Anti-Radical Thought in Coordination with Post-colonial States

In the sphere of current mainstream political thought, particularly the liberal tradition, there is a domination of western thought and ideas. Africans and descendants of Africans are not accounted for in this liberal tradition because of racialization and colonization. The liberal tradition is then not the best paradigm to apply to Africans and African descendants. An alternative method therefore should be applied for true liberation, especially in consideration with the post-colonial period of the 1960s and 1970s.

            Several arguments have surfaced about how freedoms should be applied in the post-colonial era. In Anthony Bogues book chapter titled “And What About The Human? Radical Anti-Colonial Thought and Critical Thinking.” he discusses how humanism, which is a branch of the liberal tradition, creates the functions of subjects. In this paradigm, the profound assumption is that the human figure is a subject and an exploited worker. Anti-colonial thought on the other hand, centers on the human. This need for anti-colonial thinking is necessary for former colonized subjects in post-colonial states to move forwards so that people who occupy these states are not functioning as subjects, but as humans.

These differing paradigms are essential to consider when viewing the history of decolonization. During the 1950s and the 1960s, several countries, especially in Africa and the Caribbean underwent the process of decolonization, which brought up questions of how to create and sustain a decent quality of life. A majority of countries turned to sources such as aid and development to maintain this promise that decolonization posed. However, these programs did not succeed in achieving the goals of promoting growth and sustaining a decent quality of life. An explanation for this is that the framework that countries operated under were post-colonial, instead of anti-colonial. An explanation for the failure of these programs is that the countries applied a post-colonial framework, instead of an anti-colonial framework. In the post-colonial framework, the history of colonization that citizens in these countries face is disregarded, while the anti-colonial framework considers that history for the means of progressing in the country.

Grenada is an interesting case study to consider when viewing the history of decolonization Grenada is a small island situated in the Caribbean with a population of about one hundred thousand people. Grenada holds a long history of authoritarian government under Britain, not receiving independence until the year of 1974. Even when Grenada received independence, it was still under authoritarian rule by Eric Gairy. In 1979, he was ousted by a coup, which led to the Grenadian revolution of 1979. In 1983, The United States government decided to intervene with the insurrection and deployed about seven thousand troops to the island. Governor general Paul Scoon was instilled as the leader until elections occurred in the year of 1984.

            After the revolution, several methods were used for reconstruction. World Bank and International Monetary programs, such as the Extended Fund Facility program implemented in 1983, served as reconstruction strategies. Strategies used by the program included repayment of IMF debt and local firms, increase in reserves of government-owned and commercial banks and investing in the public sector. In Pasty Lewis article titled “Rethinking Development and the Regional Integration project’ she discusses how these programs were unsuccessful though, in actuality weakening Grenada’s economy. With the reliance on aid, Grenada was pushed into enormous debt and not a lot to spend on spend on social welfare..

With the conditions that Grenada is currently under, it is important to note how these conditions were created. They were created because of the country’s colonial past, which created structural limits to the economy For Grenada to trump the colonial past it has endures, the country must attempt to frame new development under anti-radical thought instead of post-colonial thought. The reason why Grenada must be reframed this way to be successful is because since post-colonial thought, a part of the liberal tradition does not account for colonial subjects, it is not the proper way for a new state that underwent colonization to restructure itself. The world bank and international monetary fund programs did not account for Grenada’s colonial past and adopt strategies as an attempt to develop the state. There are several strategies in place that adapt the anti-colonial framework of thinking that could be very promising for Grenada’s future.

