Cedric Robinson
For the Morecambe Bay sand pilot, see Queen's Guide to the Sands
Queen's Guide to the Sands
The Queen's Guide to the Sands is the royally appointed guide to crossing the sands of Morecambe Bay, an ancient and potentially dangerous tidal crossing in northwest England. , the Guide is Cedric Robinson MBE, who became the 25th guide in 1963...

Cedric Robinson is a professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

 in the Department of Black Studies and the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara
University of California, Santa Barbara
The University of California, Santa Barbara, commonly known as UCSB or UC Santa Barbara, is a public research university and one of the 10 general campuses of the University of California system. The main campus is located on a site in Goleta, California, from Santa Barbara and northwest of Los...

. He has headed the Department of Black Studies and the Department of Political Science, and he has served as the Director of the Center for Black Studies.
Robinson's fields of research include classical and modern political thought
Political philosophy
Political philosophy is the study of such topics as liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what, if anything, makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it...

, radical
Left-wing politics
In politics, Left, left-wing and leftist generally refer to support for social change to create a more egalitarian society...

 social theory
Social theory
Social theories are theoretical frameworks which are used to study and interpret social phenomena within a particular school of thought. An essential tool used by social scientists, theories relate to historical debates over the most valid and reliable methodologies , as well as the primacy of...

 in the African diaspora
African diaspora
The African diaspora was the movement of Africans and their descendants to places throughout the world—predominantly to the Americas also to Europe, the Middle East and other places around the globe...

, comparative politics
Comparative politics
Comparative politics is a subfield of political science, characterized by an empirical approach based on the comparative method. Arend Lijphart argues that comparative politics does not have a substantive focus in itself, but rather a methodological one: it focuses on "the how but does not specify...

, and media
Mass media
Mass media refers collectively to all media technologies which are intended to reach a large audience via mass communication. Broadcast media transmit their information electronically and comprise of television, film and radio, movies, CDs, DVDs and some other gadgets like cameras or video consoles...

 and politics
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...


Robinson was born in Oakland
Oakland, California
Oakland is a major West Coast port city on San Francisco Bay in the U.S. state of California. It is the eighth-largest city in the state with a 2010 population of 390,724...

, California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, in 1940. He attended the University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...

, where he earned a B.A.
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 in social anthropology
Social anthropology
Social Anthropology is one of the four or five branches of anthropology that studies how contemporary human beings behave in social groups. Practitioners of social anthropology investigate, often through long-term, intensive field studies , the social organization of a particular person: customs,...

, and Stanford University
Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

, where he completed his graduate studies
Graduate school
A graduate school is a school that awards advanced academic degrees with the general requirement that students must have earned a previous undergraduate degree...

 in political theory and received a M.A.
Master of Arts (postgraduate)
A Master of Arts from the Latin Magister Artium, is a type of Master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The M.A. is usually contrasted with the M.S. or M.Sc. degrees...

 and Ph.D.
Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated as Ph.D., PhD, D.Phil., or DPhil , in English-speaking countries, is a postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities...

. In 1979 Robinson joined the faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Robinson is the author of four books, and he has contributed a number of articles to academic journals and anthologies. The subjects of his articles have included political thought in America
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, and the Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

; Western
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 social theory; film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

; and the press. His latest book, An Anthropology of Marxism, is a study of the historical antecedents of Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

, and incorporates Robinson's research into anti-fascism
Anti-fascism is the opposition to fascist ideologies, groups and individuals, such as that of the resistance movements during World War II. The related term antifa derives from Antifaschismus, which is German for anti-fascism; it refers to individuals and groups on the left of the political...

 in Africa and the African Diaspora in the 1920s and 1930s.

