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CrazyFruits » WELCOME TO CRAZY FRUITS BOOK CLUB » Cyril Lionel Robert James (4 January 1901 – 19 May 1989) author activists

Cyril Lionel Robert James (4 January 1901 – 19 May 1989) author activists

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Cyril Lionel Robert James (4 January 1901 – 19 May 1989), best known as C. L. R. 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. His work is a staple of subaltern studies and he figures as a pioneering and influential voice in postcolonial literature.   A tireless political activist, James's writing on the Communist International stirred debate in Trotskyist circles, and his history of the Haitian Revolution, The Black Jacobins is a seminal text in the literature of the African Diaspora.  Characterized by one literary critic as an "anti-Stalinist dialectician",James was known for his autodidactism, for his occasional playwriting and fiction, and as an avid sportsman. He is also famed as a writer on cricket.

Born in Tunapuna, Trinidad, then a British Crown colony, James was the first child of Elizabeth James and Robert Alexander a schoolteacher. In 1910 he won a scholarship to Queen's Royal College, the island's oldest non-Catholic secondary school, in Port of Spain, and after graduating he worked there as a teacher among those he taught was the young Eric Williams, who would become the first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago. Together with Ralph de Boissière, Albert Gomes and Alfred Mendes James was a member of the anti-colonialist "Beacon Group", a circle of writers associated with The Beacon magazine in which he published a series of short stories.

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