HIST 2354 African American Visions of Africa (also AMST 2354, ASRC 2354) (HA-AS, HST-AS) (HNA)
Monday and Wednesday: 2:55-4:10 plus Independent Research
Professor Russell Rickford
This seminar examines some of the political and cultural visions of Africa and Africans held by African-American intellectuals and activists in the 19th and 20th centuries. Emphasis is placed on the philosophies of black nationalism, Pan Africanism and anticolonialism and the themes of emigration, expatriation, repatriation and exile. Awareness of Africa and attitudes toward the continent and its peoples have profoundly shaped African-American identity, culture and political consciousness. Notions of a linked fate between Africans and black Americans have long influenced black life and liberation struggles within the U.S. The motives, purposes and outlooks of African-American theorists who have claimed political, cultural, or spiritual connection to Africa and Africans have varied widely, though they have always powerfully reflected black experiences in America and in the West. The complexity and dynamism of those views belie simplistic assumptions about essential or “natural” relationships, and invite critical contemplation of the myriad roles that Africa has played in the African-American mind.