The American Society of African Culture: The CIA and Transnational Networks of African Diaspora Intellectuals in the Cold War
In February 1967, the US Cold War effort suffered a major setback. The west coast magazine Ramparts revealed that the CIA was secretly funding the ostensibly independent American student organization, the US National Student Association, via an array of “pass-through” foundations. The New York Times, which previously had sat on stories about the covert US effort in the Cold War battle for “hearts and minds”, followed up the Ramparts revelation with a series of articles exposing concealed Agency subsidies to a variety of other supposedly private citizen groups with overseas programmes. This unwanted publicity profoundly damaged the image of the organizations in question, effectively destroying some, and dealt the reputation of the CIA itself a blow from which it arguably never recovered.
KeywordsAfrican Culture National Tension African Diaspora Transnational Community American Delegation
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- 1.For example, Ruth Feldstein’s study of jazz musician Nina Simone placing her in a transnational context mentions her visiting Nigeria on an AMSAC-sponsored tour in 1961 yet fails to mention the organization’s CIA backing. Ruth Feldstein, “‘I Don’t Trust You Anymore’: Nina Simone, Culture, and Black Activism in the 1960s”, Journal of American History 91 (2005), pp. 1370–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 2.Penny M. Von Eschen, Satchmo Blows Up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004), p. 157.Google Scholar
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- 4.Hugh Wilford, The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004), p. 201.Google Scholar
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- 8.James Baldwin, “Letter from Paris: Princes and Powers”, Encounter 3 (1957): 52–3.Google Scholar
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