Russell Rickford

We Are An African People

Independent Education, Black Power and the Radical Imagination

Oxford University Press 2016

New Books in African American StudiesNew Books in American StudiesNew Books in Critical TheoryNew Books in EducationNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in PoliticsNew Books in Politics & Society July 31, 2016 Lilian Calles Barger

Russell Rickford is an assistant professor of history at Cornell University. We Are an African People: Independent Education, Black Power and the Radical Imagination...

Russell Rickford is an assistant professor of history at Cornell University. We Are an African People: Independent Education, Black Power and the Radical Imagination (Oxford University Press, 2016) offers an intellectual history of the Pan African nationalist schools that emerged in the late 1960s from dissatisfaction with urban school desegregation and its failure to provide an equal education and foster racial pride. Influenced by Third World theories and African anti-colonial campaigns, these black institutions promoted self-determination and black political sovereignty. Beginning with the campaigns for the community control of schools to visions of a Black University, Rickford identifies the key ideological strengths and weaknesses that ultimately resulted in the failure to build strong independent institutions necessary for cultural renewal. The Afrocentric ideas and schools that survived were congruent with a neoliberal ideology that elided the socio-economic conditions of African Americans.


Lilian Calles Barger, www.lilianbarger.com, is a cultural, intellectual and gender historian. Her current book project is entitled The World Comes of Age: Religion, Intellectuals and the Challenge of Human Liberation.

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