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Socialismes en Afrique

 | 
Françoise Blum
, 
Héloïse Kiriakou
, 
Martin Mourre
, 
et al.

Troisième partie : socialismes transnationaux : coopération et circulation

Transnational Socialisms: Cooperation and Circulations—The Peace Corps and Anti-Imperialism in the Ethiopian Student Movement (1962–1969)

Beatrice Tychsen Wayne

Texte intégral

  • 1 At the Conference of Independent African countries held in Ghana in 1958, Emperor Haile Selassie ma (...)
  • 2 For more on the global influence of Cuba, China, and Vietnam on resistance movements in the 1960s, (...)

1The Ethiopian Student Movement (ESM) of the 1960s was a resilient political movement that received its lifeblood from university and high school classrooms across the Ethiopian Empire. This socialist student organization both created the groundwork for the Ethiopian Revolution of 1974 and influenced the Marxist orientation of the military junta that swept into power in its wake. Emperor Haile Selassie’s autocratic regime brought these far-flung students together to oppose his government; they were particularly engaged in fighting the land tenure system that oppressed the peasant-farming majority of Ethiopia. Although the students were deeply divided on the question of national self-determination for areas of the Ethiopian Empire such as Eritrea, Oromia, and the Ogaden, the need for land reform drew the movement together until sectarian divisions split the movement in the early 1970s (Bahru Zewde 2014). Influential scholarship on the ESM has examined how this vibrant yet contentious movement drew inspiration from African exchange students who arrived at Haile Selassie I University (HSIU) in the late 1950s, and whose tradition of anti-colonial activism spurred Ethiopian students towards political engagement.1 This scholarship has also examined how the ESM looked to Cuba, China, and Vietnam for inspiration, embracing Che Guevara, Maoism, and the Vietcong as symbols of liberation (Balsvik 1984; Bahru Zewde 2014; Teshale Tibebu 2008; Milkias 2006).2

2Indeed, scholarship on transatlantic socialisms across Africa has tended to focus on kinship between groups, and transmissions between like-minded revolutionary groups across geographical boundaries. This chapter, however, takes a different approach by looking at an organization whose ideological orientation did not align easily with either the goals or methods of the ESM. It examines how the Peace Corps program in Ethiopia unintentionally helped to shape the particular iteration of socialism that emerged in Ethiopia in the 1970s. Unexpectedly, and ironically, Peace Corps volunteers working in Ethiopia in the 1960s helped to shape the anti-imperial Marxist dreams of the Ethiopian students, despite the very different orientation and populations of these two groups. In exploring this unlikely and complex relationship, this chapter seeks to emphasize that significant transmissions do not singularly occur through cooperation and affinity, but can also be productively fostered through dissent and tensions between groups.

  • 3 For works that engage in the specificities of African socialism, see other chapters in this volume (...)

3The specific anti-imperial stance adopted by Ethiopian students was deeply influenced by anticolonial struggles across the globe, by Franz Fanon, by Che Guevara, and by Mao’s Little Red Book. Yet it was also influenced by the transnational exchanges between Peace Corps teachers and their students. These exchanges played a role in the emergence of a specific Ethiopian socialism, a socialism that was anti-imperial, yet distinct from other socialist experiments across the continent. While African Socialism was, as Julius Nyerere termed it, an “attitude of mind,” connected to ideas of a precolonial African past, the socialist groups that grew out of the Ethiopian student movement were explicitly and determinedly Marxist-Leninist (Nyerere 1967).3

  • 4 This follows Bahru Zewde’s chronology of the ESM, as he differentiates between the period before an (...)

4The sectarian struggles within the ESM in the 1970s show that this socialist vision was never a singular, monolithic ideology, but nevertheless, the bedrock of all of the Ethiopian socialisms that came into existence was an anti-imperial vision that intertwined criticism of the United States’ and Ethiopian governments. This chapter engages with the period from 1962–1969, before the “autonomous, self-actualizing” socialist student movement in Ethiopia hardened into sectarian and unforgiving subgenres.4 It was during these years that the inchoate student movement was most strongly influenced by the Peace Corps, and when the commitment to combatting Unites States (US) influence in Ethiopia coalesced into a driving force propelling the ESM. We will first look to structure of the Peace Corps, then to the exchanges between the Peace Corps volunteers and Ethiopian student activists in order to understand how the organization helped to shape the particular anti-imperialism of the Ethiopian Student Movement.

