Anton de Kom

Anton de Kom
Anton De Kom

Anton de Kom (Cornelis Gerhard Anton de Kom) was a Surinamese author, anti-colonial activist, trade unionist, and World War II resistance fighter. De Kom was born in Paramaribo, Suriname, a colony of the Netherlands, on February 22, 1898 to a former slave and farmer Adolf de Kom and a free woman Judith Jacoba Dulder.

Outside of his work, he engaged in leftist politics and activities, often affiliating with leftish groups that opposed European imperialism and fascism. He then began to pursue an independent Suriname.

The legacy of slavery and racial discrimination had long been a preoccupation of de Kom who wished to mitigate the effects of Dutch colonial rule in his homeland and inspire fellow Afro-Surinamese to find pride and confidence in themselves.  He believed these attributes were a prerequisite to controlling their own destiny. In 1926, he put his thoughts into writing at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (Royal Library). His book Wij Slaven van Suriname (We Slaves of Suriname), published in 1934, was the first history of and has been to W.E.B. DuBois’s classic The Souls of Black Folk.  As such, de Kom has been heralded the “W. E. DuBois of Suriname.””

Biography Source  

Texts by De Kom
  • We Slaves of Suriname” (2016)

    Citation: Kom, Anton de. We Slaves of Suriname. Pluto Press, 2016.
    Info: “We Slaves of Suriname tells the history of the formation of the former Dutch colony of Suriname in South America from the perspective of Anton De Kom, the son of a slave who became a tireless resistance fighter and a member of the Communist Party after the German occupation of the Netherlands in 1940. A key account of decolonialist history, We Slaves of Suriname integrates the experience of Suriname’s oppressed, multiethnic people into the greater history of South America and adds to the narrative of struggles against slavery, imperialism, and racism.”