An Amazing Primer on the History of Black Radicals


In Freedom Dreams, Robin D.G. Kelley explores the history of the black radical tradition; every organization from the Black Panther Party to the Combahee River Collective and every philosophy from Maoism to surrealism, all under 200 pages. Kelley analyzes and synthesizes so much history into a concise and fluid text that captures the essence of the black radical imagination without acting as a substitute for the whole of it. This book has doubled my curiosity and reading list on the topic.

As readers, we witness Kelley in conversation with all the various movements and the people who lead them. He connects them, criticizes them, and offers insights on how they can be instructive in everyday life.  His writing style captures the kinetic energy of the radical movements themselves but sometimes I would get confused by all of the names and organizational acronyms that I would have to reread sections.I really could not put this book down though and read it in a couple of sittings. This book acts as a portal into black radical movements and shows the necessity of continuing to explore them.  I recommend it to everyone.

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