            One of these strategies include conceptualizing the country as resource rich instead of resource poor. As a former colonial subject, there is a conception that Grenada needs to rely on another country for development, sort of in the same way that the liberal tradition treats former colonized people as subjects. In the case of Grenada, the country has a very thriving seabed which could be used for economic profit. Also with tourism exponentially growing in the country currently, that could serve as an avenue for Grenada to strengthen their economy. With ant-radical thinking, Grenada natives will have access and be centered during this process so that the country can receive their own benefits. In Dani Roedrick’s article titled “Trading in Illusions”, he discusses how countries need to focus more on internal strategies instead of integrationist strategies. Instead of looking to outside sources for help, or integrating into the world economy, countries can develop their own strategies and utilize them for their own benefit. In the past, when developing countries that tend to be post-colonial states integrate into the if and world bank, their growth is stunted. Even though following a model that has not yet been tried will be difficult at first to implement, the possibilities of economic growth are worth it in the end.  With an anti-colonial paradigm that Dani Rodrik in a way proposes, countries can look inward instead of outwards to promote their own growth.

            Essentially, for post-colonial states needs to adopt new methods of thinking when applying reconstruction models. In the past, just thinking about adopting post-colonial thought has not been enough for new states to promote growth, specifically economic growth. Anti-colonial thought serves as promising paradigm that promote growth in young nations.


Bogues , Anthony. “And What about The Human? Radical Anti-Colonial Thought and Critical Thinking.” In Who Speaks for the Human, 41–56. Morocco : University of Rabat Press, 2009.

Burtenshaw, Ronan. “Grenada’s Revolution at 40.” Jacobin, February 9, 2019.

Glass, Andrew. “United States Invades Grenada, Oct. 25, 1983.” POLITICO, October 25, 2017.

“IMF’s 6th Review Grenada Homegrown Structural Adjustment Programme Now Underway.” IMF’s 6th Review Grenada Homegrown Structural Adjustment Programme now Underway |, n.d.

Kirton, Claremont D. “Grenada and the IMF.” Latin American Perspectives 16, no. 3 (1989): 121–44.×8901600307.

Lewis , Pasty. “Foreign Policy and Economic Development in Small States: A Case Study of Grenada.” In Caribbean Political Activism: Essays in Honour of Richard Hart, 254–89. Kingston : Ian Randle Publisher , 2012.

How methodology of research must be transformed to promote the process of decolonization

Michael Buerke’s BBC documentary titled “Biblical Famine  was a documentary about  the Ethiopian famine in the 1980s. In the documentary, internally displaced people who sought refuge at the camp were recorded. In this documentary, subjects were left extremely vulnerable and essentially dehumanized. At one point in the documentary, there was a mother who was holding her dead baby because he had been malnourished. Even though this documentary brought great attention to the Ethiopian famine, several unethical implications can be seen such as the person’s informed consent and comfortability. One can make the argument that this documentary was ultimately dehumanizing even though the purpose may have been for the conflict to garner attention so that some form of aid can be given. The documentary was conducted in ways that were extremely exploitative and reinforced stereotypes for Africans, such as helplessness and a need to be saved by the West. This brings up questions between ethics and research.

         Another case study to view is to look at The Tuskegee Syphilis Study. This study of syphilis in black men crossed several unethical boundaries. The black men in the study particularly, did not have informed consent of the full range of what how and why syphilis was being studied. Secondly, there was known treatment at the time that would have helped the patients with their treatment but was specifically withheld from them by the researchers because they wanted to prolong the study. This study did not treat black men as people with autonomy but subjugated them as objects.

         Both of these examples demonstrate how when researchers study black and indigenous communities, there tends to be exploitative methods involved. In both of these examples, researchers were granted access in the field and the participants were disregarded by them. In both examples, there was a lack of informed consent of what was going on at hand. When subjects are not fully informed of what is occurring, they are subjected to subjugation and exploitation. Furthermore, both examples demonstrate the unequal power dynamics that occurs between researchers and the communities they study. In both examples, the researchers were granted that ability to have a say and decide what was going on within the study and how the study was going to be presented to the rest of the world. The subjects do not have the power to say in the construction of the knowledge that is created by the study. Additionally both examples reinforce negative stereotypes about black people. This leads to the institutionalization of knowledge that has oppressed black communities for centuries

