Episode 4:

Ending the Scramble: Decolonization Across Africa

African decolonization has a complex history, involving resistance against and liberation from European colonial subjugation. In this episode, we examine the political and cultural interplay between race, resistance, and decolonization across Africa while considering ways to teach about racism in classrooms today.

Guest Bios

Michael Ralph

Michael Ralph is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis and the School of Medicine at New York University. His research integrates political science, economics, history, and medical anthropology through an explicit focus on debt, slavery, insurance, forensics, and incarceration. He is the author of Forensics of Capital (University of Chicago Press).

Julian Kenneth Braxton

Julian Kenneth Braxton is the Director of Community and Multicultural Affairs and a history instructor at the Winsor School in Boston, Massachusetts. Linda Morse is a social studies teacher at the Foxborough Regional Charter School in Foxborough, Massachusetts. J. Malcolm Cawthorne is the METCO Coordinator and a social studies teacher at Brookline High School in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Free Resources and Featured Books

  • Colonialism and Resistance is a resource collection compiled by the African Studies Center at Boston University. The collection includes lesson plans, literature lists, maps, and numerous other primary and secondary resources.

  • Colonization and Independence in Africa is a unit developed by The Choices Program at Brown University which features multiple lessons and a short video series.

  • Decolonization Resource Collection: Africa is a collection of primary sources, secondary sources, and books compiled by the National History Center.

  • Lesson of the Day: ‘A Continent Remade’ is a lesson produced by The New York Times focused on 1960, a year when 17 African countries would declare independence from colonial rule.

  • Decolonization: A Very Short Introduction by Dane Kennedy provides a succinct and scholarly overview of decolonization history with a global focus.

  • Things Fall Apart is Chinua Achebe’s first novel about Nigerian life before and during colonialism. The novel was published in 1958, two years before independence from Britain.

Episode Acknowledgements

Thanks to Michael Ralph, Julian Braxton, Linda Morse, and Malcolm Cawthorne for sharing their expertise in this episode.

Thanks to Nico Rivers for audio editing, mixing, and mastering.

Special thanks to the Boston University Africa Studies Center and the Teaching Africa Outreach Program for collaborating and providing support for this podcast.

Image Credits

Southern Rhodesia” by John Flannery, under Creative Commons Attribution- ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0).
Photo of Michael Ralph provided by the New York University website.

Featured Music