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James Gethyn Evans is a PhD student at Harvard University and Communications Officer at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. His research interests include China’s foreign policy during the Cold War, interactions between state and nonstate actors, and the global legacies of Maoism.

Maoism, Anti-Imperialism, and the Third World


The Case of China and the Black Panthers

At the height of the Cultural Revolution, Maoist China became a symbol for anti-imperialist movements throughout an imagined ‘Third World’. While scholarly attention has been paid to Third-World Maoism in countries of the Global South, fewer scholars have considered how Maoism was received by organisations within the ‘First World’ that considered themselves part of the global Third-World struggle against oppression. This essay helps to address this gap by examining how the Black Panther Party in the United States was inspired by Mao Zedong’s writings and formed connections with the Chinese Communist Party.

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