Cedric Robinson

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For the Morecambe Bay sand pilot, see Queen's Guide to the Sands

Cedric Robinson is a professor in the Department of Black Studies and the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. 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, radical social theory in the African diaspora, comparative politics, and media and politics.

Robinson was born in Oakland, California, in 1940. He attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a B.A. in social anthropology, and Stanford University, where he completed his graduate studies in political theory and received a M.A. and Ph.D.. 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, Africa, and the Caribbean; Western social theory; film; and the press. His latest book, An Anthropology of Marxism, is a study of the historical antecedents of Marxism, and incorporates Robinson's research into anti-fascism in Africa and the African Diaspora in the 1920s and 1930s.

In addition to his academic duties, Robinson is active in the Santa Barbara 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.”[1] 5 years later the programm became available on public access television.

Robinson became a political activist 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 required him to move to California. Beside his grandfather, Robinson names Winston Whiteside, C. L. R. James, and Terrence Hopkins as other thinkers who have shaped his political outlook.

Selected bibliography[edit]


  • 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, 1999.
  • Black Movements in America. New York: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, 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, 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, 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, 1993.

Secondary literature[edit]

  • Cedric Robinson and the philosophy of Black resistance, Guest editor Darryl C. Thomas, special issue of Race & Class, October 2005, Volume 47, No. 2


  1. ^ Elizabeth Robinson, “Twenty-five years of the Third World News Review” in: Race& Class, October 2005; 47; 77-81, citation p. 78
  2. ^ for a more complete bibliography see: Bibliography of publications by Cedric Robinson in: Race & Class, October 2005, Volume 47, No. 2, 115-118

External links[edit]