Kevin Okoth

Kevin Okoth is a member of the Salvage editorial collective. His first book, Red Africa, will be out soon.

Serious Battle and Slay: ‘Glory’

Kevin Okoth, 18 August 2022

NoViolet Bulawayo​ intended to write a non-fiction account of the 2017 coup that deposed Robert Mugabe and made Emmerson Mnangagwa, his one-time deputy, the third president of Zimbabwe. But she couldn’t keep up with the changing political situation. There was a sense of bitterness: the coup wasn’t the new beginning many had hoped for. When Zimbabweans took to the streets and, in...

The title​ of Cedric Robinson’s Black Marxism is misleading. Shelving it under ‘Marxism’ never seems right for a book that questions the compatibility of Black radicalism and Marxist politics, as well as considering aspects of history, sociology and political theory. Robinson’s reluctance to be classified hasn’t always worked in his favour. When Black Marxism...

Who’s the real wolf? Black Marseille

Kevin Okoth, 23 September 2021

For McKay, self-determination was not merely a matter of guaranteeing civil rights or removing the barriers to Black political and economic power – as it was for the NAACP – or of creating a nation wherever Black people were an oppressed minority. The real goal, as he saw it, was to support independent Black organisations that could reinvigorate the American labour movement, something the communists, Garveyites and NAACP had all proved incapable of. 

Danez Smith​’s prose poem ‘Dear White America’, published in Don’t Call Us Dead (2017), brought Allen Ginsberg’s ‘America’ into the present and gave it a more urgent register: ‘we did not build your prisons (though we did & we fill them too). we did not ask to be part of your America … i can’t stand your ground. i’m sick...

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