Radical Intellect

Liberator Magazine and Black Activism in the 1960s

By Christopher M. Tinson

Radical Intellect

346 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 9 halftones

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-3455-5
    Published: October 2017
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-3454-8
    Published: October 2017

Paperback Available October 2017, but pre-order your copy today!

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The rise of black radicalism in the 1960s was a result of both the successes and the failures of the civil rights movement. The movement’s victories were inspirational, but its failures to bring about structural political and economic change pushed many to look elsewhere for new strategies. During this era of intellectual ferment, the writers, editors, and activists behind the monthly magazine Liberator (1960–71) were essential contributors to the debate. In the first full-length history of the organization that produced the magazine, Christopher M. Tinson locates the Liberator as a touchstone of U.S.-based black radical thought and organizing in the 1960s. Combining radical journalism with on-the-ground activism, the magazine was dedicated to the dissemination of a range of cultural criticism aimed at spurring political activism, and became the publishing home to many notable radical intellectual-activists of the period, such as Larry Neal, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Harold Cruse, and Askia Touré.

By mapping the history and intellectual trajectory of the Liberator and its thinkers, Tinson traces black intellectual history beyond black power and black nationalism into an internationalism that would shape radical thought for decades to come.

About the Author

Christopher M. Tinson is associate professor of Africana studies and history at Hampshire College.
For more information about Christopher M. Tinson, visit the Author Page.

Reviews

“An illuminating, nuanced, and beautifully written history that explores community-based print culture as a critical nexus for black radicalism in the 1960s and 1970s. This brilliant book brings into focus a world of political and cultural work that was local and transnational, Pan-African, black nationalist, feminist, and rooted in a tradition of labor radicalism. A core text for those studying histories of freedom struggle.”--Jennifer Guglielmo, author of Living the Revolution

“In Radical Intellect, we finally have the riveting story of the Liberator magazine that not only created critical thinking space but also fashioned the crucial platform for ideological conversations in the 1960s black revolt, debating the burning issue of revolution. Now students of black revolt can comprehend the fabric of black radicalism by examining these neglected threads of black liberation, black arts renaissance, and anti-colonialism. Christopher Tinson joins the young lions in forging the new paradigm of black freedom studies: Bravo!”--Komozi Woodard, author of A Nation within a Nation

"Radical Intellect is an outstanding contribution to the history of the radical intellectual work that served as a crucial component of Black Power and radical politics throughout the 1960s. Christopher Tinson creates a superbly rich history of the Liberator magazine, as well as the many personalities and organizations that interacted with this important publication. This is a fine addition to a dynamic body of scholarship on Black Power."—Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar, University of Connecticut, author of Black Power