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American Africans in Ghana: Black Expatriates and the Civil Rights Era / Edition 1 available in Paperback
In 1957 Ghana became one of the first sub-Saharan African nations to gain independence from colonial rule. Over the next decade, hundreds of African Americansincluding Martin Luther King Jr., George Padmore, Malcolm X, Maya Angelou, Richard Wright, Pauli Murray, and Muhammad Alivisited or settled in Ghana. Kevin K. Gaines explains what attracted these Americans to Ghana and how their new community was shaped by the convergence of the Cold War, the rise of the U.S. civil rights movement, and the decolonization of Africa.
Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's president, posed a direct challenge to U.S. hegemony by promoting a vision of African liberation, continental unity, and West Indian federation. Although the number of African American expatriates in Ghana was small, in espousing a transnational American citizenship defined by solidarities with African peoples, these activists along with their allies in the United States waged a fundamental, if largely forgotten, struggle over the meaning and content of the cornerstone of American citizenshipthe right to voteconferred on African Americans by civil rights reform legislation.
|Publisher:||The University of North Carolina Press|
|Series:||The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture|
|Product dimensions:||6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.90(d)|
What People are Saying About This
Gaines's book is groundbreaking in many respects. He shows that the expatriates were not disengaged from what was happening in the United States; on the contrary, their perspective was shaped invariably by their location in Nkrumah's Ghana. They understood freedom and liberation not in national terms but in global terms, linking the struggles in the United States with anticolonial movements around the world. Gaines looks at how these transnational intellectual exchanges shaped black politics and culture on both sides of the Atlantic, providing ample evidence to challenge contemporary nationalist notions of diaspora as cultural unity to show, instead, that diaspora is made through engagement, travel, exchange, and struggle.Robin D. G. Kelley, Columbia University