Amilcar Cabral of Guinea-Bissau, 1921-1973

Our History Did Not Begin in Chains:  Amilcar Cabral of Guinea-Bissau, 1921-1973


One of the greatest of modern theoreticians of the African Revolution was Amilcar Cabral, the multilingual Portuguese-trained agronomist who helped to found the PAIGC, the Party for the Independence of Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde. After graduating from agronomy school he used his training to great effect by getting to know every inch of his beloved Guinea-Bissau, making intensive and detailed reconnaisances of all of the places, peoples and customs of the nation.

Cabral saw the revolution through against Portuguese minority rule in Bissau but had his brilliant life and career cut short in 1973 when he was assassinated at the hands of Portuguese agents. By that time he had become well known both in and beyond Bissau and was the author of several posthumously published texts, among the most well known of which were "Revolution in Guinea" and "Return to the Source." Fluent in the Romance languages of French, Spanish and Portuguese, he was less comfortable in English, and relatively few of his writings have been translated for Anglophone audiences.

Those in McHenry include the following: