Rutgers University, Camden
This article is an assessment of the role of African Americans in effecting democratic African politics and leadership. Assessments of African development provide the basis for explaining African contemporary leadership challenges and a survey of U.S. foreign policy toward Africa is used to evaluate the domestic political environment that elicited African Americans’ political activism on behalf of Africa. Two historic case studies, of Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia in 1935 and the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa during the 1980s, are used to identify, characterize, and assess African Americans’ political influence on African development and leadership. The article assesses the means, motivation, and impact of African American political activity on behalf of Africa to explain how democratic movements may improve African leadership. The article concludes that African Americans most effectively contribute to democratic development in Africa when they interact directly with African social and political organizations to encourage responsive, effective leadership.