‘Figures like Amílcar Cabral… helped us to imagine the
horizons of freedom in far broader terms than were available to us
through what we now call “civil rights discourse.“’ — Angela
A new biography
of one of Africa’s seminal anti-colonial thinkers and activists.
20 January 1973, the Bissau-Guinean revolutionary Amílcar Cabral was
killed by militants from his own party. Cabral had founded the PAIGC
in 1960 to fight for the liberation of Portuguese Guinea and Cape
Verde. The insurgents were Bissau-Guineans, aiming to get rid of the
Cape Verdeans who dominated the party elite.
Cabral’s assassination, Portuguese Guinea became the independent
Republic of Guinea-Bissau. The guerrilla war that Cabral had started
and led precipitated a chain of events that would lead to the 1974
Carnation Revolution in Lisbon, toppling the forty-year-old
authoritarian regime. This paved the way for the rest of Portugal’s
African colonies to achieve independence.
by a native of Angola, this biography narrates Cabral’s
revolutionary trajectory, from his early life in Portuguese Guinea to
his death at the hands of his own men. It details his quest for
national sovereignty, beleaguered by the ethnic-based identity
conflicts the national liberation movement struggled to overcome.
Through the life of Cabral, António Tomás critically reflects on
existing ways of thinking and writing about the independence of