ChickenBones: A Journal
for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes
Iraqis are under the same oppressive conditions of military occupation, curfew,
and restrictions in Iraq as that which the Palestinians have imposed on them
in the Territories by the Israeli occupation Gestapo military forces.
Comments on President Bush’s Speech
To the British Ruling Classes
By Lil Joe
I address below in the form of Critical Comments the historical and theoretical aspects of the Speech by President Bush (London, 19, November 2003) at Buckingham Palace to the British ruling classes and politicians.
The “Comments” on his Speech expose his ignorance or/and deception regarding history and the logical fallacies and theoretical premises in the first part of his Speech. I think that this is sufficient to get the reader into a critical mode.
President Bush: Thank you all. Thank you very much. Secretary Straw and Secretary Hoon, Admiral Cobbold, and Dr. Shipman, distinguished guests, I want to thank you for your very kind welcome that you’ve given to me and to Laura. I also thank the groups hosting this event, the Royal United Services Institute and the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Lil Joe: This “kind welcome” by the representatives of the British ruling classes and Labour Party’s government elites are in sharp contrast to the hostility of the millions of British rank and file trade unionists, workers and political activists represented by hundreds of thousands in opposition.
Here is what the Guardian Unlimited Press reports:
March organisers claim 200,000
Simon Jeffery and agencies
Thursday November 20, 2003
Tens of thousands of protesters today converged in central London to demonstrate against US president George Bush.
The Stop the War Coalition, the organizers of the march and a Trafalgar Square rally, said it was the UK’s biggest ever weekday demonstration and put the numbers attending at over 200,000.
Noisy but well-disciplined, the protesters carried banners with the single word “Bush” printed above a splatter of blood, blew whistles and chanted “George Bush, terrorist.”
Some had customised the placards or brought their own. One read: “Get the hint, go home.” Others waved Palestinian flags.Guardian
These British workers and political activists know that the British and American ruling classes and their governments are the major enemies of peace and freedom, round the world.
See, for instance British “Labour Against the War”: LabourAgainsttheWar
The protesters against Bush presence soiling their country also recognize that the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq are not just about the economics of oil, but politically also about U.S. imperialism’s unconditional support for Israeli Zionism, attacking the enemies of Sharons Zionist state.
Israel continues land-bulldozing campaign against Palestinians
Palestine-Israel, Military, 11/15/2003
An elderly Palestinian citizen (Hamdan Al Arameen, 81 ) was killed Friday night as a Jewish settler ran over him with a truck and fled the crime scene, while the Israeli occupying forces continued its land-bulldozing campaign in the areas south of Gaza City,” the Palestinian news agency IPC reported today.ArabicNews
Hamas representative left Sudan under American pressure
Sudan-Palestine, Politics, 11/15/2003
Hamas’s representative had left Sudan in a move about which Palestinian sources said was the result of US pressure on Sudan for hosting the representative of the movement. Washington lists Hamas being a “terrorist” group and Sudan “being a terrorism sponsor country.” ArabicNews
The U.S. terrorist invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq must be regarded in this geopolitical context. Not only do American capitalists sell tanks, missiles, and bulldozers to the Israeli government, paid for by American tax dollars ostensibly as “foreign aid” to Israel, but now U.S. troops are stationed in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and occupation forces in Afghanistan and Iraq fighting countries which supported the Palestinian cause.
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But lets return to Bush’s Speech.
President Bush: We’re honored to be in the United Kingdom. And we bring the good wishes of the American people.It was pointed out to me that the last noted American to visit London stayed in a glass box dangling over the Thames. A few might have been happy to provide similar arrangements for me.I thank Her Majesty, the queen, for interceding. We’re honored to be staying at her house.
Lil Joe: In other words, Bush may be a terrorist when it comes to sending American soldiers to kill Muslims and Arabs, and maybe a coward, but not a fool! While he mealy mouthed about being “welcomed” in England by the English “people,” he knows that his welcome is really among the British Lords and capitalists, and the political elite of the Labour Party, only. Bush is not so stupid as to make himself visible “in a glass box dangling over the Thames”!
