Africa has long gripped the American imagination. From the Edenic wilderness of Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan novels to the `black Zion' of Garvey's Back-to-Africa movement, all manner of Americans - whether white or black, male or female - have come to see Africa as an idealized stage on which they can fashion new, more authentic selves. In this remarkable, panoramic work, David Peterson del Mar explores the ways in which American fantasies of Africa have evolved over time, as well as the role of Africans themselves in subverting American attitudes to their continent.
Spanning seven decades, from the post-war period to the present day, and encompassing sources ranging from literature, film and music to accounts by missionaries, aid workers and travel writers, African, American is a fascinating deconstruction of `Africa' as it exists in the American mindset.
David Peterson del Mar is an associate professor of history at Portland State University, and the founding president of Yo Ghana!, a charity devoted to promoting friendship and understanding between students in Ghana and the Pacific Northwest.
Preface: `Africa In My Head' 1. `Brightest Africa' in the Early Twentieth Century 2. Post-War America and the `New Africa' 3. From Political to Personal: White and Black America Confront a Transformed Continent in the 1960s 4. Gendered American Quests in `Timeless Africa', 1970-2000 5. Africa Cosmopolitan in the New Millennium Conclusion: The In Between Notes Primary Sources: Books Primary Sources: Films Major Secondary Sources