African History



What was African socialism?

In your final paper write an essay examining African revolutionary processes and African socialism. You want to examine the ways in which different governments aimed at improving the conditions for ordinary people – especially peasants, workers, young people, and women – and how and why they either succeeded and/or failed.


You want to explore the cases of “Afro-Marxist” Ethiopia, socialist Tanzania, the writings of Nyerere on African socialism, and Thomas Sankara on women and gender. First, you should seek to explain the successes and failures of the Ethiopian and Tanzanian cases. You should offer your opinion on where you see things went wrong and why. Secondly, you should examine Nyerere and Sankara, finding areas of overlap and disagreement. You should offer your opinion on aspects of these writings with which you agree and disagree.  You can draw on the secondary accounts of Donham, Scott, Lal and Skinner for background material, and also the chapters in Schmidt where relevant. 


7-8 pages. Due Friday March 18. Email your paper please. Good luck. We can discuss the topic more on Thurs.



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