President Bush: Americans traveling to England always observe more similarities to our country than differences. I’ve been here only a short time, but I’ve noticed the tradition of free speech exercised with enthusiasm is alive and well here in London.
Lil Joe: Here, Bush acknowledges the anti-war demonstrators that greeted his arrival in England, after he snuck in landing his helicopter in the Buckingham Palace backyard. It is interesting that the British and American capitalist press did not do the same denunciation of the Queen of England parasitically living off the taxpayers in a lavished palace, the way they talked about the 3rd rate palaces of Saddam Hussein and for that matter, Mugabe in Zimbabwe.
President Bush: We have that at home too. They now have that right in Baghdad as well. The people of Great Britain also might see some familiar traits in Americans.
Lil Joe: Is this man delusional, or what? Is Bush so stupid not to realize that other than Americans duped by the propaganda of capitalist and state owned media there are who believe that America has brought “democracy” to Iraq and that the rest of the world is also so duped?
The U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq are not about “democracy” and “free speech.” Iraqis are under the same oppressive conditions of military occupation, curfew, and restrictions in Iraq as that which the Palestinians have imposed on them in the Territories by the Israeli occupation Gestapo military forces.
The Americans in Iraq are not a force for liberation, as was the case, in a limited sense, in German Nazi occupied France. In World War II, the American imperialists worked with the bourgeois faction of the French resistance in liberating the French from the iron boot of Nazi Gestapo occupation. In Iraq, today, the American forces are the occupying Gestapo suppressing the Iraqi resistance!
President Bush: We’re sometimes faulted for a naive faith that liberty can change the world. If that’s an error, it began with reading too much John Locke and Adam Smith.
Lil Joe: Bullshit! None have ever “faulted” U.S. imperialism for having a “naïve faith that liberty can change the world”! U.S. imperialism is recognized the world over as a repressive world rogue superpower that is the enemy of “liberty.” It is only the “naïve” in America who believe that U.S. foreign policies are motivated by a desire to promote “liberty.” America has historically, both domestically and internationally, been a bastion of capitalism and slavery, chattel slavery and wage-slavery.
As far as Bush claims to have read and internalized the works of John Locke and Adam Smith, as the motivation of U.S. imperialism to wage wars of aggression, and occupy and colonize countries, Bush’s speech writers are as ignorant as he is. John Locke and Adam Smith advocated the exact opposite!
John Locke, to the extent that he was a political philosopher, advocated Tolerance, whereas George Bush is a reactionary Christian fundamentalist who claims that God told him to wage war on Islamic countries. Bush claims that his wars, and hostile foreign policy agendas against Korea, Iran, Libya, Iraq, Syria, et al are wars against “evil,” with the ole war-god Jehovah on his side, egging him on. How in the world does Bush derive this Christian fanaticism from the atheistic, materialist philosophies in the works of John Locke? He doesn’t.
Adam Smith, in particular, was an economist, and a deist. Based on empirical data and analysis of the British economy and empire, Smith developed a labour-time theory of value, as the basis of wealth creation and opposed both the Physiocratic (land=wealth) theories, and the theory and practice of British mercantilism and colonialism. Although a bourgeois economist yet as a scientist following through on his critiques, Adam Smith, would be in the streets together with the anti-war protestors denouncing the Anglo-American invasion and its occupation/colonization of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Bush doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about! Locke and Smith indeed!
President Bush: Americans have on occasion been called moralists, who often speak in terms of right and wrong. That zeal has been inspired by examples on this island, by the tireless compassion of Lord Shaftesbury, the righteous courage of Wilberforce, and the firm determination of the Royal Navy over the decades to fight and end the trade in slaves.
Lil Joe: This presentation by American capitalist and state-owned media to the American people of issues of American capitalist’s interests in terms of “right and wrong” is here a designed for consumption back home. No one in the world has ever referred to the American ruling classes and politicians as “moralists.”
