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"An Exile's Lot": Julian Mayfield and Richard Gibson's International Activism

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Abstract:

Activists in the 1960s Black freedom struggle challenged the racial hierarchy of the United States. Facing the political and economic pressure levied against them by the government, some African American activists sought opportunities to continue their activism and support their families outside the borders of the United States. This paper will explore how Julian Mayfield and Richard Gibson left the United States and continued their activism from abroad. Mayfield and Gibson both exited the United States in the early 1960s due to pressure from the federal government. Federal authorities sought to question Mayfield in 1961 over his role in helping the civil rights activist Robert F. Williams escape from an FBI manhunt.

Mayfield settled in Ghana, founded his own publication, African Review, and occasionally worked as a speechwriter for President Kwame Nkrumah. Prior to the coup against Nkrumah, Mayfield returned to the United States to teach at Cornell University, helped write and star in the 1968 Paramount Pictures film Uptight, and then entered into the service of Forbes Burnham’s government in Guyana.

Gibson left the United States in 1962 when he learned of a pending subpoena against him for his involvement in the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Gibson restarted his career in London in 1964 and began to work as Robert F. Williams’ literary agent in Europe. Both cases represent an attempt to balance their international activism and travel with opportunities for work.
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Association:
Name: 102nd Annual Meeting and Conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History
URL:
http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1298182_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Mares, Richard. ""An Exile's Lot": Julian Mayfield and Richard Gibson's International Activism" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 102nd Annual Meeting and Conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel, Cincinnati, OH, <Not Available>. 2018-06-18 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1298182_index.html>

APA Citation:

Mares, R. ""An Exile's Lot": Julian Mayfield and Richard Gibson's International Activism" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 102nd Annual Meeting and Conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel, Cincinnati, OH <Not Available>. 2018-06-18 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1298182_index.html

Publication Type: Abstract
Abstract: Activists in the 1960s Black freedom struggle challenged the racial hierarchy of the United States. Facing the political and economic pressure levied against them by the government, some African American activists sought opportunities to continue their activism and support their families outside the borders of the United States. This paper will explore how Julian Mayfield and Richard Gibson left the United States and continued their activism from abroad. Mayfield and Gibson both exited the United States in the early 1960s due to pressure from the federal government. Federal authorities sought to question Mayfield in 1961 over his role in helping the civil rights activist Robert F. Williams escape from an FBI manhunt.

Mayfield settled in Ghana, founded his own publication, African Review, and occasionally worked as a speechwriter for President Kwame Nkrumah. Prior to the coup against Nkrumah, Mayfield returned to the United States to teach at Cornell University, helped write and star in the 1968 Paramount Pictures film Uptight, and then entered into the service of Forbes Burnham’s government in Guyana.

Gibson left the United States in 1962 when he learned of a pending subpoena against him for his involvement in the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Gibson restarted his career in London in 1964 and began to work as Robert F. Williams’ literary agent in Europe. Both cases represent an attempt to balance their international activism and travel with opportunities for work.


 
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