Kevin Okoth

Kevin Okoth is a member of the Salvage editorial collective. His first book, Red Africa: Reclaiming Revolutionary Black Politics, is out now.

Paper Grave: On Scholastique Mukasonga

Kevin Okoth, 14 December 2023

The Hutu authorities​ in Rwanda, Scholastique Mukasonga writes in The Barefoot Woman, portrayed the Tutsi as ‘inyenzi, cockroaches, insects it was only right to persecute and eventually exterminate’. The term inyenzi evoked images of an enemy that could survive anywhere, no matter the conditions, a pervasive force which had undermined Hutu civilisation. Mukasonga’s...

Textbook histories​ used to claim that independence in Africa was more or less complete by the mid-1960s. Decolonisation had lifted the white man’s burden and allowed African activists to strike out on their own – with a ceremonial nod to their European benefactors. But if this characterisation was absurd, so was the notion that colonial rule in Africa was an anomaly by the...

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. 

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences