Blacks on the Left Symposium

The Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (Rose Library) at Emory University is pleased to announce the symposium, “Blacks on the Left" (May 31-June 1, 2019).

Tentative Schedule

May 31, 6:00PM

Keynote by Keith Gilyard (Edwin Earle Sparks Professor of English and African American Studies, Penn State University), followed by evening reception

June 1

Panel 1: 9:30-11:00AM

New editions of texts by Walter Rodney from Verso BooksThe Russian Revolution, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (new edition), and Groundings With My Brothers (50th Anniversary Edition)

Walter Rodney was a legendary historian, scholar and activist, tragically assassinated by the dictatorship in Guyana in 1980, when he was just 38 years old. His work is studied, celebrated and emulated throughout the world, to this day, in large part due to his honest and non-dogmatic engagement with Marxism, Pan-Africanism and Black Nationalism. 2018/2019 mark the emergence of one entirely new and widely unexpected book by Rodney, and two new editions with significant new content, all published by Verso Books, as the result of a broad relationship established between the Walter Rodney Foundation and Verso.


  • Dr. Jesse Benjamin (Kennesaw State University)
  • Dr. Patricia Rodney (CEO of the Walter Rodney Foundation)
  • Asah Rodney, Esq. (Board Member, Walter Rodney Foundation)
  • Sarah Tanner (Head, Archives Research Center, AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library)

Panel 2: 11:00-1:00PM

Graduate Student panel, details TBA


  • Joseph Benavides (PhD Student, Department of Philosophy, Emory University)
  • "Literary Language on the Black Left: Frantz Fanon's Textual Politics," Brendan Moore (PhD Student, Department of Comparative Literature, Emory University)
  • Malcolm Khalil Thompson

Panel 3: 3:00-4:30PM

Internationalizing Black Liberation


  • Chair, Dr. Stephen M. Ward (University of Michigan)
  • "No Sellout in '64: The Contested Third world Politics of the Freedom Now Party," Benjamin Feldman (Georgetown University)
  • "The South in the Black Internatonal Mind: Black Radicalsim, the American South, and Global Movements, 1964-1990," Dr. Robert Greene II (Claflin University)
  • "Free at Last?: The African People's Socialist Party's Struggle for South Africa, 1979-1994," Augusta Dell'Omo (University of Texas-Austin)

Panel 4: 4:30-5:30PM


  • "The Left and the Black Arts Movement," Dr. Sarah RudeWalker (Spelman College)
  • TBA

Plenary Address: 5:30-7:00PM

Dr. Michael C Dawson (John D. MacArthur Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago)