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This essay considers Linton Kwesi Johnson’s 1980s and early 1990s dub poetry as the baseline for reading the last decade of the U.S.-Soviet conflict and its aftermath. Taking LKJ’s 1984 Making History album as a point of departure for a consideration of antiracist social formations that arose in the 1980s and 1990s and the transmission of anti-imperialist and antiracist ideas through popular music and the technologies of the mixtape and boombox, Von Eschen explores LKJ’s influential sonic linkage of black struggles in Britain to those of Caribbean and third world peoples, and to the revolutions of Eastern Europe and southern Africa and the anti-apartheid movement. As Making History tracked the “hot wars” in the third world, in the 1991 Tings an’ Times, and “New World Hawdah” (Order), amid celebrations of neoliberalism and globalization, LKJ provided a contrapuntal bassline to the hegemonic global dogma of privatization.

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