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For most liberation movements, the primary vehicle has historically been an armed struggle. This was true for the American Revolution, and is true for the various independent movements that campaigned against foreign rule in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Seldom has a liberation movement given primacy to theory over military confrontation. Amilcar Cabral was, however, an exception to this rule. While Cabral did not totally eschew armed insurgency, he campaigned fervently to hinge the liberation of Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau on philosophical underpinnings. Arguing for what he describes as the “weapon of theory,” Amilcar Cabral, founder of the African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde and Guinea (PAIGC) and a major figure in the struggle against Portuguese colonial rule in Africa, highlights the pivotal role of culture in national liberation and nation building. This book is the product of a collection of scholars who have come together to interpret, synthesize and give new meaning to the life and philosophy of Amilcar Cabral. While the focus here is on Cabral and his thoughts, the lesson, like all philosophical lessons, is universal and immortal. For any people victimized by oppression, there is an alternative to armed conflict. Cabral informs us that that alternative is “the weapon of theory.”


“This book is about the thoughts and philosophies of one of the founding fathers of modern Africa. Amilcar Cabral was not only a statesman; he was a freedom fighter, a leader, a philosopher, a poet, a feminist, a historian, an agronomist and a social scientist. But as one who received formal training in agronomic sciences, when he was serendipitously charged with the task of leading his people out of colonial bondage, Cabral made sure that every action he took was based on scientific reason. It is his flair for using science and reason to rationalize the struggle for freedom and equality that makes Amilcar Cabral one of the most highly studied liberation philosophers in Africa … In its entirety, this book provides a rich intellectual study of ideas and concepts that contribute to the liberation and evolution of colonial societies. The book explores perspectives that range from history to philosophy, political science, sociology and religion. It will certainly provide valuable reading to interdisciplinary programs in social sciences and the humanities.” – (from the Foreword) Professor Veronique Helenon, Florida International University

Table of Contents

Preface by Thomas Ranuga
Foreword by Veronique Helenon
I. Introduction
II. Amilcar S. Lopes – Amilcar Cabral and the Power of Knowledge
III. Tsenay Seregueberhan – Amilcar Cabral and the Practice of Theory
IV. Richard Lobhan – Amilcar Cabral: Uniting Theory and Practice
V. Sylvia Hill – Cabral Legacies: Meeting the Challenges of the 21st Century
VI. Deidre Meintel – Culture and Process in the Thoughts of Amilcar Cabral
VII. Crispina Gomes – The Women of Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde in the Struggle for National Independence
VIII. Horace Campbell – Revisiting the Theories and Practices of Amilcar Cabral in the Context of the Exhaustion of the Patriarchal Model of African Liberation
IX. Joao M. Monteiro – Heroes, Ghosts, and Politicians: Amilcar Cabral and the Democratic Transition in Cape Verde
X. John Fobanjong – The Regional Context of the Liberation Struggle in Lusophone Africa
XI. John Fobanjong – Articulating Cabral’s Regionalist and Pan-Africanist Vision in the Age of Globalization
XII. Appendix – Keynote Address by the President of Cape Verde, Aristides Periera (1975-1990)

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