Komozi Woodard // Rethinking the Black Power Movement

Rethinking the Black Power Movement – [exhibitions.nypl.org] – Black Power radicals like Baraka supported not only Castro’s Cuban Revolution but also the pan-African socialist experiments in Ghana designed by Kwame Nkrumah; and his generation identified with such writers as Aimé Césaire in Martinique and Ngugi Wa Thiong’o in Kenya. They sought the truth of black liberation in the pages of Frantz Fanon’s writings, from Black Skin, White Masks’s theory of identity crisis to The Wretched of the Earth’s jeremiad against the betrayal of the African bourgeoisie.

In 1961 when Baraka was arrested at the United Nations, protesting the murder of Patrice Lumumba, the premier of the Congo, the African Americans actively supporting African liberation represented only a handful of the activists inspired by the independence movements in such African nations as the Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, and Guinea. However, by 1970 the efforts by Black Power nationalists to support African liberation reflected the sentiments of millions of African Americans who grew up during the triumph of freedom movements from Tanganyika to Algeria

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