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American Africans in Ghana: Black Expatriates and the Civil Rights Era (The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture)
 
 

American Africans in Ghana: Black Expatriates and the Civil Rights Era (The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture) [Kindle Edition]

Kevin K. Gaines

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Review

"A superb, scholarly text on pan-Africanism. Gaines gives a detailed analysis of the interconnections between African American and Caribbean activists and the pioneers of African decolonization in Ghana. The author leaves no stone unturned, providing details about Western complicity in the death of Lumumba, the silencing of black intellectuals during the Cold War, and African American activism in the anti-apartheid movement. Gaines profoundly discusses the intersection of the Civil Rights Movement, political decolonization, and US foreign policy. In the process, he charts the course of numerous distinguished personalities in the contemporary US."--"Choice"

Product Description

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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When the West African nation of Ghana gained its independence from British colonial rule in 1957, people of African descent the world over celebrated the new nation as a beacon for their aspirations for freedom and self-determination. Over the next decade, hundreds of African Americans--including Martin Luther King Jr., George Padmore, W. E. B. Du Bois, Malcolm X, Maya Angelou, Richard Wright, Pauli Murray, C. L. R. James, and Muhammad 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.
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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2316 KB
  • Print Length: 358 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0807830089
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 1 edition (17 April 2006)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008HDOR2E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,075,282 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reconnecting with Africa 21 Dec 2010
By Lionel S. Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
American Africans in Ghana by Kevin K. Gaines is similar to a previous book that I reviewed in that it traces the African American expatriate community in Ghana. Rather than treat them as a group, however, this book focuses on individuals and their personal experiences in the country. This approach has its strengths and weaknesses and this book shows both. The main problem with focusing on just a handful of people is that it is hard to get enough documentable evidence of their feeling and reasons for their actions in Ghana. The author is forced to speculate on the subjects' motives. The mail problem is that for one who is not all that familiar with the history of Ghana before the coup, it is hard to follow what is going on in the country as a whole. That being said there are also many advantages.
By focusing on individuals, the author can delve into question that would be more of a challenge just looking through the macro picture. Questions such as what role can these expatriates play in Ghana and how do they stay in contact with what is going on back in the U.S. are asked by the author. An especially interesting part of the book for me was the description of how many such as Richard Wright had trouble adjusting to life in Africa and in the end failed to achieve the feeling of home coming that many left the states to do.
While this book does tend to drag in places it is interesting and would be a useful resource for anyone wanting to learn more about the people profiled and question like where do African Americans fit into the larger African Diaspora community. This book sheds some light on some prominent African American leaders in a part of their lives that is seldom seen.
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for those interested in black radical histories 12 Nov 2012
By FG - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a fascinating book that draws on lots of unpublished and rare sources from the early days of Ghanian independence and its political intertwinement with the aims of African American radicals of the era. Gaines' work adds a wonderful international context to the American civil rights movement, and I'm glad I found this book when searching for a political history of Ghana.
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