Education, Black Power, and the Radical Imagination
This chapter outlines the history of the quest for Pan African nationalist schools, a submovement of the Black Power era. It argues that the schools, known as “independent black institutions,” represented key programmatic expressions of Black Power. The growth of the schools signaled a shift from the pursuit of reform within a liberal democracy to the attempt to build the infrastructure for an independent black nation. The institutions exemplified the effort to fashion a new peoplehood through a transformation of consciousness. Examining the struggle for Pan African nationalist schools contributes to a rethinking of the 1970s as a moment of political experimentation rather than a period of demobilization. The institutions highlight the everyday practices of Black Power, as well as the movement’s devotion to internationalism and community organizing. The transformation of Black Power educational models in the postsegregation era offers new insights into the remaking of modern African-American identity.
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