Dec 16, 2021
In this episode we speak with veteran of the Black Panther Party, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and co-founder of the Black Autonomy Federation Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin. A former long-time political prisoner, we talk to Ervin about the recent release of the definitive edition of his book Anarchism and the Black Revolution on Pluto Press. Anarchism and the Black Revolution was written during Ervin’s political imprisonment, and is considered a foundational text for Black Anarchist traditions.
We talk to Ervin about what he drew out of his experiences with SNCC and the Black Panther Party that contributes to his understandings of Black Anarchism or Black Autonomy. We ask about the circumstances that led to his political imprisonment, and critiques of state socialism. Ervin also shares reflections on his political mentor Martin Sostre.
Ervin discusses the sit-in movement as a form of autonomous action taking up by the youth in the 60’s, which he describes as oppositional to both the establishment and the politics of major civil rights organizations at the time.
In conversation Ervin also pushes back against notions of chaos, disorganization, individualism, and nihilism that are often associated with anarchism, and which some folks identifying themselves as anarchists take up. In contrast Ervin provides concrete explanations of the types of mass organizing he believes Black Anarchists should be engaged in, in the development of their own struggle.
Ervin discusses the subversive trap of electoral politics. We also ask about fascism, anti-fascism, dual power and problems with unaccountable leadership and celebrity as well as what differentiates a political revolution from a social revolution.
If you’ve never read Anarchism and the Black Revolution or want this new definitive edition which includes new sections, a new introduction, a recent interview and new Forwards from Joy James and William C. Anderson, you can grab that on Plutobooks.com. If you would like to learn more about Black Autonomy from Lorenzo along with his partner Jo’Nina Ervin and William C. Anderson, check out their work at the Black Autonomy Podcast.
This book is part of the Black Critique Series on Pluto Press.
Black Autonomy Podcast has a patreon of its own which benefits Lorenzo and JoNina, we encourage folks to support them directly.
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