Monkeywrench Press and The Worker Self-Education Foundation of the Industrial Workers of the World
This book, Anarchism and the Black Revolution, was a title that surprised me when I was trying to get to know the library book collection of the midwestern rural community college I was tasked with managing. Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin is a black power activist and anarchist who spent from 1969 to 1983 in prison for hijacking an aircraft. Before his incarceration he spent the late 60s in the black power movement as a member of the Black Panthers. Towards the end of his prison term he began to write anarchist pamphlets which are collected in this small volume.
One of the most interesting aspects of the first of his pamphlets collected here, “Anarchism and the Black Revolution”, was that Ervin attempted to chart an anarchist course for black revolutionary action in the US, divergent from the Maoist or pacifist courses of action taken by black revolutionaries before him. Furthermore, he addresses, in a 994 piece, issues of white privilege among anarchists and tackles the question of why there aren't more people of colour in the anarchist scene, a question that radical movements keep returning to. Ervin noted that white anarchists exercise their white privilege when they sweep questions of race to the side in strict favour of focusing on class issues. Ervin argues that black workers (along with women) have historically, and continue to be, placed below white men, who, as unionists, are collaborators of oppression when they claim this privilege.
He also advocates for the development of an international Anarchist Black Cross network, the anarchist prisoner support group that took up his case in the late 70s.
He wrote these pamphlets in prison and I don't know how many other things he wrote after his release or if prison was his most productive time as an anarchist philosopher. He does emphasize direct action in his work which he took to extremes in the 60s with ‘skyjacking’, and he also emphasizes the importance of the worker to social movements, and advocates anarcho-syndicalism.