12th Annual Walter Rodney Symposium Biographies

Posted on Mar 18, 2015 in 12th Annual Symposium

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Dr. Walter Rodney

Rodney’s writings show how deeply he was committed to the liberation of Africa, including his discourse on the history of agriculture and sustainability and reliability of its food systems. In The Groundings with My Brothers, there is an entire chapter dedicated to African History and Culture, within which Rodney discusses the rich history of Africa, including advanced methods of agriculture, metalworks, and the development of religion, politics, education, literature and art. Rodney wrote about the advanced methods of agriculture that developed in Africa many hundreds of years before Europeans made contact with the continent, and that agriculture meant food to support a growing population, a foundational part of the building of a stable society. In How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, Rodney stressed that Africans have shown the means to live a more satisfactory life by learning how to exploit natural resources. Rodney studied the evolution of food gathering and sustainable food sources and explained how important these systems were for contemporary African societies to flourish. While many had explored the conquest and degradation of Africa by the Europeans, Rodney was the first to focus on the economic structures imposed by Europe that arrested the development of the continent.