American Africans in Ghana: Black Expatriates and the Civil Rights Era

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UNC Press Books, Dec 30, 2012 - Social Science - 360 pages
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 Muhammad Ali--visited 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 citizenship--the right to vote--conferred on African Americans by civil rights reform legislation.


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Kevin Gaines explores the connection between African-Americans, Pan-Africanism and African Liberation. He uses Ghana as a crossroads because it was the first sub-saharan country to achieve ... Read full review


Watching the World from Ghana
Black Modernity Subjecthood and Demands for Full Citizenship
Black Intellectuals and the Anticolonial Critique of Western Culture
Nkrumah the Expatriates and Postindependence Ghana 19571960
The Congo Crisis and an African American Womans Dilemma
Julian Mayfield and the Radical Afros
6 Malcolm X in Ghana
7 The Coup
Ways of Seeing Ways of Being
Memory and the Transnational Dimensions of African American Citizenship
Selected Bibliography

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About the author (2012)

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.

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