Social Movements: A Theory and History

Free the Land: The Republic of New Afrika and the Pursuit of a Black Nation-State is the first book to tell the full history of the New Afrikan Independence Movement.

social movements Associate Professor of History Edward Onaci, whose research is partially focused on social movement theory, historicizes that movement, which was to establish an independent Black nation state from Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama.

More broadly, Onaci’s book examines what motivates people to join social movements, how participation in social movements impacts their lives, and how the ideas transform over time. “People are really trying to better understand history and activism,” said Onaci. “Folks my age or younger aren’t always cognizant of how the ideas they’re working on have been shaped to some degree by the New Afrikan Independence Movement.” 

Through his work, he employs an interdisciplinary methodology, and becoming a “participant observer” has allowed him to better analyze and interpret written documentation and interviews, as well as better understand what motivates members of these movements.