"Filling the Gap": Intergenerational Black Radicalism and the Popular Front Ideals of Freedomways Magazine's Early Years, (1961-1965)
Rocksborough-Smith, Ian, Afro-Americans in New York Life and History
In 1965, two years after Paul Robeson returned to the United States from a five-year sojourn abroad induced by vicious red-baiting, Freedomways' managing editor Esther Cooper Jackson and associate editor Jack O'Dell helped organize a tribute for him at the Hotel Americana near Times Square in New York City. (2) Among the 2500 people who filled the hotel's Albert Hall that night was a diverse group of New York's black public figures, notably actors, musicians, artists, writers and intellectuals. Harlem's famous theatrical couple, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, were the M.C.s for the evening. They had been closely involved with Freedomways for much of its existence, generously donating their time and money and hosting numerous other events and fundraisers for the magazine; Dee would later become an editor. (3) At the tribute, Dee and Davis introduced high profile speakers such as writers James Baldwin (4) and John Oliver Killens, Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) National Chair John Lewis, and Marxist historian Herbert Aptheker. (5) Progressive white folk singer Pete Seeger also gave a performance. The event's 171 sponsors were a "Who's Who" of famous black New Yorkers and included the likes of actress Diana Sands, musicians John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie and Billy Taylor, and comedian Dick Gregory. (6) Others, like John Lewis, were intensely involved in the day-to-day tasks of civil rights movement organizing. International sponsors also sent greetings to the Salute, including Jawaharlal Nehru of India, African American exiles in Ghana like Shirley Graham Du Bois and Alphaeus Hunton, and the artists and directors of the Moscow Art Theatre. (7)
In short, the Freedomways tribute to Robeson included an extraordinary mixture of high profile liberal and leftist personalities given the Cold War context and the supposedly marginalized position of the guest of honour. (8) It was precisely this heterogeneity, articulated in the pages of the magazine, and featured at public events like the tribute to Robeson, that would demonstrate how prominent radical continuities could mirror the black Popular Front of previous decades and persist into this period of the African American freedom struggle.
The emergence of Freedomways in the early 1960s complicates the arguments of many historians who overlook continuities in emphasizing change in the struggle for black liberation in the mid-twentieth Century. Much civil rights literature correctly extends the chronology of the movement back to include the industrial unionism, New Deal activism, and anticolonialism of the 1930s and 1940s with the dominant narrative of anti-racist protest during the 1950s and 1960s. However, this literature does not examine the continuities between the two eras, instead stressing their qualitative differences. Thus, many writers lament the decline of African American left and labour-oriented internationalism in the face of McCarthyist intimidation during the late 1940s and 1950s. (9) Others suggest that an internationalist civil rights anti-racism survived the 1950s but was primarily pro-American--pragmatically following the Cold War liberal consensus of anti-communism and anti-leftism, but nonetheless advancing the cause of racial justice in the United States. (10) There is a growing body of literature, which shows that radical politics survived from an earlier era and stayed the course through the repressive red baiting of the 1950s to significantly influence the tactics, strategies, and culture of the freedom struggle that emerged from that decade. (11) But unlike much of this literature, which stresses the diffuse intellectual, literary, and strategic continuities of these radical politics, (12) a case study of Freedomways provides concrete evidence that not only the ideas, but the activists and activism of earlier decades survived the McCarthyism of the 1950s to have a definite impact on the civil rights movement and black political discourse of the early-mid 1960s.
