Celebration of Scholarship, Creativity & Achievement

Ed Onaci

Associate Professor of History

In his new book “Free the Land: The Republic of New Afrika and the Pursuit of a Black Nation-State,” Edward Onaci, an associate professor of history, tells the full history of New Afrikan Independence Movement. “I thought that the idea of pursuing independence was so foreign compared to other Black Power era ideas,” Onaci said. “The concept of New Afrikan independence intrigued me, and I wanted to learn more.” Onaci noted, “Very often when we look into social movements, we’re interested in key leaders, the major speeches that provide newsworthy soundbites, and spectacular events. Although, I too can be attracted to those aspects of social movements, the most important thing that I think I learned is that the people who don’t make the headlines are the most important aspect of the resilience of activism. Those are the people who try to apply ideas to their daily lives. In the process, they rethink and add nuance to those ideas. That is what is at the heart of the book, and that’s what I think is the most significant lesson of this and any other activist effort.”