The black Trinidadian Marxist historian and writer Cyril Lionel Robert James was one of the twentieth century’s most remarkable Caribbean thinkers, perhaps best remembered as the author of the classic history of the Haitian Revolution, The Black Jacobins (1938). As well as writing a classic of revolutionary anti-colonialist literature, James – a creative and original anti-Stalinist Marxist theorist and Pan-Africanist activist – also made his mark as a novelist, playwright, sports writer, literary critic, and penetrating commentator on cultural matters.
C. L. R. James was born on 4 January 1901 in Trinidad, a tiny Caribbean island then languishing as a Crown colony in the economic backwaters of the British Empire. His parents, Robert and Ida Elizabeth James, were black and lower
Citation: Høgsbjerg, Christian. "C. L. R. James". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 June 2019 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=2334, accessed 30 November 2023.]