Douglas Edwards Liberation Movement

1890 Words 8 Pages
It is not surprising that the movements of the Sixties were global. The “long 1960s,” the period that stretched from 1954 to 1975, followed the second World War of the century; even the name connotes the new scale of the world. People could be interconnected, especially as new technologies could communicate liberal philosophies across the globe. White students living in American cities could read “Third World” liberation theories and find applicability in their own self-styled liberation movements. 1968 in particular was a peak year of student unrest internationally, with protests citing many of the same issues – Vietnam, decolonization, race relations – and accomplishing them through the same tactics. Simultaneous, global movements allowed …show more content…
One of the Foundation’s missions is to help develop decolonized nations; shortly after the Edwards’ family arrival in Kenya, the country achieved independence from Great Britain. Edwards notes that his father’s highly influential meetings with prominent Kenyan officials helped teach him “to be involved” in his later life – a mantra embodied by many teenagers of the Sixties who wanted to “change the world.” After his return to the United States in 1968, Edwards describes himself as “jumping on the tail end of the Sixties;” he was a part of the youth movement, protested the Vietnam War, and participated minimally in the Civil Rights movement (he was living in Poughkeepsie, New York, where the movement was not as prevalent). But his global upbringing colored his perspective on the world – his opinions on American imperialism, for example, differed from those of the average American or European teenager who had not had the same experience. Through Edwards’ experience, I seek to explore America’s influence on a global youth movement, both politically and culturally. Additionally, I will expand upon Edwards’ opinion that movements in the Sixties were more global by design, attempting to turn the “changing the world” mentality into a reality, as opposed to movements of today, which “seem a little …show more content…
Though many Americans might classify the work as bordering on imperialist, Edwards says that Kenyans did not: “They had just gotten independence so they were not really worried about someone coming in and taking over. They were just trying to figure out how to man a country and any help was welcome.” That help came in the form of “knowledge, education, and money.” As noted before, Ed Edwards’ economic expertise was well utilized by the Kenyan government, and the success of American help promoted positive reactions to the Foundation’s presence. The Foundation was not the US government and so cannot be used to extrapolate conclusions about American imperialism overall. Instead, the actions by the United States government to free hostages in the Congo provide a picture of American activity in Africa:
The US went in overnight in some big fancy raid and got them out. And all us kids, we went down and we were all celebrating in front of the Embassy on a ‘good job well done.’ It was just sort of different – everyone was very approving of what they did. Of course, it was a heroic thing. But no one thought it was an imperialist move or

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