Bush and Americans are arrogant enough to think of themselves as God’s elect, and America’s enemies as not just “wrong,” but “evil.” This moral/fundamentalist rhetoric has been, and is now being used by the American capitalist media to mobilize Americans to support the U.S. aggression in Middle Asia as a war of “good versus evil,” predicated upon the false assumption that America is the representatives of “good,” and that the Iraqis, Palestinians, Germans, French, Syrians, Libyans and on and on are “evil.”
As far as Shaftesbury and, in particular Wilberforce, are concerned, it is particularly hypocritical of George Bush to use the struggle in Britain against the slave trade as an American capitalist heritage, because at the time it was American slavery that the anti-slave traders fought.
President Bush: It’s rightly said that Americans are a religious people. That’s in part because of the good news that was translated by Tyndale, preached by Wesley, lived out in the example of William Booth.
Lil Joe: Here again Bush reveals his Christian fundamentalism and fanaticism. The American ruling classes and politicians push Christianity in this country, and ideologically use it to justify their aggression against, and hostility toward other peoples of other religions in other countries. Bush is here stating his version of the “White Man’s Burden.” For the victims of British and American “zeal,” the Gospel is not “good news,” but bad news.
President Bush: At times Americans are even said to have a puritan streak. And where might that have come from? Well, we can start with the Puritans.
Lil Joe: Was Bush expressing his “puritan streak” when he dodged the Vietnam War, snorted coke and gut busted drunk driving? But that’s only significant as far as hypocrisy is concerned.
The Puritan movement in England was a political history of bourgeois democratic opposition to the monarchy. I like the way Trotsky summed it up:
The lower house represented the nation in that it represented the bourgeoisie and thereby national wealth. . . . The army gradually concentrated in its ranks all the most active, courageous and resolute elements. As a direct consequence of this, parliament capitulated to this army. We say: as a direct consequence of this. By this we mean that parliament capitulated not simply to armed force (it had not capitulated to the king’s army) but to Cromwell’s puritan which expressed the requirements of the revolution more boldly, more resolutely and more consistently than did parliament.
“The adherents of the Episcopal or Anglican, semi-Catholic Church were the party of the court, the nobility and of course the higher clergy. The Presbyterians were the party of the bourgeoisie, the party of wealth and enlightenment. The Independents, and the Puritans especially, were the party of the petty bourgeoisie, the plebeians. Wrapped up in ecclesiastical controversies, in the form of a struggle over the religious structure of the church, there took place a social self-determination of classes and their re-grouping along new, bourgeois lines (Leon Trotsky Two Traditions: The Seventeenth-Century Revolution and Chartism Marxists).
What Bush has in common with the Puritans in England is presenting bourgeois class interests in religious eschatological images.
The Puritans in America (in New England, for instance) are known not so much for democratic proclivity but for intolerance and burning alike both “heretics” and strong women, the latter as “witches.” Is this not the “puritan streak” Bush is in the tradition in his self-proclaimed “war against evil”?
President Bush: To this fine heritage, Americans have added a few traits of our own: the good influence of our immigrants and the spirit of the frontier.
Lil Jo: Is Bush “adding” to the Puritan traits of intolerance and murdering of women, the forced “immigration” of millions of Africans into brutal slavery? The pogroms against Jewish and Catholic immigrants, the genocidal wars against Native Americans in the “frontier”? Is this the “heritage” that U.S. imperialism wants to carry out in Afghanistan, and Iraq? Seems so!
President Bush: Yet there remains a bit of England in every American. So much of our national character comes from you, and we’re glad for it. The fellowship of generations is the cause of common beliefs.
Lil Joe: Is this not pure White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) American racism pure and simple? The Africans, the Native Americans, the Mexican Americans, the Asian-Americans, and for that matter immigrants from Italy, and other non-Anglo Europeans are excluded from the American “heritage,” and legitimacy.
President Bush: We believe in open societies ordered by moral conviction. We believe in private markets humanized by compassionate government. We believe in economies that reward effort, communities that protect the weak and the duty of nations to respect the dignity and the rights of all. And whether one learns these ideals in County Durham or in West Texas, they instill mutual respect and they inspire common purpose.