The aims and unexpected outcomes of the Peace Corps in Ethiopia

  • 5 “Minister Addresses Peace Corps Volunteers,” Ethiopian Herald, 8 September 1962.

5The Peace Corps program in Ethiopia was, by the late 1960s, the largest in Africa. Between 1962 and 1969, 2,014 volunteers served across the Ethiopian Empire. These volunteers were attracted to the idea of serving in the Corps because it was seen as a way to contribute to the global community without the negative consequences attached to US imperialism. The key architects of the Peace Corps program (Sargent Shriver, Bill Moyers, even John F. Kennedy) emphasized, both publicly and in communication to volunteers, a strong separation between the Peace Corps and wider US foreign policy. Peace Corps teachers were expected to help Ethiopian students gain a better understanding of US culture, history, and politics. They were, as one of the first arriving Peace Corps volunteers said to journalists at the Ethiopian Herald, “grateful for the invitation to serve Ethiopia. We have come not only to teach but also to learn.”5 Secretary of State Dean Rusk summed up the contradictory relationship of Peace Corps programs to the U.S. State Department when he advised, “the Peace Corps is not an instrument of foreign policy, because to make it so would rob it of its contribution to foreign policy.” (Wofford 1980: 257).

  • 6 Incoming Telegram, Department of State, 25 September 1966, Box 81, Ethiopia, Office Files of Bill M (...)

6Nevertheless, it was no coincidence that one of the most robust Peace Corps programs around the globe was centered in a country of key global strategic concern to the United States. Kagnew, a US military communications base and Cold War listening station in Asmara, drew intense interest to the region. US State Department exchanges described Kagnew as “the only vital US strategic interest in Africa.”6 They wished to support gradual political, economic, and social evolution in Ethiopia, to “contain revolutionary pressure in the Horn” and to consolidate their access to Kagnew (Marcus 1995: 170). Containing this revolutionary pressure meant controlling and redirecting the nascent but growing Ethiopian Student Movement and its socialist inclinations. One method by which they sought to contain this pressure and to foster social evolution was through the Peace Corps, also known as the “Yesalem Guad,” or “Messengers of Peace” in Amharic.

  • 7 An outside study commissioned by the Peace Corps to study the effect of the Ethiopian program found (...)

7These volunteers were dispersed throughout the Ethiopian Empire in hospitals, ministerial offices but above all, in secondary schools. And it was in secondary schools where their surprising influence on student movement originated. Bahru Zewde argues that one of the most important factors for the growth of the ESM was the incorporation of high school students into the revolutionary movement (Bahru Zewde 2014: 94). The influx of Peace Corps teachers starting in 1962 meant that the secondary-school system was able to expand significantly and educate many more students than previously possible. A 1968 report by the Human Development Foundation (a group of Boston social scientists) found that by 1967, the average Ethiopian secondary-school student had been taught by five different Peace Corps teachers during his or her time in high school (Bergthold, McClelland 1968: 9). Robert Hess estimated that the addition of Peace Corps teachers allowed an increase in the number of secondary-school students from 6,200 in 1960 to 34,050 in 1969 (Hess 1970: 162).7 Perhaps, then, the most quantifiable impact of the Peace Corps was that their addition to the teaching roster meant that there were many more secondary-school students available to radicalize.

8In terms of the actual content of Peace Corps teaching, however, the influence of the Peace Corps becomes more complicated to assess. Former Peace Corps volunteer John Coyne (who was among the first group of volunteers to arrive in Ethiopia and would later become a staff member) recalls that early volunteers considered themselves “revolutionaries.” However, their actual politics represented a variety of political standpoints, with only a very few self-described Marxists (Schwarz 1991: 5). The wide majority of volunteers supported civil rights, abhorred the Vietnam War, but believed that gradual reform rather than revolution was the best path forward for Ethiopia.

  • 8 Robert Albritton, interview by Beatrice Wayne, 14 December 2012, Toronto, Canada.

