The Young C.L.R. James: A Graphic Novelette
Illustrated: Milton Knight • Edited by Paul Buhle and Lawrence Ware
Publisher: PM Press
Size: 5.5 x 8.5
Page count: 48
Subjects: Comics-Biography/Black Studies
This unique comic by Milton Knight illuminates the early years of C.L.R. James (1901–1989), known in much later years as the “last great Pan-Africanist.” The son of a provincial school administrator in British-governed Trinidad, James disappointed his family by embracing the culture and passions of the colonial underclass, Carnival and cricket. He joined the literary avant-garde of the island before leaving for Britain. In the UK, James swiftly became a beloved cricket journalist, playwright for his close friend Paul Robeson, and a pathbreaking scholar of black history with The Black Jacobins (1938), the first history of the Haitian revolt.
The artistic skills of Milton Knight, at once acute and provocative, bring out James’s unique personality, how it arose, and how he became a world figure.
About the Contributors:
Milton Knight is a graduate of the BOCES Cultural Arts Center. His work has appeared in many magazines, including Heavy Metal, High Times, and National Lampoon, as well as an extended series of fiction adaptations for Graphic Classics. His own comics titles include Hugo, Midnight the Rebel Skunk, and Slug and Ginger.
Paul Buhle is the authorized biographer of C.L.R. James and introduced James’s work to the New Left via the magazine Radical America in the late 1960s. He has edited several comics biographies, including ones on Emma Goldman, Che Guevara, Rosa Luxemburg, and Isadora Duncan.
Lawrence Ware is a philosophy professor and codirector of Oklahoma State University’s Center for Africana Studies. He writes widely on race, sports, and culture for publications such as the New York Times, Slate, and The Root. He has been a commentator on race and politics for the CBC, NPR, and PRI.
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