Friday, April 27, 2012

Revolution & Transformation: African Lessons

May 2, 2012, 6 pm
The William Bross Lloyd Jr. Lecture
Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Toward Freedom
Program of African Studies, 620 Library Place, Evanston, Illinois
Prof. Horace Campbell, Syracuse University
with introductory remarks by Greg Guma, former TF Editor

     Sixty years ago at the height of the Cold War William Bross Lloyd Jr launched the newsletter Toward Freedom, one node in a network of international activists  that has carried the  vision of  a world ethic that honors the human spirit and the right of individuals to freedom of thought and creativity. 
     This 60th anniversary lecture will focus on the seismic changes in International  politics since the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt in January 2011.  Drawing from the inspiration of the youths of Tahrir Square Professor Horace Campbell will interrogate the call from Samir Amin to be audacious in conceptualizing alternatives to the political and economic dominance of the ruling one per cent. 
     Campbell will reflect on the rapid economic growth in Africa and the implications for the Union of the Peoples of Africa in the changed world economy.  In order to heal the planet from rapacious forms of economic relations and exorbitant consumption it is necessary to embark on a new system that enables equality and mutual understanding. Hence, there must be a quantum leap from the current neo-liberal system to a new social system that is not based on discrimination and hierarchies. Drawing from the present thrust for Reparations and Reconstruction toward a multi-polar world, the lecture will examine the multifaceted transformations necessary to rise beyond the linearity and concepts of ‘modernization.’
     The talk will challenge intellectuals in the academy to transcend old images and ideas of Africa with the call for boldness in formulating political alternatives to the existing system. A “humanist consensus” rather than a Washington, Beijing, or any other kind of consensus, is now necessary to work for world peace in a moment of crisis when the triggers’ of war are poised to engulf humanity into greater conflagrations. In this quest centers of learning will be encouraged to join the new process of re-education to break the dominance of the exploiters.
The Speakers
Horace Campbell is Professor of African American Studies and Political Science at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. He is the author of Rasta and Resistance From Marcus Garvey to Walter RodneyReclaiming Zimbabwe: The Exhaustion of the Patriarchal Model of Liberation; and Pan Africanism, Pan Africanists and African Liberation in the 21st century. His most recent book is Barack Obama and 21st Century Politics: A Revolutionary Moment in the USA.
     Greg Guma met William B. Lloyd in the 1970s, succeeded him as editor of Toward Freedom in 1986, and helped to bring the organization to Vermont. He served as editor for more than a decade, expanding the publication's scope from the end of the Cold War to the start of the digital age. In Burlington, the state’s largest city, TF found a second home that has nurtured the publication and its educational work for the last 26 years.
     Greg's introduction will feature a new documentary (see above) examining the events surrounding the launch of Toward Freedom as a Chicago-based international newsletter, the legacy of the Lloyd family dating back to Henry Demarest Lloyd, and the publication's accomplishments over 60 years. In person he will also recount TF's early coverage of colonial struggles and the non-aligned movement, writing by Lloyd and others on independence movements, and the relevance for our time.
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