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Tim Hector - A Caribbean Radical's Story

The first biography of the influential Antiguan journalist and follower of C. L. R. James


Tim Hector (1942–2002) played many roles—political philosopher, educator, literary and music critic, cricket administrator, political leader, and newspaper editor. Best known for his editorship of the newspaper Outlet and his cofounding of the Afro-Caribbean Liberation Movement, Hector struggled for the independence of his native island Antigua. As a disciple of C. L. R. James, he was one of the Pan-African movement's most vital figures, and his regular column “Fan the Flame” in Outlet was followed avidly throughout the Caribbean. His insights into regional history, politics, cricket, and literature were eagerly awaited.

Biographer Paul Buhle traces Hector's intellectual development and explores how the editor-activist's political philosophy evolved from an early island nationalism and militant Marxism into an embrace of democratic self-determination and of political union in a future Caribbean nation. Hector's Afro-Caribbean Liberation Movement labored to make Black Nationalism into a generous vision of collective pride and historical destiny, with no one excluded. His trials and travails—loss of a teaching career, arrests, destruction of his printing press, the murder of his wife, betrayal by the political leaders he supported—were frankly revealed in his columns.

Hector's life and work offer a saga of Caribbean achievement and anxiety, at once racial, political, economic, and ecological. Through the lens of Hector, Buhle gives the reader insight into the radical movements in the British West Indies. Hector's story unfolds in a region full of turmoil but also full of promise.