For this episode we interview with Marika Sherwood. As she mentions in the episode, Sherwood was born into a Jewish family in Budapest, Hungary in 1937. After World War 2, the surviving members of her family emigrated with her to Australia, she was briefly employed in New Guinea, and eventually emigrated to England, finding employment as a teacher in London. She will discuss on the episode how she became dedicated to researching and publishing Black history. Along with Hakim Adi and others, Sherwood is one of the founders of the Black and Asian Studies Association in the UK.
For us, this conversation was primarily spurred by our reading of her book Kwame Nkrumah and the Dawn of the Cold War, The West African National Secretariat 1945-1948.
In this conversation Sherwood touches on some of the methods used by British government and the British press to suppress the organizing Kwame Nkrumah - along with others like George Padmore - was engaged in, during this post-war period, which was essential to the African anti-colonial movement.
She also talks about areas where she sees a need for further research on anticolonial movements and counterintelligence operations against them. Sherwood also stresses the need for the UK to release more documentation on its own counterintelligence operations against Nkrumah, Padmore and others.
Because there are aspects of the book that we weren’t really able to touch on in this conversation I’m going to offer a brief summary of some of the interesting points before the discussion. We encourage people to check it out, and to check out Sherwood’s other work as well. To give you an idea, she sent us a list of her publications and it was 8 pages long, including over 20 books. In addition to Kwame Nkrumah, her books include work on Pan-Africanism, Claudia Jones, and Malcolm X.
In many ways this is more of a conversation about dedication, for Sherwood we get some understanding of why she has dedicated so much of her life to studying African movements and Black History. It also hopefully give us some sense of the dedication that Kwame Nkrumah had to all the peoples of Africa. And it also highlights the dedication of British Empire to undermining the conditions for true self-determination on the African continent and their dedication to deliberately hiding that legacy out of public record.
We hope you enjoy this episode. This is our fifth episode of August, we already have a bunch of really exciting conversations slated to come out in September and October as well. If you’d like to become a patron of the show, you can become one for as little as $1 a month. It is with the generous support of our listeners that we can continue to bring you these conversations every week.