         Essentially, to ensure that research is not just an exploitative process and the communities being studied are actually being helped, the current structure must transform. Keisha-Kahn Perry’s and Joanne Rapport’s article “Making a Case for Collaborative Reserach with Black and Indigenous Social Movements in Latin America.” discusses an approach in which the process and methods of ethnographic research can be changed in  They offer up the solution of collaborative research. Collaborative research is when academics collaborate with black and indigenous organization that are already in the community being studied. Collaborative research is a necessary step in research of indigenous and black communities because it displays that the researcher’s intentions are that they are positioned there to truly help the community, not just extract for their own purposes or research projects. With this approach, the institutionalized nature and limited access to do research and the outcome can be changed so that researchers are not the only ones who have the authority to have access or say a valid statement about a community in need. The institutionalization of research essentially makes it harder for the community and those already working in the community to have access to research. Work on the ground that is being done to progress communities who have been under systems of oppression and colonialism do not receive the same acclaim as the researchers who are there very temporarily, and that is ultimately unfair. With this collaborative approach this will ensure that those who are doing work on the ground and the subjects are able to engage in an active process that will not harm the community, but actually aid the community.

Linda Tuhiwai Smith offers very great solutions to make collaborative research a reality in her book Decolonizing Methodologies, specifically in the chapter “Articulating an indigenous Research Method.”  She discusses how researchers have to let go of their material, which means that local communities are enabled to appropriate the research by their means. This is a necessary step to take in this process because when researchers let go of their material, are enshrining the validity of the knowledge of participants and the communities. To the power dynamics that exist between the researchers and the community must be broken. Smith also discusses how building trust between the community being studied and the researcher is a necessary component so that exploitation does not occur. Unethical methodologies, such as not having full consent to what and how the research is conducted can prevent the horrors presented by the Tuskegee Study.  Also, positive change between researchers and the community occurs when trust is built, which can lead to epistemic decolonization. When epistemic decolonization occurs black and indigenous folks are at the center of the knowledge that is created and it prevents contemporary racists stereotypes from continually being enforced. Applying this to Michael Buerke’s BBC Film, since he conducted the documentary in a manner that subjugated those who were filmed, he reinforced the stereotype that Africans, particularly Ethiopians as subjects who need to be saved .

    To prevent research from being so extractive and exploitative like it has been in the past, it is necessary that communities being studied are centered mobilized to promote change. Both the BBC documentary and the Tuskegee study are examples of what occurs when ethics are not applied to research and communities are put at the margins instead of the center. With a more collaborative approach, it is an approach that can promote true transformation within communities that have been greatly affected by the nature of colonization. Communities can be enabled to the power to overcome the long and destructive history of colonization. 


Buerke, Michael. “BBC on Ethiopian Famine 1984.” YouTube. YouTube, October 4, 2008.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Tuskegee Study – Timeline – CDC – NCHHSTP.” December 22, 2015.

Perry, Keisha-Kahn and Rappaport Joanne “Making a Case in Collaborative Research with Black and Indigenous Social Movements in Latin America” Otros Saberes: Collaborative Research on Indigenous and Afro-Descendant Cultural Politics. Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research Press, 2013.

Shepherd, Nick (2018), ‘Epistemic Decolonization’ [online] ECHOES; European Colonial Heritage Modalities in Entangled Cities. Available at:

Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples by Linda Tuhiwai Smith, 1st Edition. Moorpark, CA: Cram101 Inc., 2013.

University , Princeton. “What Is Ethnography? | Anthropology@Princeton.” Princeton University. The Trustees of Princeton University. Accessed November 5, 2019.

How Systemic Racism currently operates to disenfranchise African Americans

Roe versus Wade served as a turning point for education: it declared that it was unconstitutional for schools to be segregated. This was seen as a steppingstone for equal access education. In the south primarily when Jim Crow was enforced, primarily black schools did not receive the same amount of funding that  majority white schools received. Even though Roe Vs Wade was supposed to serve as a steppingstone for better resources to eventually get ahead in life, there are still major disparities present in education today. The gaps seen between majority black schools and majority white schools are very jarring. You may ask why is this still the case? This can be explained by systemic racism.