Lil Joe: Just as Bush clearly expressed his WASP racism above, saying “a bit of England in every American”, so now he clearly identifies “open society” as the capitalist market system of based on capitalist monopoly of ownership of the means of production and distribution.
This is the economic system Americans want to force the world to participate in, with Anglo-American capitalist dominate (as in occupied Iraq).
President Bush: More than an alliance of security and commerce, the British and American peoples have an alliance of values. And today this old and tested alliance is very strong.
Lil Joe: There is no justification for the Saturday attacks on Jewish Synagogues in Turkey. However, Bushs statement and the applause he received referring to the joint British and American wars on Afghanistan and Iraq as an “alliance of security and commerce,” “alliance of values” in waging wars on Muslim and Arab countries, make attacks, such as those today, on British political offices in Turkey inevitable. It is significant that these assaults on Britain coincided with the Bush visit with the British ruling classes and political establishment.
Meanwhile, in America, the government and Santa Barbara police arranged at this time to arrest Michael Jackson for sexual deviance. Puritans have always had sex hang-ups about what other people are doing. The news media in the United States have practically ignored the hundreds of thousands of British workers and political activists who demonstrated against Bush in England and the attacks on the British embassy in Turkey. The American media focused the American peoples attention mostly on Michael Jackson’s homosexual interracial sex life.
President Bush: The deepest beliefs of our nations set the direction of our foreign policy. We value our own civil rights, so we stand for the human rights of others. We affirm the God-given dignity of every person, so we are moved to action by poverty and oppression and famine and disease.
Lil Joe: This statement by Bush on behalf of the American ruling classes must be interpreted in context of what was said before about private (capitalist) property, the market, and so on. “Civil rights” and “human rights,” and “values” are ideological terms, the meaning of which is the capitalist “right” to purchase human labor power of the propertyless masses, and thus own the wealth produced by those propertyless workers.
As pointed out above, Bush made references to John Locke and Adam Smith. This understanding of bourgeois rights was first articulated by Locke and Smith, and further developed by David Ricardo and Karl Marx to demonstrate mathematically the exploitation of wage-labor by capital.
The clap trap about “values” and “god-given dignity” and so on is laughed at by atheistic and class conscious workers in Europe, who recognize that Bush colored economic greed with religious mumbo jumbo. But American workers, who have been inundated with such rhetoric, now believe in it. Bushs fundamentalist rhetoric is not so much directed to the representatives of British landlords and capitalists at Buckingham Palace, but rather toward American media consumption.
President Bush: The United States and Great Britain share a mission in the world beyond the balance of power or the simple pursuit of interest. We seek the advance of freedom and the peace that freedom brings.
Lil Joe: As the British say, Balderdash! By “advance of freedom,” the U.S. and British capitalists, whose material economic interests Bush and Blaire represent, is meant neo-liberal (Smithian) “free trade,” which is the “mission” of Anglo-American troops in Afghanistan, and Iraq. By “peace,” what Bush means is the suppression of opposition to U.S. global domination, the “Pax-Americana.”
President Bush: Together our nations are standing and sacrificing for this high goal in a distant land at this very hour. And America honors the idealism and the bravery of the sons and daughters of Britain.
Lil Joe: Translated from demagogic rhetoric, what Bush is doing is praising the American and British soldiers, who are fools enough to sacrifice their lives and health for British and American capitalists to seize control of Iraqi oil fields.
President Bush: The last president to stay at Buckingham Palace was an idealist without question. At a dinner hosted by King George V in 1918, Woodrow Wilson made a pledge. With typical American understatement, he vowed that right and justice would become the predominant and controlling force in the world.
Lil Joe: Again, nothing but demagogic rhetoric that is seen through by workers and peasants in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, but lapped up by teary Americans back home. Wilson’s questionable “idealism” was nothing but the entry of U.S. imperialism into the affairs of the Old World. And, at this meeting, the U.S. and British imperialists discussed how the British Empire, bringing poverty, injustice, exploitation, and military repression to the 3rd world would be safeguarded.
Also on the political agenda in 1918 was how to intervene into the Russian Revolution, to overthrow the infant Soviet government of Workers and Peasant’s Deputies.
