This chapter provides a substantive overview of the book’s themes and outlines key conceptual, practical and theoretical considerations concerning activist engagements with historical debates and materials from within earlier movements. Specifically, we draw from critical adult education scholarship to introduce and frame threads that run through the book about learning, knowledge production in social movements and organising. We contextualise and thematise the strong emphasis of the volume on South Africa, and attend to various debates around history and learning that emerge from anti-imperialist struggles and practice in other countries. We introduce four interconnected themes and discuss their significance with reference to critical literature. These are: 1) engaging with activist/movement archives; 2) learning and teaching militant histories; 3) lessons from liberatory and anti-imperialist struggles and 4) learning from student/education struggles.