Black Americans are deeply ambivalent on their status as Americans and rootedness in their motherland. Africans living in America have debates on the names they should use and the obligations they owe to the motherland and race. He highlights the significance of factors in Africa American societies and domestic politics contrary to view that pan-Africanism is the dominant idea that guides black leaders in planning foreign policies toward Africa
At the same time, Africa’s interests were vital to America's black elites and his analysis reveals that there is strong attachment of several black leaders to their “motherland”. Straddling two centuries of African American engagement with Africa, the book reveals the way black leaders incessantly balanced transnational, national and community impulses. It was a mixture of ideas whether to distance from Marcus Garvey's movement, oppose apartheid in South African or support the anti-colonialism movements.
Written in a historical view and theoretical sensibility, it accounts for the complex and uneven relationships linked black policy and political elites in the United States concerning foreign affairs in Africa. It has a strategic prism to illuminate domestic considerations on constituent decisions and leadership organizations by leaders about Liberia, Cold War, South Africa and decolonization to the present day. 'Transnationalism' is a dominant theory, but it does describe the American black elite habits especially when in the foreign land. It makes a salient involvement to understanding the role played by blacks historically in persuading U.S. foreign policy toward Africa. He used an innovative multi method approach that merges archival statistical modeling, research, and interviews to get comprehensive information of what Africans living in America have passed through. They have managed to accommodate themselves in the contemporary world and survive the hardships yet they can achieve and hold great positions in any society.
Group Consciousness Hypothesis
Group consciousness is a key concept in understanding the way racial minority groups in U. S have overcome prejudice, exclusion and disadvantage to achieve equality in the democratic process. The feelings of solidarity and identification that accompany it appear to stimulate the collective achievement that helped the blacks participate fully in America. It holds an important position in several accounts of how blacks and other disadvantaged minorities achieved political incorporation in America.
Tillery’s book clearly highlights the impact of this hypothesis especially on political behavior. The Whites proved significantly to be politically more active in than blacks were. This is because the whites have a greater socioeconomic share of resources such as income and education that facilitate political engagement. It was remarkable that blacks appeared to take part at advanced rates than whites after controlling their socioeconomic status differences.
Ethnicity and nationalism secessionist movements and interethnic conflicts have shaped the modern world and the organization and stability of current states. The book presents characteristic theory concerning modern nationalism and origins of ethnic identity.
The racial nationalism hypothesis
The racial nationalism theory lies on two main arguments: one that nationalism and ethnicity are political and social constructions. The second, that nationalism and ethnicity are current inseparable phenomena connected with the actions of the modern state. The theory of elite shows how nationalism and ethnicity arise out of definite interactions between elites from minority ethnic groups and the leadership of consolidated states. The book tests and discusses the theory through a range of patterns of ethnic mobilization and case studies. It focuses on the persistence, formation, and transformation of ethnic distinctiveness and on the struggles in relations between the state and central and governments in India after Nehru’s death. It also contains an impression of center-state relations.
Radicalization politics hypothesis
Radicalization politics hypothesis reflects itself when Africans starts adopting increasingly extreme social, political, religious aspirations and ideals that undermine or reject their status quo. Radicalism originates from acceptance of progressive changes in society. When radicalization occurs across reinforcing pathways, it increases a group’s lethality resilience greatly. It serves as a sociological trap, which gives individuals no other option to satisfy their spiritual and material needs. Therefore, it has the capacity to blend in with non-fundamental society and participate in a contemporary, globalized economy
Model minority hypothesis
Model minority is evident in racism in America where Africa Americans are most often supposed to achieve an elevated degree of success than the average population. Characteristically, it measures success in education, income, and correlated factors such as high family stability and low crime rate. Statistics generally back up the model minority as highly represented in white-collar jobs and educational achievers as well. The model minority hypothesis often relies on success indicators.
The research questions applied in the book
The second research question addressed by the author is, were the American people ready to support their bid to free Africa from the slave trade that made the Americans economically stable? The confusion in the Liberia case of freedom and offering under Abraham Lincoln in 1862 prompted the author to doubt the readiness of the government to support the African plea. Many Africans yearned for the freedom but the question of readiness to support from the American people lingered. The diplomatic team to the African country in 1863 aimed to shore up the strained diplomatic relationship with the highly insecure African country and encourage emigration. The mission failed due to lack of commitment from the envoy members. However, the clarity of the matter remained hidden to the people and the author doubted whether anyone was willing to go and help the continent. Many people however felt that the envoy did not have the willpower to negotiate the deal, especially the first mission to streamline the relationship with the African people.