            In Tricia Rose’s lecture, she explained how racial inequality works as a system first, you have to have a discrimination system, which is a set of dynamically reflected subsystems or areas in which, disparities systemically favor certain groups. Disparities across are mutually enforcing and the source of the disparities are discrimination. This system was coined by Barbara Reskin. This system works so well because the workings of the system are kept away from the public eye. Since there are no laws put in place that are clear about keeping certain races out of certain areas and opportunity, it is hard to fight. The lack of transparency is a part of the reason of why the system works so well. If there is no clear reason why these disparities exist, how and what is going to be fought to end these disparities.

            This becomes a very complicated situation when neutral laws are considered. Looking at the civil rights act of 1965, they clearly state that discrimination cannot occur in certain sectors. But this discrimination does still exist today because of the neutral nature of the act. The act is not trying to fight the discrimination going on, it’s there as an equalizer. But, neutral laws do not lead to equal outcomes as these widespread disparities still very much exist today. The rationality that created the unequal outcome in the first place is still present, How can these blatant disparities be lessened then.

            An answer to this is that the structure of the system can be totally redefined. Today in the western world the system that is prevalent is the system of capitalism. Capitalism prioritizes an individual’s wealth and production over everything else. Capitalism arose with slavery; it was based on the exploitation of black people. Since this is how capitalism was based upon, these inequalities will most likely always be present. Despite the neutral laws put in promote more people coming  into the workforce. The gaps are still present. Wealth in terms of capitalism is focused a lot on intergenerational assets. Intergeneration assets usually shows up in the forms of home ownership. Guess What? Specific groups of people were locked out of getting accessible loans to buy house because of red loaning. Banks specifically made it harder or did not even give loans to black families who wanted to buy property in certain areas.  So, when a family is able to have a home in the house for generation after generation, other groups who were excluded were not afforded the same opportunity. That intergenerational wealth that was built up in white communities in the United States advanced white family’s intergenerational wealth advanced white families in the game of capitalism.

As mentioned before, systemic racism still heavily exists in education. A question that one may ask themselves is how systemic racism still operates if segregation in schools is defined as unconstitutional? This is because the way schools are funded are through property taxes. Take Chicago public schools as an example. A report card done by the state of Illinois demonstrated where the in Chicago were the worst performing high schools. The majority of high schools who were performing way below the state level were highly concentrated in the west and southside of Chicago. Here is a background of Chicago demographics. Chicago is one of the most segregated cities in the United States. Before the great Migration occurred, majority of the inner city of Chicago composed of white populations. When African Americans started to move to the inner cities in Chicago, white people started to move out of those areas. This has created the current demographics in the south and north side, with the south side being 93 percent black and the north side being 75 percent white. Zillow, a website that measures property value was used to test the property value of different neighborhoods in Chicago. The Zillow Home Value Index in Englewood a neighborhood in the southside, was around 0. Lincoln Park, a neighborhood in the Northside of Chicago had a Zillow Home Value Index of 451,000 .

This is not just a coincidence; this was the intended outcome of systemic racism. Not only is Chicago designed this way, but other major midwestern cities, such as Milwaukee and Detroit. Since there is clear evidence that these systemic practices exist, what can be done to undo this? Some may answer a good way to counteract this is to work within the system. As mentioned before, the structure of the system still exists. So, is that truly a great solution? No matter how many black people are incorporated into the system, there will still be black people who are heavily disenfranchised by the system. So, since this system that is currently in place needs to be destroyed, what new system should take its place? Let’s  wait and see  

Works Cited

 Rose, T. (2013). PUBLIC TALES WAG THE DOG. Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race, 10(2), pp.447-469.

Walker Burke, C. and Kunichoff, Y. (2019). Illinois Report Card: Half of Chicago schools fail to make the grade. [online] Chalkbeat. Available at: [Accessed 5 Oct. 2019].

Zillow, I. (2019). Englewood Chicago IL Home Prices & Home Values | Zillow.


Zillow, I. (2019). Lincoln Park Chicago IL Home Prices & Home Values | Zillow.