Between the Wars: Caribbean, Pan-African, and Asian Networks from (I) - Global Locals

Jarrett-Macauley, Delia and Nasta, Susheila (2020). Between the Wars: Caribbean, Pan-African, and Asian Networks from (I) - Global Locals. In: Nasta, Susheila and Stein, Mark U. eds. The Cambridge History of Black and Asian British Writing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 99–115.



As heart of empire, London was ‘home’ to a number of colonial writers and intellectuals from across the globe. Key figures in the history of black and Asian British writing such as activist George Padmore, the polymath novelist, dramatist, and political philosopher C. L. R. James, the poet, broadcaster, and dramatist, Una Marson, and a number of South Asians including Cedric Dover, Sajjad Zaheer, M. J. Tambimuttu, and Mulk Raj Anand were active also as public intellectuals in a wide range of political organisations and cultural networks including the Pan-African movement, the League of Coloured Peoples (1931), and the Progressive Writers Association (1935). This chapter outlines the histories, interrelationships, and connections across these distinct British-based political and cultural networks; it explores their objectives and demonstrates how their presence in Britain began to generate a number of parallel creative and political projects. These networks were to become of increasing significance in the formation of anti-colonial resistance and political movements in the period prior to Independence and decolonisation after World War II, connecting a number of these major literary figures.

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