Only an ignoramus and a fool would have believed what Bush claimed Wilson stated to the public about “right and justice” becoming the “predominant and controlling forces in the world. Were that their objective, the Anglo-American capitalists would have turned the productive forces, in Britain and the United States, over to the workers in those countries. Were that the case, workers and farmers governments would have been established in Britain and America, and removed British and American forces from the colonies rather than trying to suppress the workers revolution in Russia.
President Bush: President Wilson had come to Europe with his 14 points for peace. Many complimenting him on this vision yet some were dubious. Take, for example, the prime minister of France. He complained that God himself had only 10 commandments. Sounds familiar.
Lil Joe: Obviously this was a swipe at the French for not capitulating to Anglo-American domination in 1918. Along with not supporting or participating in the Anglo-American war, invasion and occupation of Iraq today. Incidentally, one of the “idealist” issues that George and Wilson discussed was the British imperialist displacement of the Ottoman Empire in the Muslim Arab world, which is the basis of the conflicts today.
President Bush: At Wilson’s high point of idealism, however, Europe was one short generation from Munich and Auschwitz and the Blitz.
Lil Joe: What Bush seems not to know, or, if known, refuses to acknowledge, is that the Munich Scheme was participated in by the “Allies”; and that “Auschwitz” was made possible by the European and American capitalists, and the governments that represented them. They were supportive of the Nazi reaction initially as a “bulwark against Bolshevism.”
A recent article in a British socialist magazine reviewing the book The Chamberlain-Hitler Collusion, by Alvin Finkel and Clement Leibovitz, reviewed by Paul Ursell, points out how it is documented that
The British ruling class was keen for Germany to re-arm because they saw in the Nazis a natural ally and potential savior against communism. Chamberlain wrote to the King expressing the idea that Germany and England would be “the two pillars of European peace and buttress against communism”. When in 1936 the Rhineland was re-militarized the cabinet actively opposed French plans to stop it. Cabinet minutes show that they felt that if the French plans succeeded Hitler would be overthrown and the German communists would benefit http://www.socialismtoday.org/37/chamberlain37l
I do not have space enough to do an informational analysis of technological, economic, political social conditions in Germany following World War I led directly to the rise of the Nazi nationalists in the 1930s and 40s.
The reader is encouraged to do the research on how following World War I, war and poverty in Russia ushered in the Russian Revolution which culminated in Soviets of Workers and Peasants Deputies, and a revolutionary Bolshevik workers government in 1917 in Russia, and German workers strikes and mutinies in the failed German Revolution in 1919. Check out on the Marxist Internet Archive: Rosa Luxemburg Order Prevails in Berlin: http://www.marxists.org/archive/luxemburg/1919/01/14
In order to gain legitimacy in the German working-class the Nazi Party had to deceptively call itself “socialist” “National Socialist”! Read Hitler’s Mein Kampf. The contradictions in German capitalism in the 30s crisis was attributed to “the Jews” by deceptively pinning on them the characteristics of money-grubbing capitalists. By combining this fantastic “Jew,” as both capitalist and communist conspirator Hitler attacked not just Jews and Gypsies but trade unions, social-democratic as well as the communist worker’s party.
So long as the Nazis were getting rid of the trade unionists, socialists, and communists in Germany, and where it expanded, the capitalist West, including Britain and the United States, regarded the Jews as expendable. It was not the British or Americans, but the Soviet Red Army that liberated Auschwitz!
President Bush: Looking back, we see the reasons why The League of Nations, lacking both credibility and will, collapsed at the first challenge of the dictators.
Lil Joe: This statement by Bush is a-historical hogwash. The Americans are today in the role of Nazi Germany aggression, Blitz, which it calls now “shock and awe” invading and occupying countries in Middle Asia. What Bush is doing in this section of his speech is turning history upside down. He is intimating that the reactions of the German and French by their opposition to American international Nazis policies of invasion and occupation are a Munich-like capitulation whereas their opposition to U.S. aggression places is in fact standing up to the international “dictator,” the un-elected and war-mongering nationalist, George W. Bush.
