In December 2020 I spoke to the UCL Institute of the Americas on Walter Rodney’s astonishing lectures in Hamburg in 1978. 

Between April and June of 1978, Walter Rodney, then already an important intellectual for his book, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, was invited to teach a course, ‘One Hundred Years of Development in Africa,’ at the University of Hamburg. What we see in the Hamburg lectures is a shift in Rodney’s work toward the self-activity—the occupations and ‘wild-cat strikes’—of the working class, not as one of numerous players in the revolution, but as the central organizing force.