Modibo M. Kadalie and Andrew Zonneveld: Re-learning the past to re-imagine the future

Roar Magazine | January 22, 2022

In his new book, Modibo Kadalie examines the convergence of maroon and Indigenous cultures in the US and rediscovers a lost history of intimate direct democracy.

Dr. Modibo M. Kadalie is a social ecologist, activist, academic and lifelong radical organizer from Riceboro, Georgia. He was a participant in the civil rights, Black Power and pan-Africanist movements beginning with the 1960 lunch counter sit-ins in Atlanta. In the 1970s, he was a member of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers and the African Liberation Support Committee and a delegate to the Sixth Pan-African Congress. He has also been a draft dodger, brewery worker, cab driver and a professor of political science. He retired from Fayetteville State University in 2010 and founded the Autonomous Research Institute for Direct Democracy and Social Ecology in 2017.

Modibo’s most recent book, Intimate Direct Democracy: Fort Mose, the Great Dismal Swamp, and the Human Quest for Freedom, is a critical reexamination of the history and historiography surrounding two sites of African maroonage in North America: the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia and North Carolina; and Fort Mose in Florida. In the book, he argues that maroon communities were actually ethnically diverse sites where freedom-seekers fleeing oppressive societies established socially intimate forms of democracy, echoing longstanding directly democratic traditions from both Africa and the Indigenous peoples of the Americas.

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