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American Africans in Ghana: Black Expatriates and the Civil Rights Eraby Kevin K. Gaines
Synopses & Reviews
Gaines's signal achievement is that he skillfully has placed this narrative in the broad context of black internationalism. . . . Gaines has demonstrated how the expatriate experience is linked to the expansive history of antiracist and anticolonial thought and practice in the African diaspora. He has written a book that is indispensable for a complete grasp of that history." — Journal of American History This book gives unprecedented insight into both the promise and the challenge of Pan-Africanism.
Brent Hayes Edwards, author of The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism Gaines's book is groundbreaking in many respects providing ample evidence to challenge contemporary nationalist notions of diaspora.
Robin D. G. Kelley, Columbia University He has written a book that is indispensable for a complete grasp of that history.
The Journal of American History In American Africans in Ghana, Kevin Gaines offers a richly detailed portrait of the community that gathered in Ghana around Nkrumah.
New York Review of Books Gaines has written an excellent and important book.
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 Americans--including Martin Luther King Jr., George Padmore, Malcolm X, Maya Angelou, Richard Wright, Pauli Murray, and Muhammed Ali--visited or settled in Ghana. Kevin K. Gaines explains what attracted these expatriates 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.
Posing a direct challenge to U.S. hegemony, Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's president, promoted 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 waged along with their allies in the United States a fundamental, if largely forgotten, struggle over the meaning and content of the formal American citizenship conferred on African Americans by civil rights reform legislation.
When Ghana became one of the first sub-Saharan African nations to gain independence from colonial rule in 1957, hundreds of African Americans—including Martin Luther King Jr., George Padmore, Malcolm X, Maya Angelou, Richard Wright, Pauli Murray, and Muhammed Ali—visited or settled in Ghana. Gaines explains what attracted these expatriates 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.
About the Author
Kevin K. Gaines is director of the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies and professor of history at the University of Michigan. He is author of the award-winning Uplifting the Race: Black Leadership, Politics, and Culture during the Twentieth Century, also from The University of North Carolina Press.
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