Editorial: Communist states in postwar Africa

Issue: 
Autumn 2018
Author(s): 

The notion of ‘Red Africa’ can perhaps be dated to the period immediately following the Russian Revolution of October 1917. From that time, many Africans gravitated towards the revolutionary events in Russia and to Communism, seeing in them a path to their own liberation from colonial rule. The Communist Party in South Africa, founded in 1921 and one of the few on the African continent in the early twentieth century, soon had many black as well as white members. As one of its early leaders explained: ‘the influence of the Russian Revolution is felt far beyond the boundaries of the vast soviet Republic and probably has even more immediate appeal to the enslaved Coloured races of the earth than to Europeans’.