The Revolution Will Not Be Theorized

Studies the revolutionary theory of the Black Power Movement in the 1960s through ‘70s, placing it within the broader social theory of black revolution in the United States since the nineteenth century. The study of the impact of Black Power Movement (BPM) activists and organizations in the 1960s through ‘70s has largely been confined to their role as proponents of social change; but they were also theorists of the change they sought. In The Revolution Will Not Be Theorized Errol A. Henderson explains this theoretical contribution and places it within a broader social theory of black revolution in the United States dating back to nineteenth-century black intellectuals. These include black nationalists, feminists, and anti-imperialists; activists and artists of the Harlem Renaissance; and early Cold War-era black revolutionists. The book first elaborates W. E. B. Du Bois’s thesis of the “General Strike” during the Civil War, Alain Locke’s thesis relating black culture to political and economic change, Harold Cruse’s work on black cultural revolution, and Malcolm X’s advocacy of black cultural and political revolution in the United States. Henderson then critically examines BPM revolutionists’ theorizing regarding cultural and political revolution and the relationship between them in order to realize their revolutionary objectives. Focused more on importing theory from third world contexts that were dramatically different from the United States, BPM revolutionists largely ignored the theoretical template for black revolution most salient to their case, which undermined their ability to theorize a successful black revolution in the United States.


  • 9781438475431.pdf

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Work Title The Revolution Will Not Be Theorized
Subtitle Cultural Revolution in the Black Power Era
Open Access
  1. Errol Henderson
  1. African American Studies
  2. Political Theory
  3. Social Movements
  4. Radical History
  5. American History
License CC BY-NC 4.0 (Attribution-NonCommercial)
Work Type Book
  1. SUNY Press
Publication Date August 2019
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
Related URLs
Deposited July 24, 2019




Work History

Version 1

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  • Published