9Nevertheless, it is surprisingly common for those who matriculated through the Ethiopian public-school system to cite their Peace Corps teachers as sparking a revolutionary zeal in them, despite the Peace Corps reform-oriented ideology. This particular revolutionary message communicated by Peace Corps teachers was neither purposeful, nor embedded in political ideologies articulated in the classroom, but communicated less directly through pedagogical approaches. Many former Ethiopian students emphasize that the teaching style of Peace Corps volunteers centered on fostering debate in the classroom and promoting “critical thinking skills” rather than the rote memorization favored by Indian and Ethiopian teachers. Volunteers often worked to establish student councils in high schools to “model democracy” and held debates with provocative questions, such as, “Should Eritrea be allowed to choose independence?”8 In practice, such actions did not sell the value of American-style democracy so much as encourage students to ask critical questions about power, resources, and equality in Ethiopian society. As volunteers tended to prize the idea of academic freedom highly, these questions were accepted and treated seriously in the classroom.

  • 9 “Bill Moyers’ Notes—Ethiopia,” Box 15, Office Files of Bill Moyers, Papers of Lyndon Baines Johnson (...)

10In general, volunteers tried as much as possible to absent themselves from being implicated in Cold War machinations, and they were particularly loath to critique Haile Selassie’s government. The Peace Corps operated as a bi-national program; the host country requested Peace Corps programs and volunteers. Because of this, volunteers were specifically forbidden from expressing opinions that explicitly critiqued the Ethiopian government, upon threat of expulsion from the country. Volunteers were aware that they were being monitored, although perhaps not the degree to which they were being scrutinized. Associate Director of the Peace Corps, Bill Moyers, noted particularly that if the volunteers in Eritrea knew “how the police, the governor, and the military, not to mention secret police, were talking about and watching them, they would want to go home.”9 They were, however, aware that classroom engagement with Ethiopian politics would likely get back to their supervisors, both Ethiopian and American. Because of this, volunteers were much more open to fostering discussion through criticism of the United States or in more abstract ideological or political debates.

  • 10 Ibid.
  • 11 Author interview with Fentahun Tiruneh, Washington D.C., 11 February 2015.

11To the consternation of some volunteers, however, Ethiopian students leapt into the more permissive classroom atmosphere to directly address their complaints with the Ethiopian government. A former Peace Corps teacher recalls teaching a political science course in Harar in the early 1960s where his discussion of fascism prompted a student discussion about whether there was a difference between an absolute monarchy (as practiced by Haile Selassie’s government) and fascism.10 Occasionally this situation was reversed, and bold Peace Corps teachers encouraged their student to question the authority of the Ethiopian government. Fentahun Tiruneh, who was jailed by Haile Selassie’s government during the late 1960s, recalls his first moment of political awakening occurred in a secondary-school classroom in Gondar, after his Peace Corps teacher brashly insisted that criticism of Haile Selassie’s rule was fair game in the classroom. Fentahun had never heard anyone speak against the government before that, and noted that there was “something really provocative about it […] it just changes a small thing in your brain.”11 Students who would later come to call for the Peace Corps’ expulsion from Ethiopia identified such experiences in the classroom as formative for their early political development.

12This is not to claim that students lacked exposure to criticism of the government except for their Peace Corps teachers. Particularly in Addis Ababa and the province of Eritrea students were certainly exposed to such resistance, particularly following the 1960 attempted coup d’état by the Imperial Bodyguard. But rather, oral histories suggest that young Ethiopian students were profoundly influenced by the sight of their teachers, who were employees of both the United States and Ethiopian government, introducing and in some cases encouraging anti-government discussion in the classroom.

  • 12 Teshome Wagaw, “The Burden and Glory of Being Schooled: An Ethiopian Dilemma,” (paper prepared for (...)

13The influence of Peace Corps teachers was not only in their pedagogy, but also in their physical behavior. In oral interviews, former Ethiopian students consistently recall in vivid detail their Peace Corps teachers putting their feet up on their desks, their hands casually behind their heads, and their way of speaking to their students with far less formality than their other teachers. The role of Astamari (teacher) in the structured hierarchy of Ethiopian society was a revered one, and students were generally expected to be respectful of their teacher’s authority. As Teshome Wagaw elaborated, the emphasis in schooling had been on “obedience, loyalty, and deference to authority.”12 This structured mode of teaching was embraced by the many Indian teachers who were employed in secondary schools across the empire, who Randi Balsvik describes as embodying a “fatalistic and indifferent attitude” in contrast to the “energetic and conscientious attitude” of Peace Corps teachers (Balsvik 1979: 341).

