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

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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 Ghan 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. 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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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 Ghan 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. 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.

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

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Bobbitt

    Gaines writes well, and is a lovely person to email about questions.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    This was assigned for a class (and not my primary time period), however I still found it an interesting read. Gaines looks at the cold war era civil rights movement from a transnational perspective.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  4. 5 out of 5

    Connie

  5. 5 out of 5

    saenamaen

  6. 4 out of 5

    Clancy Lu

  7. 5 out of 5

    Heather

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    Ian

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michael O'Brien

  10. 5 out of 5

    Christina Marie

  11. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Herbert

  12. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tia-simone

  14. 4 out of 5

    Paul

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sonja Snow

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mekiya

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dionna

  19. 5 out of 5

    David

  20. 4 out of 5

    Holly Genovese

  21. 4 out of 5

    Therese Kennelly

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dwight

  23. 5 out of 5

    Emi

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    Carl

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shango67

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  27. 5 out of 5

    crenee

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bernie

  29. 4 out of 5

    Steve

  30. 5 out of 5

    Josh

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    Batya

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    Valerie

  33. 4 out of 5

    Sphinx

  34. 5 out of 5

    Trina

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    Elizabeth

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    Addoley

  37. 4 out of 5

    P. Es

  38. 4 out of 5

    Anne

  39. 5 out of 5

    Megan

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    Beth Fowler

  41. 4 out of 5

    Nina

  42. 4 out of 5

    Ademola Adeleke

  43. 5 out of 5

    Eric

  44. 5 out of 5

    Omowale Jabali

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