These figures carried with them the consensual and non-sectarian organizing strategies of Popular Front anti-racism that had been developed in formations like the Council on African Affairs (CAA), the National Negro Congress (NNC), the Civil Rights Congress (CRC) and the Southern Negro Youth Congress (SNYC) in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, engaging in constructive dialogues with the militant integrationist and non-violent practitioners of the civil rights mainstream of the late 1950s and 1960s. In effect, the magazine's early years demonstrated the truly intergenerational and protracted nature of the struggle for racial justice and equality in the U.S. through the available channels of what Nikhil Pal Singh calls the black "counter public sphere"--a counter-hegemonic space that fostered the independent dialogues taking place between many significant black intellectuals, activists and public figures. (13)
As such, Freedomways' celebration of Paul Robeson in the mid-1960s and the magazine's remembrance of his eminent colleague, W.E.B. Du Bois--"the two giants of the century" as Esther Cooper Jackson called them in a recent interview (14)--can be seen as part of a continuum of activities led by African Americans over several decades that were oriented towards forming effective, internationalist anti-racist coalitions. In the vanguard of these coalitions was a committed holdover generation of older guard left-wing activists who had been involved with the Popular Front movements of the 1930s and 1940s, aptly analyzed by Penny Von Eschen in her study of black anticolonialism and epitomized by the activities of Robeson and Du Bois' left-leaning Council on African Affairs (CAA). (15) While commonly associated with the sectarianism of the Communist Party, the Popular Front politics from this earlier era also helped an associated front of liberals and leftists (especially cultural workers and intellectuals) to organize together in progressive community coalitions, unions, and government-sponsored public work projects. (16) A number of these people emerged from such experiences to be confronted during the early Cold War with severely repressive McCarthyist red-baiting, regardless of whether they were in the Communist Party of the United States (CP) or not. They maintained a radical anticolonial consciousness throughout this time that made civil rights struggle about more than simply legislative reform. To them, it was always about addressing what Martin Luther King, Jr. would later identify as the troika of injustice: poverty, racism, and militarism. (17)
Thus to many black radicals who lived through the anticolonial culture of the Popular Front coalitions, the Afro-Asian Conference in Bandung, Indonesia in 1955, the first World Conference of Black Writers and Artists, at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1956, and the Cuban revolution of 1959 had as much importance as the Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954 when public school segregation in the United States was overturned. As Peniel Joseph puts it, the late 1950s and 1960s featured "an emerging Third World solidarity that challenged white supremacy at the global level ... and exported race and class consciousness through back channels unimpeded by the Cold War's ideological restrictions." (18)
Indeed, Freedomways came out of a decade that saw a flourishing of activities in these back channels. Author Richard Wright, while living abroad, wrote about the relevance of anticolonialism to the struggles of black Americans, while many people such as Shirley Graham Du Bois and Alphaeus Hunton were inspired by the emergence of independent nations like Kwame Nkrumah's Ghana and Patrice Lumumba's Congo and moved to Africa. (19) Publications such as Presence Africaine and Robert Williams's Crusader re-injected international black political discourse with a renewed commitment to pan-Africanism, while in the U.S (and especially in New York), nationalist publications like the Nation of Islam's Muhammad Speaks, Umbra, On Guard, and Dan Watts's The Liberator existed alongside Freedomways to continue the broadly-based black radicalism that Paul Robeson had been espousing for decades with the CAA and the short-lived Freedom newspaper of the early 1950s. (20) As such, Freedomways became part of a vibrant literary scene that networked frequently with anticolonial liberation struggles in Africa (and throughout Asia and Latin America) and that prefigured the Black Arts and Black Power nationalism most evident by the mid-late 1960s and 1970s.
The magazine also acted as an early advocate of the anti-Vietnam war movement and provided a forum for invoking the Popular Front ideals of an earlier generation of activists in the civil rights struggles of the early 1960s. The magazine emulated the advocacy work done by W.E.B. Du Bois, Paul Robeson, and Freedomways' founding editor, Alphaeus Hunton in the 1940s CAA, while many of its other founders and early editors, such as Esther Cooper Jackson, Augusta Strong, and Jack O'Dell drew their inspiration from their experiences in the counter-hegemonic formations of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s like the SNYC, the NNC, and the anti-racist locals of the CIO. By making substantial connections between the racialized economic realities of colonial rule in Africa (and much of the Third World) and racialized poverty in the United States, the magazine continued the work of this older generation of left-wing anti-racist activists.
In this article, I will chart the magazine's growing influence as an organ of the black Left during the early 1960s and demonstrate how it became a significant forum for the expression of strategic thinking associated with the black freedom struggle of the 20th Century--particularly the articulation of an intergenerational dialogue crucial to a nuanced understanding of this long struggle. Prominent younger activists and writers in their twenties and thirties involved with the Civil Rights movement as well as the nascent Black Arts Movement had material that appeared in the publication alongside salient strategy pieces by older and less prominent figures such as Jack O'Dell, Robert Browne, John Henrik Clarke, and Ernest Kaiser, who by the early 1960s were in or approaching their 40s and 50s. In addition, a multi-generational group of African Americans living abroad in Africa and elsewhere, including the elderly Shirley Graham and middle-aged Alphaeus Hunton, as well as younger figures such as Jean Carey Bond, frequently helped solicit and write material for the magazine. They helped build and advocate for international anticolonial networks of solidarity that were in many ways a deliberate continuation of those networks sustained by activists in the CAA of the 1940s and 1950s. Finally, in sponsoring numerous high profile community and cultural fundraising events in tribute to the "two giants," the magazine tapped into a broad intergenerational public sphere of support for independent black initiative that sustained it financially and provided a printed medium for these radical Popular Front politics and their continuing influence in the post-World War II Civil Rights movement.