President Bush: Free nations failed to recognize, much less confront, the aggressive evil in plain sight. And so, dictators went about their business, feeding resentments and anti-Semitism, bringing death to innocent people in this city and across the world and filling the last century with violence and genocide.
Lil Joe: At the time to which Bush refers the French and British were the world’s greatest colonizers and oppressors of the majority of the people of the world. Hardly beacons of “freedom”!
Today, it is the United States, Britain, and Israel that are the “aggressive evil in plain sight.” The American, British, and Israeli regimes that are going “about their business, feeding resentments and anti-Semitism” that is, anti-Islamic and anti-Arab and Anti-Palestinian aggressions bringing death to innocent people across the world and filling the century with violence and genocide.
President Bush: Through world war and cold war we learned that idealism, if it is to do any good in this world, requires common purpose and national strength, moral courage and patience in difficult tasks. And now our generation has need of these qualities.
Lil Joe: This from Bush is nothing but demagogic rhetoric. “Idealism,” “good,” “purpose,” “moral courage” are indefinable abstractions that any one can claim, even the low-life coward. That Bush can claim these “qualities” is proof of that! The Palestinian, Afghan, and Iraqis resisting Anglo-American and Israeli Blitzkriegs and occupation exercise the real, demonstrable courage.
President Bush: On September the 11th, 2001, the terrorists left their mark of murder on my country and took the lives of 67 British citizens. With the passing of months and years, it is the natural human desire to resume a quiet life and to put that day behind us as if waking from a dark dream. The hope that danger has passed is comforting, is understanding and it is false.
Lil Joe: The Anglo-American invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq has nothing to do with September the 11th, 2002; but, rather, has everything to do with oil and money, and protecting the garrison state of Israel.
President Bush: The attacks that followed in Bali, Jakarta, Casablanca, Bombay, Mombasa, Najaf, Jerusalem, Riyadh, Baghdad and Istanbul were not dreams. They’re part of a global campaign by terrorist networks to intimidate and demoralize all who oppose them.
Lil Joe: Rather the opposite: The attacks in those locations were engendered by and are engendered by Israeli and Anglo-American policies of war and occupation, which engender conditions, which engender such actions. There may yet be time, and opportunity to prevent complete deterioration by an immediate and unconditional withdrawal of British, American, and Israeli occupation forces.
President Bush: These terrorists target the innocent and they kill by the thousands. And they would, if they gain the weapons they seek, kill by the millions and not be finished.
Lil Joe: This statement coming from the mouth of George W. Bush is nothing but demagogic rant and inverted logic.
The people of the World, including Britain if not the United States, recognize Bush as the international terrorist, and the American and British troops that “target the innocent and kill by the thousands.” America’s military forces have already “killed by the millions”in Japan, Korea, Vietnam, El Salvador, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Angola, Iraq . . .
President Bush: The greatest threat of our age is nuclear, chemical. or biological weapons in the hands of terrorists and the dictators who aid them.
Lil Joe: “Nuclear, chemical or biological weapons” are already in the hands of terrorists! See my piece on Nuclear Theatre published in ChickenBones: A Journal.
President Bush: The evil is in plain sight. The danger only increases with denial. Great responsibilities fall once again to the great democracies. We will face these threats with open eyes and we will defeat them.
Lil Joe: This statement (by Bush) is nothing but metaphysical mumbo jumbo directed at Christian fundamentalist patriots back in the States. There is no such thing as “evil” because there is no “devil” nor for that matter “gods.”
What are at issue here are material interests, and Bush represents the class interests of American banks and transnational capital in rivalry with the European Union. See my article PaxAmerica in Decline on this competition, again published by ChickenBones: A Journal.
I MUST stop here. Space does not permit me to go further.
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By Michele Alexander
Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama’s political success and Oprah Winfrey’s financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today… than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don’t know the truth about mass incarcerationbut her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.Publishers Weekly
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Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis
Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as “the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field ‘cut their teeth’.”
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From The World and Africa, 1965
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update 4 December 2011
Related files: Remarks by the President at Whitehall Palace