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Title:Self-determination means determining self: lifestyle politics and the Republic of New Afrika, 1968-1989
Author(s):Onaci, Edward
Director of Research:Cha-Jua, Sundiata K.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Cha-Jua, Sundiata K.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Barrett, James R.; Lang, Clarence E.; McDuffie, Erik S.
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Republic of New Afrika
Black Power
Abstract:This dissertation explores the history of the RNA during its formative years and New Afrikans’ efforts to procure territorial independence in order to make their contributions to African American politics better known. It considers in depth the connection between Black self-determination, citizenship, and territorial sovereignty as it seeks to position New Afrikans and their goals more prominently in the historical scholarship of the Black Liberation Movement and in public memory more generally. Next, my dissertation studies how social movement participation impacts activists’ identities and mores through the prism of “lifestyle politics,” which ensures that activists’ humanity remains central to their story. I define lifestyle politics as the everyday lived practice of political ideology. It is the constant interpretation, contestation, negotiation, and reproduction of ideas shared between activists, and it elucidates the significance of mundane interactions between each individual and the ideas on which they base the pursuit of their group’s goals. Again, making these themes prominent humanizes Black Power activists, and moves the historical scholarship beyond discussions of organization and ideology. Ultimately, I argue that revolution for New Afrikans was a comprehensive process that changed the lives of activists. While embracing, but moving beyond the axiom that the personal was political, I reveal that by shifting the analysis to the daily practice of being a revolutionary, the complicated process of fighting to achieve political goals provides an important space to expand the literature on Black Power and activism in the following decade.
Issue Date:2013-02-03
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Edward Onaci
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-02-03
Date Deposited:2012-12

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