Date of Award

5-2009

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Afro-American Studies

First Advisor

John H. Bracey

Second Advisor

James Smethurst

Third Advisor

Agustin Lao-Montes

Subject Categories

African American Studies | Comparative Literature

Abstract

As a political, social, and cultural ideology, Pan-Africanism has been a complex movement attempting to ameliorate the dehumanizing effects of "the global Eurocentric colonial/modern capitalist model of power," which Anibal Quijano (2000) refers to as "the coloniality of power." The destructive forces of the coloniality of power--beginning with the transatlantic slave trade--that led to the dispersal and displacement of millions of Africans subsequently facilitated the creation of Pan-African political and cultural consciousness. Thus, this dissertation examines diverse articulations of Pan-African politics of cultural struggle as a response to racist and sexist oppression and economic exploitation of Afro-descendants. I am specifically interested in the formation of international politico-cultural movements, such as the Black Arts movement, Négritude, and the Pan-African Cultural Revolution and their ideological alignments to political liberation struggles for the emancipation of people of African descent. With varying degrees of revolutionary commitment, intellectuals in each of these movements utilized literary and cultural production to raise the political consciousness of Africans and Afro-descendants to combat forces that oppressed their communities. To demonstrate this, my dissertation historicizes and analyzes the numerous Pan-African festivals, congresses, and conferences, which occurred between 1965 and 1977, while interrogating the specific manifestations of "translocal" contacts and linkages between movement intellectuals. I chose to focus on these years because they roughly correspond with the historical time period known as the Black Arts movement in North America (1965-1975), which had a vibrant, yet understudied Pan-African worldview. Moreover, while Pan-Africanism gained considerable traction after World War II, it was particularly between 1966 and 1977 that intellectuals aligned with Négritude and Pan- African Marxism competed for ideological hegemony of the movement on the African continent and in the African Diaspora.

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