In addition to his academic duties, Robinson is active in the Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara is the county seat of Santa Barbara County, California, United States. Situated on an east-west trending section of coastline, the longest such section on the West Coast of the United States, the city lies between the steeply-rising Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean...

 community. In a “climate devoid of an understanding of international politics beyond that of proclaimed US interests, in 1980 Cedric Robinson and Corey Dubin, a student at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), launched Third World News Review (TWNR) on the campus and community radio station, KCSB. With a couple of other faculty members like Gerard Pigeon and a number of students from various parts of the Third World, they began to provide a small corrective gloss on what the Pentagon, White House or State Department proffered for public consumption. More importantly, they reported on those events that both officialdom and the corporate media concealed.”
5 years later the programm became available on public access television.

Robinson became a political activist
Activism consists of intentional efforts to bring about social, political, economic, or environmental change. Activism can take a wide range of forms from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning, economic activism such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing...

 during his student days, when he protested against the university administration and American foreign and domestic policies along with other Black radical students.

Robinson says that his radical political views were influenced by his grandfather, whose radicalism in 1920s Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

 required him to move to California. Beside his grandfather, Robinson names Winston Whiteside, C. L. R. James
C. L. R. James
Cyril Lionel Robert James , who sometimes wrote under the pen-name J.R. Johnson, was an Afro-Trinidadian historian, journalist, socialist theorist and essayist. His works are influential in various theoretical, social, and historiographical contexts...

, and Terrence Hopkins as other thinkers who have shaped his political outlook.


  • An Anthropology of Marxism. London:Ashgate Publishing, 2001.
  • Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition. 2nd ed., Chapel Hill, NC:The University of North Carolina Press
    University of North Carolina Press
    The University of North Carolina Press , founded in 1922, is a university press that is part of the University of North Carolina....

    , 1999.
  • Black Movements in America. New York:Routledge
    Routledge is a British publishing house which has operated under a succession of company names and latterly as an academic imprint. Its origins may be traced back to the 19th-century London bookseller George Routledge...

    , 1997.
  • Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition. London:Zed Books, 1983.
  • Terms of Order: Political Science and the Myth of Leadership. Albany, NY:State University of New York Press
    State University of New York Press
    The State University of New York Press , is a university press and a Center for Scholarly Communication. The Press is part of the State University of New York system and is located in Albany, New York.- History :...

    , 1980.
  • Forgeries of Memory & Meaning: Blacks & the Regimes of Race in American Theater & Film Before World War II. Chapel Hill, NC:The University of North Carolina Press
    University of North Carolina Press
    The University of North Carolina Press , founded in 1922, is a university press that is part of the University of North Carolina....

    , 2007.


  • "In the Year 1915: D.W. Griffith and the Whitening of America." Social Identities, Vol. 3, No. 2, June 1997.
  • "In Search of a Pan-African Commonwealth." Social Identities, Vol. 2, No. 1, February 1996.


  • "Mass Media and the US Presidency" in John Downing et al. eds., Questioning the Media: A Critical Introduction, Thousand Oaks, CA:SAGE Publications
    SAGE Publications
    SAGE is an independent academic publisher of books, journals, and electronic products in the humanities and social sciences and the scientific, technical, and medical fields. SAGE was founded in 1965 by George McCune and Sara Miller McCune. The company is headquartered in Thousand Oaks, California,...

    , 1995.
  • "W. E. B. DuBois and Black Sovereignty" in Sidney J. Lemelle and Robin D. G. Kelly eds., Imagining Home: Class, Culture, and Nationalism in the African Diaspora, New York: Verso, 1994.
  • "Race, Capitalism, and the Anti-Democracy" in Robert Gooding-Williams ed., Reading Rodney King/Reading Urban Uprising, New York:Routledge
    Routledge is a British publishing house which has operated under a succession of company names and latterly as an academic imprint. Its origins may be traced back to the 19th-century London bookseller George Routledge...

    , 1993.

Secondary literature

  • Cedric Robinson and the philosophy of Black resistance, Guest editor Darryl C. Thomas, special issue of Race & Class
    Race & Class
    Race & Class is a peer-reviewed academic journal on contemporary racism and imperialism. It is published quarterly by SAGE Publications on behalf of the Institute of Race Relations.- History :...

    , October 2005, Volume 47, No. 2

External links

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