A Struggle in the Arena of Ideas: Black Power, Education and the Quest for Nationhood, 1966-1984
Russell Rickford

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



Dartmouth College

Primary Discipline

This intellectual and social history of Black Power liberation schools chronicles the inner lives if the scores of independent, black nationalist schools that arose nationwide in the late 1960s and 70s. These institutions reflected an audacious attempt by young, radical theorists and activists to create the infrastructure for an autonomous black nation, and to launch a cultural revolution in black America that could transform Negroes into politically and psychologically independent “New Africans.” The movement belies facile accounts of Black Power’s utter collapse in the 1970s. Relying on a wide array of primary sources to reconstruct the internal governance, pedagogy and discipline of the institutions, I argue that Black Power liberation schools served as precursors to the Afrocentric academies of the 1980s and 90s, embodying both the salience and growing complexity of black nationalist thought in the last quarter of the 20th century.
About Russell Rickford

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