Once there were humans… by Annie Paul

Writer’s brief

Starting with Dark Testament and Mine Boy in the early 1940s, Peter Abrahams has written extensively on the black man’s struggle for civil rights in Africa and the West during the first half of the 20th century. Some of his other books, including Tell Freedom and The Coyaba Chronicles, are autobiographical.

Born in Johannesburg to an Ethiopian father and South African mother of mixed race, Abrahams fled his homeland in 1939 after the government charged him with treason. After two years working on a ship, he settled in England where his passion for black liberation fit in with a colony of Pan-Africanists in London that included West Indians Padmore and Thompson, and fellow Africans Jomo Kenyatta and Kwame Nkrumah.

Abrahams was an established journalist when he arrived in Kingston in 1955 to write a book about Jamaica for the British Colonial Office. He had written for liberal publications like the Daily Worker and The Observer in England, and the New York Herald Tribune in the United States; Jamaica was an instant fascination.

Abrahams remained in Jamaica, working for numerous publications and radio stations and addressing the turbulent political climate in the country.

We engage his life and legacy on the eve of his 90th birthday, addressing his pan African vision and life long dream of a self-sufficient, free Jamaica.

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One Response to “Once there were humans… by Annie Paul”
  1. Anil Nauriya 8 April 2012 at 8:44 am #

    Good work, Annie
    Will look out for a more detailed account by you of Peter Abrahams’ life and work.
    He remains of legendary significance in South Africa.
    He is also perhaps now the only one still alive who participated in the Pan-African Congress at Manchester in 1945.

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