African Independence

Africa and the World is a dynamic discussion of how Africa shapes world events today. Although Africa is often portrayed as a remove and impoverished area, remembered for the suffering of its people, it has played an important role in recent history and will continue to play a significant role in the future of America. Tukufu Zuberi weaves interview excerpts and stories from many Africans he has met—from refugees to heads of state—into a larger narrative that takes readers through key events in African history and shows their importance today.

My dear friend, former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, often quotes a familiar African proverb: ‘Until the lion speaks, the story of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.’ In African Independence, not only does one of Africa’s lions speak, but he roars. Zuberi demands our attention by forcing us to see formerly obscured realities, and, in doing so, positions us to better understand Africa’s future. This book is eminently helpful in putting Africa’s past, present, and future in proper perspective.

— Ambassador Charles R. Stith, US Ambassador to Tanzania (1998–2001); founder and director, African Presidential Center at Boston University

In this engaging and bold analysis of African independence, Tukufu Zuberi uses interviews, newsreels, and archival sources to understand the human experience in Africa and how Africans turned those experiences into struggles that changed their lives. The invasion of Ethiopia by Italy, as well as the exploitation of Africa by colonial powers for material and human capital for the war effort placed Africa well within the global currents of the twentieth century. Zuberi critiques the failure of U.S. humanitarian policies toward Africa and Africa’s current partnerships with countries in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. A film completes this critically important study of Africa in the modern world.

— Tiffany Ruby Patterson, Vanderbilt University

African Independence and its accompanying documentary film are indispensable for anyone who desires to be a truly well-educated twenty-first-century citizen. With critical sociological insight and rigorous historical excavation through time—from World War II to the Cold War and beyond—and across the United States, Europe, Asia, and Africa, Zuberi introduces us to the heroes and heroines of pan-Africanism and Africa’s independence movements. This meticulously researched book reveals the contradictions that continue to obstruct aspirations for African liberation. Indeed, the evidence presented shows that Africa is ‘once again locked in a death grip’ of post-colonial and post-independence manipulations. This book illuminates not only how we are all implicated but that our own humanity depends on how Africa shapes the world in this century.

— Dr. Joyce King, Benjamin E. Mays Endowed Professor, Georgia State University