A tribute to A.Sivanandan


OBV Director Simon Woolley pays tribute to A.Sivanandan

Myself, and everyone at Operation Black Vote, are greatly saddened to learn of the death of A.Sivanandan.

Ambalavaner Sivanandan was a giant of Black intellectual thinking, and his writings are an inspiration to generations of activists and academics alike.

He led the Institute for Race Relations with distinction for almost three decades, and his Race & Class journal was essential reading for those engaged in the struggle for equality.

His work chronicled post-war Black politics, and strengthened the movement for change within the context of anti-racism and anti-imperialism.

His essays united the Black and white working class by showing the common cause they shared, and gave both meaning and depth to ‘Black’ as a political term.

It is to the determent of the struggle that some of these lessons have been forgotten.

And his focus on racist policing and deaths in custody paved the way for the changes that followed, even though there is still a long way to go.

A.Sivanandan was a true internationalist, a humanitarian and a storyteller. Someone who did not seek the limelight but was driven to make a contribution.

That he did. One of a kind, and will be greatly missed.

Simon Woolley, Director of Operation Black Vote