This essay views David Austin’s Moving Against the System: The 1968 Congress of Black Writers and the Making of Global Consciousness through the prism of dread history as a way of considering how this text can be understood as a chronicling of the congress while also acting as a harbinger of the radical methodological impulses of dread history. Drawing on the speeches and proceedings detailed in the anthology, while also surveying the broader moment of the “global 1968,” the essay explores some of the antagonisms that underpinned the congress to examine the broader antagonisms of this moment, which include the “absented presence” of black women radicals. The essay ends with a meditation on the stakes of such a project for black Canada and its often veiled (but no less insurgent) dread-historical contributions to the global 1968 and current struggles for liberation.

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