Cedric J. Robinson, Modest Audacity, and the Black Radical Tradition

  • Jonathan D. Gomez Temple University Press
  • Jorge Ramirez
  • Ismael F. Illescas


The work and mentorship of Cedric J. Robinson inspired in us an obligation to locate alternative archives in which the extraordinary actions of ordinary people could be revealed, studied, and made useful to our own historical context. We came to understand why culture counts as a political process that registers and contests the deleterious impacts of racial regimes. Robinson’s public lectures and panel presentations encouraged us to understand that when accompanying social movements of racially oppressed people in particular, and aggrieved communities in general, we must take as a first premise that for people to survive in struggle, that survival must be on their own terms. He demonstrated that we cannot win against rapacious social forces with a bigger and meaner rapaciousness. We had to become capable of building relationships rooted in mutual respect and a commitment to social justice. We recognize this process as developing what Professor Robinson called a <i>modest audacity</i>