"A GROUP OF FRIENDS"
Indeed, Freedomways' founders picked up what remained of the black Left of previous decades. As Esther Cooper Jackson indicated in a recent interview, those activists who helped conceive Freedomways magazine in New York during the early 1960s--namely Augusta and Edward Strong, and Louis and Dorothy Burnham--"were a group of friends" who had all been key actors in the Southern Negro Youth Congress's wide-ranging struggles for social justice in the 1930s and 1940s. (21) From these experiences in the Southern States, they carried with them the intent of recreating similar Popular Front organizations through their activism in New York during the 1950s and 1960s, such as Paul Robeson's short-lived Freedom paper. Historian Lawrence Lamphere suggests Freedom was basically "an attempt by a small group of black activists, most of them Communists, to provide Robeson with a base in Harlem and a means of reaching his public." (22) Unfortunately, the paper "hit right at the heart of the McCarthy era [1951-55]" and, unlike Monthly Review, lasted only five years because of terminal financial difficulties and anti-communist FBI harassment. (23) From their SNYC experience, the founders of Freedomways felt that coalition-building was the most effective way to organize against racism and for progressive change in American society.
Essentially, the founders of Freedomways had been involved in social movements that "crested in the 1940s" and that were "sparked by the alchemy of laborites, civil rights activists, progressive New Dealers, and black and white radicals, some of whom were associated with the Communist Party." (24) They managed to survive the repression of the Cold War in the late 1940s and early 1950s and carried forth the radical and progressive ideals of these movements--what Robert Korstad called "civil rights unionism" and what Martha Biondi called the "[b]lack Popular Front"--into the best known period for civil rights activism, namely the 1950s and 1960s. (25)
According to Esther Cooper Jackson, Ed Strong and Louis Burnham had thought of the original idea for Freedomways during the mid-50s as a continuation of Freedom newspaper and the Freedom Fund that backed it financially. (26) With the approach of the 1960s, when the height of McCarthyist repression was over and black struggles in America were again taking centre stage in the southern states, Burnham and Strong wanted there to be a similar publication to Freedom paper which could be, as Jackson explained, a "political magazine and also a cultural magazine ... which would provide some guidance to civil rights during that period in history." (27) Because of their organizational experiences together in SNYC (they had co-edited SNYC's newspaper Cavalcade), Burnham wanted Jackson to take a managing role with the new magazine. Unfortunately, Burnham suffered a massive heart attack and died in 1960, never to see his dream become a reality. Nonetheless, the idea behind Freedomways did not die, since Jackson and those who remained from SNYC were together in New York City and part of a progressive community of activists, artists, and intellectuals that helped to see Burnham's idea to fruition. Like the "group of friends" who formed Freedomways, this vibrant community had been active for many decades and was equally inclined to organize broad coalitions of people against American racism. As Patricia Sullivan has argued, the activities of the Popular Front era created hope for a wide generation of activists who became imbued with a spirit of radical thought that they felt would transform the world into a better place for everyone regardless of the colour of their skin or the class they were born into. (28)
It was these kinds of perspectives fostered during the Popular Front era that also helped bring southern black organizers such as Freedomways' Esther Cooper Jackson to New York after the demise of SNYC. Despite the fact that many blacks who came to Northern cities in the Great Migration found that desegregation did not put an end to racism, Esther Cooper Jackson felt that New York City was still "the home of the literary world" and one of the most tolerable places for political radicals to be in the U.S. during the Cold War. (29) "I tell you it was important to have [Freedomways] published in New York. It was significant and strategically beneficial to be here, because of all the contacts we could make with young writers and artists. And the whole history of culture in the Harlem community going back through the Harlem Renaissance, it was important to be here." (30) New York City became an ideal venue for the former SNYC activists to continue their Popular Front radicalism and relate it to the growing militancy of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s.
