This essay is an introduction to a special section that focuses on the life and work of Anton de Kom, and especially on his seminal 1934 Wij slaven van Suriname. It forms part of a larger project that explores how a Caribbean intellectual tradition can be thought differently if greater attention is paid to the Dutch Caribbean. The essays included in the section demonstrate the shifting role that De Kom and his book have played—from the 1930s and the anxieties they created for the colonial state; to their international impact on other revolutionary movements, such as in Cuba; to their current mobilization by numerous young people of Surinamese descent in the Netherlands as part of an antiracist activism and politics of belonging. Almost ninety years after Wij slaven was first published, it has become a bestseller and De Kom has been named to the Dutch national historical canon. As more than political activism, the guest editors examine Anton de Kom in this Small Axe platform for Caribbean thought with the hope that these essays will stimulate even more scholarship on De Kom’s life and work and on the Dutch Caribbean more broadly, beyond the borders of the Dutch-speaking context.

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