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We Are an African PeopleIndependent Education, Black Power, and the Radical Imagination$
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Russell Rickford

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199861477

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199861477.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 14 May 2021

The Evolution of Movement Schools

The Evolution of Movement Schools

(p.74) 3 The Evolution of Movement Schools
We Are an African People

Russell Rickford

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the history of “movement schools,” or educational institutions that arose in the context of twentieth-century African-American mass movements. Established in the period between the world wars, the black nationalist private schools of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and the Nation of Islam served as early precursors to the independent institutions of the Black Power era. The freedom schools and liberation schools of the 1960s also were important progenitors of Pan African nationalist schools. This chapter discusses the philosophical shift from “freedom” to “liberation” that helped frame the ideological transformation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) during the 1960s. The radicalization and dissolution of SNCC reinvigorated the black nationalist and Pan Africanist tradition of “movement schools” and led to the formation of Philadelphia’s Freedom Library Day School, one of the pioneering institutions of the Black Power era.

Keywords:   Universal Negro Improvement Association, Nation of Islam, SNCC, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, freedom schools, liberation schools, Black Panther Party, Freedom Library Day School, John Churchville

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