journals and public outlets, including The American Studies Journal, Amerasia Journal, Black Camera, Essence, and The Forum Magazine. She lives in Houston, Texas.

Bill V. Mullen is Professor Emeritus of American Studies at Purdue. He is a long-time activist and organizer. He is currently a member of the editorial collective for the United States Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, and is a co-founder of the Campus Antifascist Network. His other books include James Baldwin: Living in Fire, Un-American: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Century of World Revolution, Popular Fronts: Chicago and African American Politics, Afro-Orientalism, and Against Apartheid: The Case for Boycotting Israeli Universities. He lives in West Lafayette, Indiana.