Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Ian C. Fletcher

Second Advisor

Mohammed Hassen Ali

Third Advisor

Harcourt Fuller

Fourth Advisor

Leonard Ray Teel


This dissertation critically examines how U.S. print media sought to represent the realities of decolonizing and newly independent countries in West Africa by focusing on pivotal events and charismatic leaders from the “non” vote in Guinea in 1958 to the radical appeal of Amilcar Cabral in Guinea-Bissau in 1973. The framing and agenda setting of mainstream media coverage turned leaders and events into metonyms not only for peoples and nations but also for Africa and Africans as a whole. However, the complexities of West Africa, such as political rivalry in the Congo or civil war in Nigeria, troubled such representations. Thus this dissertation tracks the widening of coverage and opening up of representations in African American and New Left print media in a time of global unrest as well as Cold War.