Spotlight 'Africa 2020': Images tell the story of independence

In 1960, seventeen countries in Africa declared independence. Hence, the year became known as the 'Year of Africa'. Sixty years later, the New York Times has made a special online production in which images tell the story of independence: 'Reflections on 1960, the Year of Africa'. Each of the seventeen countries that gained independence in 1960 is represented in photographs. In addition, there are images from other countries that became independent just before or after 1960, with especially rich photographic traditions. A group of creative people of African descent living in the United States of America then gave their personal reactions to these images. In her introduction to the production, Adom Getachew, a Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, writes:

'The Year of Africa, as it came to be known, was a victory for the black world. It emerged from longstanding global movements for racial equality and gave rise to political and cultural revolutions that forever transformed Africa’s place in the world. Along with the triumph of African independence, however, the political crises of decolonization revealed central quandaries — from the place of ethnic identity in politics to the role and legitimacy of state power — that still trouble the continent and the wider world.'

Read and see the production.

Photo: President of Israel, Yitzhak Ben Zvi, during a visit to President of Central African Republic, David Dacko. Both wearing the sash of the Grand Officier de l'Ordre du Mérite Centrafricain. 8 August 1962.
Photo by David Eldan / Public domain.