Ismay MilfordJul 25, 2023
African Activists in a Decolonising World
The Making of an Anticolonial Culture, 1952-1966
Cambridge University Press 2023
As wars of liberation in Africa and Asia shook the post-war world, a cohort of activists from East and Central Africa, specifically the region encompassing present-day Malawi, Zambia, Uganda and mainland Tanzania, asked what role they could play in the global anticolonial landscape.
In African Activists in a Decolonising World: The Making of an Anticolonial Culture, 1952-1966 (Cambridge UP, 2023), Ismay Milford presents a social and intellectual history of decolonisation and anticolonialism in the 1950s and 1960s. Drawing on multi-archival research, she brings together their trajectories for the first time, reconstructing the anticolonial culture that underpinned their journeys to Delhi, Cairo, London, Accra and beyond. Forming committees and publishing pamphlets, these activists worked with pan-African and Afro-Asian solidarity projects, Cold War student internationals, spiritual internationalists and diverse pressure groups. Milford argues that a focus on their everyday labour and knowledge production highlights certain limits of transnational and international activism, opening up a critical - albeit less heroic - perspective on the global history of anticolonial work and thought.
Zeb Larson is a recent graduate of The Ohio State University with a PhD in History. His research deals with the anti-apartheid movement in the United States. To suggest a recent title or to contact him, please send an e-mail to email@example.com.