"Free the Land!": Exploring the Spatial and Political Legacies of the Republic of New Afrika in Detroit, Michigan and Jackson, Mississippi Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Wright, Willie
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Geography
  • The Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika is a Black revolutionary nationalist provisional government formed in Detroit, Michigan, in the wake of the city’s 1967 rebellion. Its goal is to establish a nation-state for New Afrikans in five states (LA, MS, AL, GA, SC) among the former Black Belt. Scholars such as Christian Davenport suggest—using the RNA as an exemplar—that “repression kills social movement organizations.” Grounded in Black geographies and a Black spatial imaginary this presentation will argue that such portrayals erase the ways in which black political formations persist in a world of tremendous anti-black violence. My findings indicate that the RNA lives, and that due to instances of police oppression and the natural maturation of political thought and praxis, its initial objectives morphed into new spatial and political forms. This research study is based on 12 months of multi-site fieldwork conducted in Detroit, Michigan and Jackson, Mississippi, semi-structured interviews, participant observation and archival methods.
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  • In Copyright
  • Umoja, Akinyele
  • Kirsch, Scott
  • Smith, Sara
  • Reyes, Alvaro
  • Cravey, Altha
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2017

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