Abstract Pan-Africanism is a complex stream of black radical political thought. Deploying the framework of a black radical intellectual and political tradition, this article chronicles the political work and ideas of the Caribbean radical intellectual, C.L.R. James, in his second American sojourn in the late 1960s. During this second sojourn, James worked with a group of former SNCC activists in Washington DC, who gathered around the Centre for Black Education. This work culminated in the 1974 Sixth Pan-African Congress held in Tanzania. The article suggests that James' political ideas and practice drew heavily on the political practice of George Padmore around African political independence, and that the second American sojourn consolidated James' reputation as a leading Pan-African figure of the 20th century.