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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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Afrocentrism and the Neoliberal Ethos

(p.253) Epilogue
We Are an African People

Russell Rickford

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the ideological transformation of Pan African nationalism from the late 1970s through the early twenty-first century. The proliferation of black nationalist schools in the last quarter of the twentieth century signaled the survival of some Black Power ideas. It also demonstrated how social movements may be stripped of oppositional meaning. By the 1980s, many Afrocentric models embodied a brand of black nationalism that equated symbolism with struggle while eschewing systemic political transformation. Some independent black institutions collaborated with conservative proponents of educational vouchers and charter schools, a sign of the symbiotic relationship between bourgeois identity politics and the corporate establishment. In the face of such accommodationism, organs such as Northern California’s Oakland Community School and Jackson, Mississippi’s Black and Proud Liberation School strove to re-energize radical traditions of alternative education.

Keywords:   vouchers, charter schools, black conservatives, bourgeois black nationalism, Afrocentric schools, Ericka Huggins, Oakland Community School, Black and Proud Liberation School

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