If the Global Sixties were marked by the spirit of freedom and the politics of revolt, where does Africa fit into the chronology? The continent certainly launched this momentous decade, with seventeen countries winning their independence in 1960 alone. It was the “Year of Africa,” the beginning of the African Revolution. Or so it was thought. By 1968, fourteen military coups had swept independent African governments from office and the nation-state project appeared a dismal failure. What perished in those critical years and how? What, if anything, should we mourn?
Image: Students at Lovanium Univesity (Kinshasa) commemorating the second anniversary of the massacre of June 4 1969 (Image courtesy of Alexandre Luba Ntambo)
Jean Allman J.H. Hexter Professor in the Humanities, Department of History, Arts & Sciences Director, Center for the Humanities, Washington University
NYU Abu Dhabi Institute
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