shopping_cart

The Americans Are Coming!
Dreams of African American Liberation in Segregationist South Africa

By Robert Trent Vinson

“Vinson stresses that though Garveyism germinated in the U.S., its broad tenets found fertile ground in South Africa…where South Africans exploited it in numerous ways to fight racism.”

Choice

“Through his extensive archival work in South Africa, Vinson manages to go beyond many existing accounts in order to demonstrate how black South Africans were active participants in constructing the African American struggle for civil rights as a global issue.”

Journal of American Studies

“This is a timely and important book, a great contribution to transnational and Atlantic history, and a genre-buster that dispenses with the border between American studies and African studies.”

H-Africa

“Vinson demonstrates that, although the dream of African American liberation was not realized, the act of dreaming was itself a taste of freedom.”

American Historical Review

For more than half a century before World War II, black South Africans and “American Negroes”—a group that included African Americans and black West Indians—established close institutional and personal relationships that laid the necessary groundwork for the successful South African and American antiapartheid movements. Though African Americans suffered under Jim Crow racial discrimination, oppressed Africans saw African Americans as free people who had risen from slavery to success and were role models and potential liberators.

Many African Americans, regarded initially by the South African government as “honorary whites” exempt from segregation, also saw their activities in South Africa as a divinely ordained mission to establish “Africa for Africans,” liberated from European empires. The Jamaican-born Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association, the largest black-led movement with two million members and supporters in forty-three countries at its height in the early 1920s, was the most anticipated source of liberation. Though these liberation prophecies went unfulfilled, black South Africans continued to view African Americans as inspirational models and as critical partners in the global antiapartheid struggle.

The Americans Are Coming! is a rare case study that places African history and American history in a global context and centers Africa in African Diaspora studies.

Robert Trent Vinson is the Frances L. and Edwin L. Cummings Associate Professor of History, Africana Studies and International Relations at the College of William and Mary. He is the author of The Americans Are Coming!: Dreams of African American Liberation in Segregationist South Africa.

Order a print copy

Paperback · $26.36 ·
Add to Cart

Retail price: $32.95 · Save 20% ($26.36)

Buy from a local bookstore

IndieBound

US and Canada only

Download an electronic copy

Amazon Kindle Store Barnes & Noble NOOK Google Play iBooks Store

Availability and price vary according to vendor.

Cover of The Americans Are Coming!

Share    Facebook icon  Email icon

Requests

Desk Copy Examination Copy Review Copy

Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center

Formats

Paperback
978-0-8214-1986-1
Retail price: $32.95, S.
Release date: January 2012
236 pages · 6 × 9 in.
Rights:  World

Electronic
978-0-8214-4405-4
Release date: January 2012
236 pages
Rights:  World

Additional Praise for The Americans Are Coming!

The Americans Are Coming! is a major contribution to the study of global Garveyism, and a stunning first volume on the history of Garveyism in Africa. It is also a significant piece of African diaspora and Atlantic world scholarship that places Africa at the center, a paradigm we rarely see…. Vinson has shined a light on Garveyism and convincingly cemented its place in South African history.”

H-SAfrica

Related Titles

Cover of 'Trustee for the Human Community'

Trustee for the Human Community
Ralph J. Bunche, the United Nations, and the Decolonization of Africa
Edited by Robert A. Hill and Edmond J. Keller

Ralph J. Bunche (1904–1971), winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950, was a key U.S. diplomat in the planning and creation of the United Nations in 1945. In 1947 he was invited to join the permanent UN Secretariat as director of the new Trusteeship Department.

African Studies · African History · History · African American Studies · Colonialism and Decolonization

Cover of 'An African American in South Africa'

An African American in South Africa
The Travel Notes of Ralph J. Bunche 28 September 1937–1 January 1938
By Ralph Bunche
· Edited by Robert R. Edgar

Ralph Bunche, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950, traveled to South Africa for three months in 1937. His notes, which have been skillfully compiled and annotated by historian Robert R. Edgar, provide unique insights on a segregated society.

African Studies · Southern Africa · Africa · 20th century · African American Studies · Diaries and Journals · History · African History · Sociology · Biography · Literary Studies · American History · South Africa

Cover of 'Taifa'

Taifa
Making Nation and Race in Urban Tanzania
By James R. Brennan

Taifa is a story of African intellectual agency, but it is also an account of how nation and race emerged out of the legal, social, and economic histories in one major city, Dar es Salaam. Nation and race—both translatable as taifa in Swahili—were not simply universal ideas brought to Africa by European colonizers, as previous studies assume.

African History · Colonialism and Decolonization · African Studies · Race and Ethnicity · Eastern Africa · Tanzania