Synopses & Reviews
Edward Wilmot Blyden and the Racial Nationalist Imagination is a critical study of one of the most prolific and encyclopedic Black world intellectuals of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It shows the contradictions, ambiguities, complexities, and paradoxes in the ideology of Black racial nationalism as articulated by Blyden. Blyden was a modernist who called upon African Americans to uplift Africa; yet he was a defender of Africa's lives and customs. He was the most sophisticated critic of Eurocentrism; yet he was an avid Anglophile. He was a Protestant who admired Islam's civilizing role in Africa. Blyden was the first Black intellectual to advocate the need for the symbiosis of Africa's triple heritage: Indigenous, Islamic, and Western. He anticipated in remarkable detail Frantz Fanon, Amilcar Cabral, Chiekh Anta Diop, Leopold Sedar Senghor, Aime Cesaire, and Walter Rodney. Such a significant figure in the history of modern Black thought has been largely forgotten. In this book, Teshale Tibebu brings Blyden out of oblivion and engage him in critical inquiry. Teshale Tibebu is professor of history at Temple University. He is the author of The Making of Modern Ethiopia, 1896-1974, Hegel and Anti-Semitism, and Hegel and the Third World: The Making of Eurocentrism in World History.