The History of American Education
Part I:
Black Power, Pan Africanist Schools, and Liberated Territories

with Russell Rickford
Tuesday, October 12, 2021
4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. EDT

Registration is closed.
Deadline: October 11.

During the Black Power era of the late 1960s and 1970s, the idea that African Americans were a colonized people was a key political belief for many activists, including organizers of Pan Africanist schools. Most of these thinkers viewed “national liberation” as the way to solve African Americans’ oppression. But the concept of “liberated territories” in the United States—inspired by Southern African areas that freedom fighters had taken back from colonial powers—offered an alternative, in theory, to black nationhood. Viewing African American communities not as colonies awaiting nationhood but as potential zones of insurgent democracy transformed black radical theory and activism. Connecting these dots of radical practices from the 1970s to today, Professor Russell Rickford will discuss grassroots efforts to put  oppressed people in command of their lives.

Russell Rickford is an associate professor of history at Cornell University. He specializes in African American political culture after World War Two, the Black Radical Tradition, and transnational social movements. His current book, We Are an African People: Independent Education, Black Power, and the Radical Imagination, received the Liberty Legacy Award from the Organization of American Historians. He is currently working on a book about Guyana and African American radical politics in the 1970s. Rickford’s scholarly articles have appeared in Journal of American History, Journal of African American History, Souls, New Labor Review, and other publications. His popular writing has appeared in publications such as In These Times, Truthout, Washington Post, Counterpunch, Black Agenda Report, and Africa is a Country. Rickford holds a bachelor’s from Howard University and a doctorate from Columbia University. Born in Guyana, he lives in Ithaca, New York.

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