Please join us next Wednesday, October 12 at 12:30 for the second Africa-Diaspora Forum of the semester, which will be held in partnership with the Center for International Research in the Humanities Pan-Africanism Seminar. We will meet at in room 607 of the King Juan Carlos Building at NYU (53 Washington Square South). Lunch will be served.
We will be joined by Professor Jean Allman, who will be presenting, “Contesting the Racial Politics of Liberation in the Black Star of Africa: Exiles, Expatriates, and Malcolm X”
On May 10th, 1964, on his return trip to the U.S. from Mecca, Malcolm X landed in Accra for a weeklong visit to the capital of the “Black Star of Africa.” His visit was anxiously anticipated by many, especially members of the large African American exile community, who had settled in the wake of independence in 1957; it was clearly dreaded by others, especially members of the U.S. government consular staff in Accra; and it was treated with a somewhat ambivalent curiosity by many others. Malcolm X’s high-profile visit, of course, has assumed an important place in biographical accounts of his life, as a key part of his religious and political transformation or “conversion,” as some have termed it. What we know surprisingly little about is how Malcolm X’s visit resonated locally, what kinds of meanings it generated, especially in the new nation’s capital. In this presentation, Allman explores Malcolm X’s visit as a “flash point” for accessing the competing understandings of race, racial identity and liberation politics that converged, cohered, and collided in Ghana during the first decade of independence.
Prof. Jean Allman teaches African history at Washington University, where she is the J.H. Hexter Professor in the Humanities and directs the Center for the Humanities. Allman is the author of The Quills of the Porcupine: Asante Nationalism in an Emergent Ghana, “I Will Not Eat Stone”: A Women’s History of Colonial Asante (with Victoria Tashjian), and Tongnaab: The History of a West African God (with John Parker) and has edited and introduced several collections, including Fashioning Africa: Power and the Politics of Dress. Allman’s research on gender, colonialism, nationalism, and social change has been supported by Fulbright-Hays, the NEH, the SSRC, and the ACLS and has appeared in a range of journals, including the Journal of African History,Africa, Gender and History, the Journal of Women’s History, History Workshop Journal and Souls. She co-edits, with Allen Isaacman and Derek Peterson, the New African Histories book series at Ohio University Press and for six years edited the Journal of Women’s History with Antoinette Burton. She is the incoming President (2017) of the African Studies Association.
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