This is an analysis of the complex links between Black America and Africa in the period of 1880 to 1945. It examines an extended white attempt to pattern politics and education in colonial Africa upon the example of the U.S. South. This export of United States race relations to Africa was resisted by Black intellectuals in the United States and many of the early nationalists in Africa. At another level, the study offers an original account of the parallel and related development of the education systems of the U.S. South and Kenya, revealing in both spheres the essentially political nature of African and Black American education. Through extensive research in Black colleges, philanthropic foundations, and Christian missions, a wealth of new material has been collated also on early pan-African politicians, Black missionaries to Africa, and African students in the United States.Although the narrative is peppered with the most delightful character sketches of early African and other Black leaders, the author’s main concern is to interpret the quality of life amongst Black people at home and abroad. He does so by employing a wide historical perspective and by infusing into his study of particular pan-African actors his knowledge of the intellectual and political climate at large. He produces in the process a vivid participator’s commentary on whole areas that have been quite neglected in conventional studies of pan-Africanism. Black intergroup relations in North America and the African diaspora in the Caribbean; race relations in Britain; Black intellectuals and the white Left; Black expatriates and African socialism—these are just a few of the themes examined against a background of individual famous personalities as well as others not documented before. With an autobiographical thread that runs throughout, Makonnnen’s narrative is a uniquely diversified pan-African portrait.

Pan-Africanism and Education: A Study of Race, Philanthropy and Education

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