Freedomways Reader: Prophets in Their Own Country

By Esther Cooper Jackson; Constance Pohl | Go to book overview

PART THREE
International Solidarity

ESTHER COOPER JACKSON CONSTANCE POHL

At the close of World War II, revolutionary "winds of change" swept across Africa and transformed the continent. Africans revolted against the European empires and created independent nations where there once had been colonies. Many of the leaders of these anticolonial revolutions wrote for Freedomways, among them Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, Jomo Kenyatta, and Agostinho Neto.

Freedomways disseminated the writings of the African leaders in the United States, and it informed readers in Africa and Asia about the civil rights movement. By promoting the exchange among activists internationally, the journal advanced the liberation of all peoples.

The influence of W.E.B. Du Bois was evident in the journal's solidarity with Africa. Du Bois organized the Pan-African Conferences from 1919 to 1945, wrote many articles and books on African history and culture, and initiated the project of the Encyclopedia Africana. It is little wonder that leaders like Nkrumah called him the father of African liberation. Appropriately, Du Bois's "The American Negro and the Darker World" opens this section. In this article Du Bois described the legacy shared by all people of African descent, because of slavery and the European colonization in Africa. No one said it better than the Caribbean scholar and author of The Black Jacobins, C. L.R. James, in the memorial issue for Dr. Du Bois: "Far in advance

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