The founders of Freedomways made many connections with the elder figures of the Harlem cultural and literary scene, who in turn provided them with opportunities to continue their radical oppositional politics in the vibrant intergenerational literary community of late 1950s and 1960s New York. The famed Harlem-based poet, Langston Hughes (whose leftist affinities have been downplayed by scholars) frequently gave readings at SNYC-sponsored events in Virginia and Alabama during the 1940s, while W.E.B. Du Bois lent his support to the organization and spoke at one of its conventions in 1946. (31) During the 1940s and 1950s, New York became home to Du Bois and his wife Shirley Graham, who moved increasingly to the Left over the course of these decades. For a time, they were active in New York's radical community, befriending and mentoring some of the younger generation of activists--notably Esther Cooper Jackson and the SNYC cadre involved with the forming of Freedomways. (32) As a result of her involvement with key Harlem literary figures like Du Bois and Hughes through SNYC, Jackson was able to seamlessly immerse herself in the activities of organizations like John Oliver Killens's Harlem Writers Guild during the 1950s. Through these contacts, she befriended prominent writers such as Lorraine Hansberry, Margaret Burroughs, John Henrik Clarke, Ernest Kaiser, and Julien Mayfield while learning from older writers like Sterling Brown, Louise Thompson, William Patterson, and Zora Neale Hurston. Despite the omnipresence of McCarthyism in 1950s America, New York City was still a major haven for black political radicalism because it was home to such a broad and intergenerational literary and cultural scene.
A variety of figures and organizations in New York also indicated that the activities of WWII-era radicals were continuing well into the post-war 1950s and 1960s. Robert Williams, the renegade Monroe, North Carolina NAACP leader, who was suspended from his organization in 1959 for advocating armed black self-defence to lynching, spent considerable time meeting and raising funds for his efforts with a wide range of Harlem figures. Such figures included nationalists Malcolm X, (33) as well as writers Julien Mayfield and John Henrik Clarke (who would each go on to write for Freedomways). (34) Martha Biondi and Penny Von Eschen have both shown that organizations like the National Negro Labor Council (NNLC) and Robeson and Du Bois' anticolonial CAA still operated in New York until 1955-6 despite severe internal conflicts and government repression. (35) Moreover, Biondi even suggests that the "Communist Left continued to play a significant role [there] in racial justice struggles well into the 1950s." (36)
A figure who supports Biondi's claim was former CP member and merchant marine radical Jack O'Dell--who later headed fundraising in the New York office of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and became a key writer and editor for Freedomways in the mid-1960s. O'Dell first went to New York in the late 1950s to join in the struggle for public housing, after which he helped James Jackson, along with eminent civil rights and union activist A. Philip Randolph and former CP member (and lifelong pacifist and civil rights intellectual) Bayard Rustin, organize a March on Washington for Integrated Schools in 1959 that brought 25,000 people to the capital. This was an impressive cast of leftists, especially since this event occurred deep into the Cold War, long after all "reds" had supposedly been purged from American progressive movements.
Freedomways' founders were very much a part of this generation of black leftists from the 1930s and 1940s who never ceased their activity even during the height of the Cold War. While their activities in the Southern states may have been circumscribed, the group of friends who formed the magazine depended on a close knit network of people throughout New York whom they knew from this earlier period. As such, the former SNYC activists were able to enter into the Harlem radical milieu of the 1950s and 1960s and gain valuable support when they finally decided to create the magazine in 1961. Esther Cooper Jackson describes this experience:
After Louis died we were all in such shock that nothing happened for a while. Then Jim [James] Jackson, Shirley Graham Du Bois, Dr. Du Bois, John Oliver Killens, Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, Lorraine Hansberry and some of us got together. Well we're going to try it out, because this was Louis Burnham's dream. I agreed to work for a year to try to raise funds to find an office, and Dr. Du Bois advising us from his experience with The Crisis, Phylon and from all of his books and so forth. He advised us not to get the first issue out until we had enough money in the bank for at least a year or two. (37)
As Jackson's narrative indicates, Freedomways' inauguration was greatly informed by the intergenerational dialogue between activists--with elder figures such as the DuBois's, Burnham's, and John Oliver Killens interacting closely with younger figures such as the Jackson's, Ruby Dee, and Ossie Davis, as well as Lorraine Hansberry, and Esther Cooper. Such a dialogue can be viewed as part of a crucial point of continuity between periods of African American struggle.
