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George Padmore: Engaged Pan-African Activist and Theorist

Rodney Worrell


This writer is well aware that ideas and tactics have but a brief shelf-life and what would have been relevant for a particular historical period might not be pertinent for the present moment. Notwithstanding this caveat, this paper seeks to examine whether aspects of George Padmore’s political praxis and his theorization on Pan-Africanism are still relevant. The reader is provided with a brief overview of Padmore’s activities and his achievements, to provide the justification for selecting him above other outstanding Pan-Africanists as a role model for young Pan-Africanists. The article assesses the extent to which his political organizational methods still have validity, lessons to be learnt and pitfalls to evade. It also evaluates Padmore’s theorization on African unification in Pan-Africanism or Communism and his efforts to realize this objective; as well as his conception of Pan-African Socialism as the handmaiden for the United States of Africa. Today, the issue of African unification and socialism are still widely discussed across the African continent and within Pan-African circles outside of Africa, therefore Padmore’s thoughts on these matters merits some interrogation.

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print ISSN: 2343-6530