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Congo Love SongAfrican American Culture and the Crisis of the Colonial State$
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Ira Dworkin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469632711

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469632711.001.0001

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The Chickens Coming Home to Roost

The Chickens Coming Home to Roost

Malcolm X, the Congo, and Modern Black Nationalism

Chapter:
(p.257) Chapter 9 The Chickens Coming Home to Roost
Source:
Congo Love Song
Author(s):

Ira Dworkin

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469632711.003.0010

This chapter presents Malcolm X’s travels in Africa during the months leading up to the Stanleyville (Kisangani) crisis of November 1964. Speeches, diaries, correspondence, FBI surveillance reports, and circumstantial evidence indicate that, during the final months of his life, Malcolm X may have been involved in recruiting African American volunteers through the OAAU (Organization of Afro-American Unity) and the OAU (Organization of African Unity) to serve in the Congo as mercenaries in opposition to white South African forces, a project that may have been a model for a similar effort soon undertaken by Che Guevara. In the wake of the 1964 U.S. airlift of Belgian paratroopers into Stanleyville to rescue white hostages, Malcolm spoke of the history of hand-severing, a reference which links him to Sheppard. Malcolm’s frequent commentary on the subject, in many of his most important forums during the final year of his life, locates the trajectory of African American involvement in the Congo at the center of his political vision and organizational praxis, and, by extension, at the heart of modern Black nationalism.

Keywords:   Malcolm X, OAAU (Organization of Afro-American Unity), OAU (Organization of African Unity), Stanleyville (Kisangani) Crisis, Modern Black nationalism, Che Guevara

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