14The Peace Corps teachers’ casual attitude, which included slang and joking with students, encouraged a flattening of hierarchical divisions. Classrooms became a valuable space for students to practice challenging someone in a purported position of authority. Although students certainly did not develop a coherent Marxist ideology based on teachings in Peace Corps classrooms, they nevertheless in retrospect found value in these experiences, as they provided a base for their later political development.

  • 13 Peace Corps volunteers became involved with establishing the Ethiopian University Service, which th (...)
  • 14 Ahmed Ali Egeh, interview by Beatrice Wayne, 26 February 2014, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • 15 Bahru Zewde, e-mail message to author, 6 March 2014.

15Access to books and texts was another key aspect of the Peace Corps contribution to the Ethiopian Student Movement. Occasionally, these texts which volunteers made available were explicitly Marxist; Robert Albritton remembers discussing Plato and Aristotle but also Marx with his students in Asmara. In Harar, Tibebe Terfa recalled getting access to books through his Peace Corps teacher, including the Communist Manifesto. More commonly, volunteers worked to establish libraries in their schools and towns. These libraries were often accessible to entire towns, but expanded secondary school libraries particularly benefited high school and incoming Ethiopian University Service (EUS) students.13 Ahmed Ali Egeh found an “excellent library” when he arrived for his EUS service in Prince Makonnen School in Dire Dawa, which had been created by Peace Corps volunteers.14 At a different Prince Makonnen School, this one in Addis Ababa, Peace Corps volunteers got together to establish a library, an initiative that Bahru Zewde saw as “one of the most important things that the PCV did” at his secondary school.15

16Peace Corps volunteers also taught all their courses in English, which meant that these students could more fluently read Marxist works, which while of limited availability in Ethiopia generally, were also exclusively available in English. These students then also developed the skills to translate Marxists texts into Amharic, so that they could reach a greater proportion of the populace. In an ironic twist for the US State Department, their educational initiative meant to sell Ethiopian students on US values ended up burnishing these students’ English skills to help them more effectively consume tenets of Marxism.

The turning point, abroad and back at home

  • 16 ESANA became ESUNA (the Ethiopian Student Union in North America) in 1969 (Alem Asres 1998: 92).
  • 17 See, for example, Challenge: Journal of the Ethiopian Students Association in North America, Februa (...)

17Much as Ethiopia was the largest Peace Corps program in operation in the late 1960s, so was the United States the most popular destination for Ethiopian students studying abroad at this time. Between 1964 and 1973, 2,235 Ethiopian students studied in the United States, which was 53.9 percent of the population of students abroad (26.8 percent were in Western European countries, and smaller numbers of students studied in Russia, Lebanon, Algeria, the Sudan, Egypt, and Iraq) (Girma Amare 1984: 69; Bahru Zewde 2014: 237). And one of the most explicitly anti-US and committedly Marxist arms of the student movement was ESANA, the Ethiopia Student Association in North America.16 Certainly not all of students who studied in the United States joined ESANA, but it did mean that ESANA wielded particular power as a significant overseas arm of the Ethiopian Student Movement. From different vantage points across the US, from the San Francisco Bay Area to Boston to Indianapolis, ESANA published tracts that criticized the Ethiopian government. Most particularly they criticized what they saw as the damaging influence of the United States on Ethiopian society, seizing particularly on the Peace Corps, the most visible US presence throughout Ethiopian society (Alem Asres 1998: 94).17

  • 18 Ibid.: 40.
  • 19 Challenge: Journal of the Ethiopian Students Association in North America, February 1968, vol. 8, n (...)
  • 20 Stanley Meisler, “Political Woes Hinder Peace Corps in Africa,” Los Angeles Times, 30 June 1969: A2 (...)

