Document Type


Date of Award



College of Liberal Arts and Behavioral Sciences (COLABS)

Degree Name

MA in History

First Advisor

Dr. Gregory H. Maddox


The historical common elements in Tanzania and African American culture serve as links that uncover the connection between these two groups of people through time and space in this thesis. Elements of Tanzanian nationalism in African American black cultural nationalism are links that attest to the significance of this African! African American twentieth century relationship. A most obvious link between Tanzania and African Americans is language. The appearance of Kiswahili as a non-ethnic African language allowed this language to be instrumental in facilitating nationalism in Tanzania, and later surfacing in the African American community as its' unofficial adopted African language. Historically these two phenomena connect through Pan-African involvement. Analyzing the element of common language through Pan-African history exposes connections between Julius K. Nyerere and African Americans. The same impact that Nyerere's ideology had in unifying Tanzania it catalyzed African Americans in the 1960s period of Africanization. Symbolically, African Americans had always maintained a close relationship with West Africa, specifically Ghana as the first independent country 1 in that region and the association to it as their ancestral homeland. However, Nyerere's quest to overcome colonialism and neo-colonialism in Tanzania through the twin ideologies of African Socialism (Ujamaa) and Self-Reliance (Kujitegemea) attracted the attention of African American intellectuals. Researching connections as these allowing African and African American print media to speak brings forth history that resulted from the association of these two groups of people. A twentieth century phenomenon as this African}African American cultural exchange indicates that cultural exchange extends beyond west Africa to the entire African continent for African Americans. 2