Thomas Sankara was one of Africa's most important anti-imperialist leaders of the late 20th Century. His declaration that fundamental socio-political change would require a 'certain amount of madness' drove the Burkinabe Revolution and resurfaced in the country's popular uprising in 2014.
This book looks at Sankara's political philosophies and legacies and their relevance today. Analyses of his synthesis of Pan-Africanism and humanist Marxist politics, as well as his approach to gender, development, ecology and decolonisation offer new insights to Sankarist political philosophies. Critical evaluations of the limitations of the revolution examine his relationship with labour unions and other aspects of his leadership style. His legacy is revealed by looking at contemporary activists, artists and politicians who draw inspiration from Sankarist thought in social movement struggles today, from South Africa to Burkina Faso.
In the 30th anniversary of his assassination, this book illustrates how Sankara's political praxis continues to provide lessons and hope for decolonisation struggles today.
Amber Murrey is Postdoctoral Fellow in Sociology at The American University in Cairo, Egypt. Her award-winning research considers contemporary Pan-Africanism, resistance to neo-colonial violence, resource extraction and decolonisation. She has been published in a variety of academic journals, including Third World Quarterly, Political Geography, The Journal of Black Studies, The Postcolonialist and Capital and Class. She is the editor of A Certain Amount of Madness (Pluto, 2018).
Preface by Horace G. Campbell Introduction by Amber Murrey Part I: Life & Revolution 1. An Anatomy Of Sankara's Political Leadership and the Burkinabe Revolution (1983-1987) by De-Valera Nym Botchway and Moussa Traore 2. The Perils of Non-Alignment: Thomas Sankara and the Cold War by Brian Peterson 3. Thomas Sankara and the Elusive Revolution by Leo Zeilig 4. When Visions Collide: Thomas Sankara, Trade Unions and the Revolution in Burkina Faso, 1983-1987 by Craig Phelan 5. Africa's Sankara: On Pan-African Leadership by Amber Murrey 6. Who Killed Thomas Sankara? by Bruno Jaffre 7. `Incentivized' Self-Adjustment: Reclaiming Sankara's Revolutionary Austerity from Corporate Geographies of Neoliberal Erasure by Nicholas A. Jackson Part II: Political Philosophies 8. Madmen, Thomas Sankara and Decoloniality in Africa by Ama Biney 9. With the People: Sankara's Humanist Marxism by Ernest Harsch 10. Thomas Sankara & Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem: The Untimely Deaths of Two New Generation African Visionaries by Patricia Daley 11. Women's Freedoms are the Heartbeat of Africa's Future: A Sankarian Imperative by Patricia McFadden 12. Re-Reading Sankara's Philosophy for a Praxeology of Debt in Contemporary Times by Sakue-C. Yimovie 13. Sankara's Political Ideas and Pan-African Solidarity: A Perspective for Africa's Development? by Felix Kumah-Abiwu and Olusoji Alani Odeyemi 14. `Revolution and Women's Liberation go Together': Thomas Sankara, Gender and the Burkina Faso Revolution by Evelyn N. Mayanja Part III: Legacies 15. Balai Citoyen: A New Praxis of Citizen Fight with Sankarist Inspirations by Zakaria Sore 16. La Sante Avant Tout: Health Before Everything by T. D. Harper-Shipman 17. Social Movement Struggles and Political Transition in Burkina Faso by Bettina Engles 18. To Decolonize the World: Thomas Sankara and the `Last Colony' in Africa by Patrick Delices 19. `Daring to Invent the Future': Sankara's Legacy and Contemporary Activism in South Africa by Levi Kabwato and Sarah Chiumbu Part IV: Contestations and Homages 20. Academy as Contested Space: Disappearing Sankara from the `Acceptable Avant-Garde' by Nicholas Jackson 21. The Construction of a `Sankara Myth': A Hero Trend in Contemporary Burkinabe Urban & Revolutionary Propaganda Art by Sophie Bodenes Cohen 22. Slanted Photography: Reflections on Sankara and My Peace Corps Experience in Burkina Faso by Clestina Agyekum 23. `We are All Sankara's Children': Memories as Weapons during the Burkinabe Protests by Fiona Dragstra Afterword by Aziz Fall