The third research question that guided the author in the formulation of the book is, was the failure to protect the continent was a failure by the African leaders to associate with the right people or was it due to their desire to protect their fertile lands? The author felt that the people in the African continent had a reason to stay isolated and they craved to protect something on their land. However, the willingness of the American people and the rebellion from some of the African people surprised the author. The letter by Marcus Mosiah Garvey inviting the African elite people to a meeting to discuss the pan Africanism movement in 1920 indicated clearly that the African elite aimed at protecting something valuable in the land. Marcus invited Du Bois to the meeting because he felt that Du Bois was a major boost in the pan African movement as he was an influential activist who would push the African activities.
The question of whether the Africans had some treasures to protect majorly drove the decisions of the people. However, the author was also driven by the question, was Africa united as a bloc, and was it ripe for people to seek independence? The addresses by Ralph and Sanford in the House of Representatives led the author to seek into the readiness of the American people to help the continent. The constant divergence from the mainstream ideas like the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the public opposition of Bunche even after he won the Nobel peace prize proved to the author that the continent needed to get freedom from the slavery that most of the European nations aimed at. Most of the people in the house of representatives against the growth of African intelligence and economic status opposed any motion and bills that the people introduced in the house of representatives to support the Africans. However, the people did not present issues to intimidate the African elite. The main activities involved opposition of any movements that aimed at enlightening Africans.
The interaction of the African people with the cold war also addressed the hypothesis created by the author in the book. Tillery notes that the Africans needed to protect the treasures on the African land. Most of the African elite believed that the cold war on African front aimed at jeopardizing the efforts they put in to secure total freedom for the people in Africa. The Egyptian and Liberian cases of failed diplomacy in the region proved that the people aimed to secure their cultural security and identity even in the face of increased opposition from the American and European forces. The 1946 gathering of over 15,000 people from different races at the Madison Square proved to the government that the pan African movement had a strong backing despite the extent of the cold war. The gathering also proved to the government that the interference with the African people and their lifestyles was not a factor that interested people from any racial background.
In the development of the hypothesis and the theme development, the author mainly focused on the political satire and the opposition by the Americans who opposed the pan African movement. Ralph Johnson tried to play the role of a mediator between some of the opposition to the African movements and the African elite. However, despite the fact that he became the first person from the African continent to win the Nobel peace prize, the American people against pan Africanist movement opposed his pleas. Some of the members in the American House of Representatives opposed the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). This made it extremely hard for the people in America who aimed to promote the pan African movement. The public opposition of the pan African movement in the House of Representatives mainly discouraged the pan African movement enforcers especially in the United States of America.
The participation of the Africans in the pan African movement and the desire of the people in Africa to support the movement mainly enhanced the activities of the pan Africanists. The support of the African elite in the movements surprised most of the people who took part in the movement. First, the gathering at the Madison Square boosted the spirits of the pan African elite and specialists. The organization of the gathering aimed at ensuring that the elite in America showed their solidarity and support for the independence of the African people. Second, the embrace of Ethiopia by the African elite in defiance to the calls of the world to abandon it also affected the emphasis of the author on the development of the thesis. At the same time, the author looked at the unwillingness of the American leaders especially the leaders in the House of Representatives to respect the calls of the African elite in the freedom of the African people.
As much as the content development and the thematic nature of the writing and the sensitivity of the matter affected the writing of the author, the writing styles also affected the works. The multi approach nature of data employed facilitated the delivery of the content. First, the author mainly used data obtained from research works. Through research, the author revealed many factors and activities that showed the fight of the African elite to protect their homeland despite the fact that they lived in a good environment in the United States of America. The birth of back-to-Africa movement led by Paul Cuffe mainly uncovers through the research data by the author. The author insists that research materials linked the movement with the start of elite movements to protect the African people on the African continent despite the fact that they lived luxurious lives in the United States of America. Through research, the author also uncovered the policy by the United States of America towards the political situation in Africa. First, research materials showed that the continent did not stand as one of the main areas of focus by the American government. The government prioritized victory in battles over the security, safety, and political coolness in the continent.
Data sources and presentation
Alvin Tillery’s Between Homeland and Motherland Africa, US foreign Policy and Black Leadership in America present a situation of the battle of the American African elite to liberate the Africans from the slave trade and the invasion by the Americans and the Europeans in the leadership and economic situation of the continent. The main thesis in the book is the struggle of the African elite to protect the Africa land and ensure economic prosperity in the country. The main questions that guided the author’s research and the consecutive writing of the book mainly revolved around the readiness of the American elite in protecting the African rights and privileges in the leadership and economic situation in the continent. At the same time, the author identified main ideas that affected the Africans who gathered people to show the wide support to the pan Africanist activities. Besides the activities, the role of prominent people in the pan African movement played a major part in the development of the movement.
Tillery, Alvin B. 2011. Between homeland and motherland: Africa, U.S. foreign policy, and Black leadership in America / Alvin B. Tillery, Jr. n.p.: Ithaca [N.Y.] : Cornell University Press, 2011., 2011.