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2. African Pride and Achievement

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In this module, we think about a central theme of Pan-Africanism – its emphasis on highlighting and taking pride in Africa’s history, culture, and achievements. We focus on: (i) the study and teaching of Black history as a key expression of this theme, especially the work of Carter G. Woodson, an African American historian who founded what would become Black History Month; (iii) the spread of ideas around African pride in the 1960s through, for example, Steve Biko’s Black Consciousness movement in South Africa and the Black Power movement in the US; (iv) more recent cultural manifestations of this theme, such as the 2018 Marvel film Black Panther.


In this course, Dr William Ackah (Birkbeck, University of London) explores Pan-Africanism across four key themes. In the first module, we consider how we might define Pan-Africanism, outlining its different manifestations, historical development, and core concept that people of African descent across the world are united. In the second and third modules, we think about the first two key themes of Pan-Africanism – its emphasis on pride in Africa’s history, culture and achievements, and its notion of the continent as the homeland to which people of African descent will return. We then turn in the fourth and fifth modules to the themes of, firstly, liberation and unity of struggle amongst people of African descent, and secondly, African unity – that the continent should comprise a unified political and economic entity. We then conclude with a final module on Pan-Africanism today and how it might develop in the future.


Dr William Ackah is Senior Lecturer in Black and Community Geographies at Birkbeck, University of London. He has a broad range of expertise exploring culture, religion and politics in Africa and the African diaspora, including a particular emphasis on Pan-Africanist political activism. His recent publications include Religion, Culture and Spirituality in Africa and the African Diaspora (2017, co-editor), Pan-Africanism: Exploring the Contradictions (2016), and Churches, Blackness and Contested Multiculturalism: Europe, Africa and North America (2014, co-editor).

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APA style

Ackah, W. (2022, May 30). Pan-Africanism - African Pride and Achievement [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Ackah, W. "Pan-Africanism – African Pride and Achievement." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 30 May 2022,

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