We Are an African People: Black Power and Independent Education from the 1960s to the Present

Hardcover | January 22, 2016

byRussell J. Rickford

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By 1970, more than 60 "Pan African nationalist" schools, from preschools to post-secondary ventures, had appeared in urban settings across the United States. The small, independent enterprises were often accused of teaching hate and were routinely harassed by authorities. Yet theseinstitutions served as critical mechanisms for transmitting black consciousness. Founded by activist-intellectuals, the schools strove not simply to bolster the academic skills and self-esteem of inner-city African-American youth but also to decolonize minds and embody the principles ofself-determination and African identity. In We Are An African People, historian Russell Rickford traces the brief lives of these autonomous black institutions created to claim some of the self-determination that the integrationist civil rights movement had failed to provide. Influenced by Third World theorists and anticolonial movements,organizers of the schools saw formal education as a means of creating a vanguard of young activists devoted to the struggle for black political sovereignty throughout the world. Most of the schools were short-lived, but their stories have much to tell us about Pan Africanism as a social andintellectual movement and as a key part of an indigenous black nationalism.A former journalist, Rickford uses a virtually unknown movement to explore black nationhood and a particularly fertile period of political, cultural, and social revitalization that envisioned an alternate society.

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By 1970, more than 60 "Pan African nationalist" schools, from preschools to post-secondary ventures, had appeared in urban settings across the United States. The small, independent enterprises were often accused of teaching hate and were routinely harassed by authorities. Yet theseinstitutions served as critical mechanisms for transmit...

Russell J. Rickford is Assistant Professor of History at Cornell University. He is the author of Betty Shabazz: Surviving Malcolm X and the co-author of Spoken Soul: The Story of Black English.

other books by Russell J. Rickford

Spoken Soul: The Story of Black English
Spoken Soul: The Story of Black English

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:January 22, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199861471

ISBN - 13:9780199861477

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Rethinking Education, Black Power and the Radical Imagination1. Community Control and the Struggle for Black Education in the 1960s2. Black Studies and the Politics of "Relevance"3. The Evolution of Movement Schools4. African Restoration and the Politics of Culture5. The Maturation of Pan African Nationalism6. The Black University and the "Total Community"7. The End of IllusionsEpilogueNotesBibliographyIndex