"IT WAS KEY TO SHOW WE'RE NOT ALONE"
After the magazine's first seven years of publication, it had reached a per-issue paid circulation rate of over 5000--up 3000 from its original run in 1961. (38) Although this paled in comparison to white-owned and well-financed progressive publications like The Nation, Freedomways still had extensive local and national distribution in bookstores throughout the city of New York, as well as in Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. At this time, it also had international distribution centres in the West Indies and the Caribbean, Africa, Canada, Australia and England, as well as many contacts and subscribers throughout Asia and Latin America. (39) Moreover, distribution was especially good in Africa because of the magazine's many contacts there--from expatriated black Americans like Shirley Graham and Alphaeus Hunton, to African heads of state Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, Tom Mboya, and Jomo Kenyatta, (40) to book shop owners, students, activists, and others living throughout the continent. These contacts did not always provide a consistent base, as CIA-backed coups brought new political elites to power, forcing many to leave their homelands and/or abandon their sojourn. Also, due to a consistent lack of financial resources, it was difficult to set up distribution in places like Nigeria, where the magazine was never able to locate a reliable distributor. (41)
Nonetheless, Freedomways was able to establish exchange relationships with other significant black radical publications covering anticolonial activities, notably Presence Africaine, headed by exiled Senegalese leaders Leopold Senghor and Aimee Cesaire. Presence Africaine was published in France and was "an extremely important journal committed to the ideas of radical Pan-Africanism." (42) The magazine's editors also communicated with other black periodicals in the U.S. including The Liberator, Muhammad Speaks, Umbra, Urbanite, The Negro Digest, and Black World, as well as Trotskyist and Communist publications such as The Militant, The Weekly World, and The Daily Worker. (43) In his efforts as associate editor at Freedomways, John Henrik Clarke often referred writers to the Chicago-based Negro Digest and Liberator when the magazine had too many submissions on a given topic or in instances when the other editors felt a given submission did not meet the editorial policy. Such referrals indicate the degree of support that existed between diverse movement publications during this era, particularly in and around New York.
Moreover, the literary and publishing activities surrounding the magazine gives further weight to James Smethurst's contention that Freedomways "was often more sympathetic to nationalism and certainly notions of African-American self-determination (under the rubric of "black liberation") than has sometimes been allowed." (44) Regular Freedomways writers included: Sylvester Leaks, who wrote regularly for Muhammad Speaks, and L.P. Beveridge and Elton Fax who were each editors at the left-nationalist Liberator. (45) Other people with nationalist sympathies who frequently contributed to Freedomways included Umbra's Tom Dent, Rolland Snellings, Lennox Raphael, and David Henderson, as well as other young radical writers such as John Henry Jones, On Guard's Calvin Hicks, jazz musician Max Roach, artists Tom Feelings and Brumsic Brandon, Jr. and Alice Walker, whose early short stories were featured prominently in the magazine. In the late 1960s, when literary nationalism really began to take hold, Freedomways published such figures as Larry Neal, Mari Evans, Haki Madhubuti, Nikki Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez, and Askia Toure. Contributing editor and poet/actor/teacher Jim Williams even helped found a Freedom School affiliated to Malcolm X's Organization of Afro-American Unity. (46)
A number of these people helped anticipate (and also took part in) the Black Arts Movement (BAM) of the late 1960s and 1970s. While BAM has been viewed as the intellectual adjunct of militant black nationalism, this movement was actually one of the most important literary movements of the 20th Century and a pre-cursor for post-colonial studies. Like Freedomways, it helped black Marxist and nationalist intellectuals cooperate through their writing during the Black Power era. (47) With the subsequent rise of Black Power political struggles by the mid-1960s, Freedomways did need to contend with both resurgent and new forms of black nationalism that frequently stood in opposition to the civil rights mainstream to which the editors were primarily allied--a subject that needs to be explored further, but that exceeds the scope of this article focused on the magazine's early years. Suffice it to say that the magazine's formative years (which were highlighted by the establishment of intergenerational writing networks and Popular Front-style public functions) foreshadowed its ability to be, as John Oliver Killens once characterized the late Lorraine Hansberry, "[b]lack nationalist with a socialist perspective." (48)
