Quito J. SwanDec 4, 2020
Black Internationalism and Environmental Justice
University of Florida Press 2020
Pauulu’s Diaspora: Black Internationalism and Environmental Justice (University Press of Florida, 2020) by Quito Swan is an enchanting, magisterial, broadly researched monograph that illuminates the social life of Black Power politics across the African diaspora from the 1950s through the 1980s. Told through Bermudian activist and engineer Pauulu Kamarakafego’s life, Swan takes readers on a journey through Black radical diaspora in the Caribbean, the United States, western, eastern, and southern Africa, and Oceania. A global history of Pan-African organizing, Swan examines various dimensions of Black radicalism, and importantly demonstrates the centrality of environmental activism to Black Power and anticolonial politics. As Swan reconstructs this complex web of global Black radicalism, he also uncovers the ways that Black activists and organizations pivoted in response to international networks of Western surveillance and subterfuge. Readers come to appreciate how Black radicalism shaped anticolonial independence struggles in Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea, for instance, while evaluating how those struggles in turn, reformulated global Black Power. Scholars seeking to understand the enduring and far-reaching entailments of Black radical politics should study this path-breaking book on Black internationalism.
Amanda Joyce Hall is a Ph.D. Candidate in History and African American Studies at Yale University. She is writing an international history on the global movement against South African apartheid during the 1970s and 1980s. She tweets from @amandajoycehall