A Motorcycle on Hell Run cover
A Motorcycle on Hell Run
Tanzania, Black Power, and the Uncertain Future of Pan-Africanism, 1964–1974
Between 1964 and 1974 Tanzania came to be regarded as a model nation and a leading frontline state in the struggle for African liberation on the continent and beyond. During this time, a number of African American and Caribbean nationalists, leftists, and pan-Africanists traveled to and settled in Tanzania to join the country that many believed to be leading Africa’s liberation struggle. This historical study examines the political landscape of that crucial moment when African American, Caribbean, and Tanzanian histories overlapped, shedding light on the challenges of creating a new nation and the nature of African American and Caribbean participation in Tanzania’s nationalist project. In examining the pragmatic partnerships and exchanges between socialist Tanzania and activists and organizations associated with the Black Power movements in the United States and the Caribbean, this study argues that the Tanzanian one-party government actively engaged with the diaspora and sought to utilize its political, cultural, labor, and intellectual capital to further its national building agenda, but on its own terms, creating tension within the pan-Africanism movement. An excellent resource for academics and nonacademics alike, this work is the first of its kind, revealing the significance of the radical political and social movements of Tanzania and what it means for us today.
Publication Date: August 1st, 2017
296 pages| 6 in x 9 in
Seth M. Markle is an Associate Professor of History and International Studies at Trinity College whose work focuses on the histories of political and cultural exchange between Africa and the African Diaspora. His articles and chapters have appeared in The Black Scholar, Biography, and Politics of African Anticolonial Archive.

Early Praise

A Motorcycle on Hell Run is a towering achievement in the burgeoning field of Black internationalism. Seth Markle is one of the young lions in black freedom studies, opening new international vistas in the study of Black Power. No scholar has mastered this historic moment in the black revolt— and no writer has captured this epic story—better than Professor Markle. Finally, we can understand the path from Malcolm X and Robert F. Williams to the African Liberation Support Committee and the Sixth Pan-African Congress. Bravo!”
Komozi Woodard, Professor, Sarah Lawrence College, and author of A Nation within a Nation: Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones)


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