Freedomways not only picked up what remained of the black left during the early 1960s, but it also continued the anti-colonial internationalism of past black radical institutions. Like the Council on African Affairs had done, the magazine was forming its own broad network of people from inside and outside the U.S. who were involved in the burgeoning African and Third World liberation struggles of the mid-Twentieth Century--struggles that were also beginning to have an impact on another generation of newly active black Americans. (49) The establishment of these networks was apparent right from the magazine's first few issues, when it relied on the contacts of Du Bois, Graham, and Hunton to ganer such contributors as former Congolese foreign minister Antoine Gizenga, and Ghanaian president, Kwame Nkrumah, following Congo's CIA-orchestrated assassination of Patrice Lumumba in 1961. (50)
Alphaeus Hunton's relationship with the magazine, in particular, stands as an example of a radical figure who survived the Cold War period to contribute to black political discourse in the 1960s, while also bridging the political and cultural spheres of the Atlantic Ocean. Described by Penny Von Eschen as "one of the most neglected African American intellectuals" of the 1940s and 1950s, Hunton was an English professor at Howard University and editor of the CAA's New Africa before he moved to West Africa with his wife Dorothy in 1960 where he would later continue Du Bois' work on the Encyclopedia Africana project following the elder man's death in 1963. (51) The Huntons remained supporters of Freedomways throughout the 1960s, corresponding frequently with the editors, informing them of events taking place in Africa, and maintaining honorary status as mentors, enshrined by the persistence of Hunton's name in Freedomways' masthead until his death in 1970. While Alphaeus Hunton only published a few articles in the magazine, his symbolism as a figure of the anticolonial African American Left from the 1940s and 1950s remains a significant indication of how these radical politics were sustained with Freedomways. (52)
Beyond Shirley Graham and Alphaeus Hunton, who were in their 60s, there were two generations of younger black radicals who became well-acquainted with African independence struggles through the magazine's writing networks. The youngest was represented by Jean Carey Bond, who was then in her mid-20s. In 1965, she moved to Ghana for a year with her architect husband, Max Bond, to partake in nation-building efforts. As a member of the youngest generation of activists involved with Freedomways, Bond had become well-acquainted with the traditions of black struggle in New York, for she had been involved with the Harlem Writers Guild in the late 1950s and had a familial history of activism (her uncle was the famous Harlem Communist and city councillor, Benjamin Davis). (53) Like Shirley Graham, Bond was invaluable for soliciting young Ghanaian writers for Freedomways, including poets Kajo Kyei and the American-born writer Hodee Edwards. (54) Freedomways editors Ernest Kaiser and John Henrik Clarke, who were in their 40s, also wrote about the treatment of Africa in American public discourse and the growing salience of pan-Africanism and anticolonialism to black Americans. (55) Clarke covered the demonstrations at the United Nations in New York in February, 1961 protesting the murder of Congo's Patrice Lumumba. At these demonstrations he suggested that, "Lumumba became Emmett Till," the Chicago teenager infamously murdered in Mississippi by white racists in 1955. With a long view of the African American struggle over many decades and generations, Clarke felt that the "plight of the Africans still fighting to throw off the yoke of colonialism and the plight of Afro-Americans, still waiting for a rich, strong and boastful nation to redeem the promise of freedom and citizenship became one and the same" at these demonstrations. (56) From the magazine's first issues, its intergenerational anticolonialism focused closely on the relationship between African Americans and Africa.
These kinds of perspectives appeared frequently in the magazine and further indicated how Freedomways was a source for a diversity of first-hand commentary from around the world about the liberation of Africa during the 1960s and its bearing on the struggles of African Americans. For instance, in the fall of 1962, the magazine ran a special issue on Africa that was compiled by John Henrik Clarke. The issue featured prominent independence leaders such as Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, who indicated links between colonial liberation and African American struggle in the U.S. by suggesting that Africans exact "pressures elsewhere in the world until people of African descent and all other human beings are completely free." (57) Sylvanus Olympio of Togo also suggested that the people of his country were "watching with keen interest the determination with which the people of African descent in America [were] struggling to live in dignity and on an equal status with their brothers and sisters of European descent." (58) Finally, correspondents covering African issues at the UN, like Charles Howard, Sr., wrote important articles for the magazine about the Western-influenced dimensions of Lumumba's assassination, the exploits of the CIA to secure the mineral rich region of Congo's Katanga province, and the centrality of South Africa to realizations of Pan-African freedom across the Atlantic. (59) With such first-hand commentary, the magazine could claim the ability to furnish accurate and voluminous information on Africa and much of its diaspora, continuing the important advocacy work done by the CAA in the 1940s and