Asymmetries of Pan-African Power
This chapter recounts the international organizing efforts of Hoyt Fuller and the ways Black Arts activists understood their work as part of a larger Pan-African project. Spanning an explosive decade of decolonization on the African continent, this chapter uses Fuller’s experiences across three seminal African festivals to explore the ways US-based Black Arts movement discourses engaged with discussions of art and struggle on the African continent. The chapter recovers the varied roles Fuller played in organizing and participating in the First World Festival of Negro Arts, in Dakar, Senegal in 1966; the First Pan-African Cultural Festival, in Algiers, Algeria, in 1969; and the Second World Festival of Black and African Art, in Lagos, Nigeria, in 1977. It argues that Fuller’s festival experiences map the ruptures, strains, collective aspirations, and points of unity that constituted the asymmetries of Pan-African power in the late 1960s and 1970s.
Keywords: Pan-Africanism, First World Festival of Negro Arts (FESMAN), First Pan-African Cultural Festival, Second World Festival of Black and African Arts (FESTAC), African diaspora, Nationalism, nation-state, Cold War, Leopold Senghor, Dakar, Senegal, Nigeria, Algeria
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