18The distribution of such tracts from the US back in Addis Ababa was an impetus for the protest that Hubert Humphrey faced in 1968 when he arrived in Addis Ababa, which included an effigy of Lyndon Johnson burnt in the streets and shouts of “Yankee Go Home” flung at Peace Corps volunteers.18 Hailu Ayele, the first secretary-general of the University Student Union of Addis Ababa (USUAA), recalls that a Challenge issue on “US Imperialism in Ethiopia” had come into possession of some students at HSIU prior to Humphrey’s arrival. They decided to distribute this article, and “[t]hat was why there was a confrontation when Humphrey arrived.” (Bahru Zewde 2010: 40). The same edition of Challenge included an article entitled “US Foreign Policy and the Peace Corps,” criticizing it for falsely presenting itself as an entity that spreads “freedom, personal and national independence, democracy and equality of opportunity,” while really working to replace traditional Ethiopian social values and institutions with American imports.19 It was at this moment that Peace Corps volunteers began experiencing consistent harassment in the streets, particularly in Addis Ababa, and having stones thrown at them. In 1969, 14 windows were broken in the Peace Corps headquarters in Addis Ababa.20

19This aggression was influenced by returned ESANA members’ insistence that Peace Corps volunteers were covert agents of US imperialism, but also as a result of the intimate relationships that had developed between Peace Corps teachers and their students. As the student movement grew in high schools and the university, automatic rifles, bayonets and tear gas canisters (military aid from the US) were commonplace forms of government repression. Continued protest by students meant risk of incarceration, bodily harm and even death. Peace Corps volunteers were simultaneously highly symbolic of the United States presence in Ethiopia, while being perhaps the only symbol of American power that did not possess the threat of immediate violent reprisal. It was far safer to shout “Yankee Go Home” or throw rocks at passing Peace Corps volunteers than to challenge an Ethiopian policeman or a US member of the Military Assistance Advisory Group.

  • 21 “Imperialism in Ethiopia,” Challenge, January 1971, vol. 11, no. 1: 5.

20Additionally, the Peace Corps mandate that volunteers immerse themselves fully into the social and cultural life of Ethiopia meant that they were the most accessible Americans to protest. US diplomats and military personnel stayed tucked away in luxurious hotels or at the US embassy. The Peace Corps headquarters was situated in the heart of downtown Addis and was a more accessible site for protest. Counter intuitively, the Peace Corps policy of integrating into Ethiopia, and attempting to elide national distinctions and political tensions actually made the Peace Corps the most visible symbol of US support for Haile Selassie’s regime. And it was primarily Peace Corps’ symbolic position as covert agents of American imperialism that ESANA members railed against, and which inspired their vitriolic writing. Yet in some ways, ESANA students felt a certain unhappy connection to Peace Corps volunteers, as they worried that time in the United States might turn their own selves into carriers of US cultural imperialism. ESANA writers fretted: “returnees in Ethiopia play the crucial role of cultural agents […] [they] can be more effective than agencies of imperialism like the Peace Corps.”21 Perhaps one of the reasons that ESANA students, even more than students back in Ethiopia, decried the Peace Corps is that they feared their own radical potential had been negatively shaped by their time spent in the heart of the US Empire. If anything, this association made them more anxious to adopt a clearly anti-US position, and to pull USUAA more explicitly in this direction.

  • 22 Mary Myers-Bruckenstein, e-mail message to author, 3 July 2015.
  • 23 “Many Peace Corpsmen Leave Ethiopia: Cite Government Repression of Students,” The Washington Post, (...)

21Both groups found that their transnational experiences encouraged them to think critically about the US government, and to articulate an anti-imperial position. Peace Corps volunteers developed this position after witnessing the US support for the violence committed by Haile Selassie’s regime (as well as their opposition to the Vietnam War). Peace Corps volunteers manifested this opposition with a 1968 sit-in at the US Embassy lawn in Addis Ababa against the Vietnam War. This protest included both Peace Corps volunteers and staff members; Peace Corps volunteer Mary Myers Bruckenstein recalls that the country director, Joseph Murphy, gave a speech to all volunteers, saying that they were “the lighthouse of freedom by expressing [their] feelings and concern with our governments activities.”22 Following the murder of prominent student leader Tilahun Gizaw in late 1969 by government agents, many volunteers made an even stronger statement, this time directed at the Ethiopian government specifically. Seventy of the volunteers in the country resigned, most of whom specifically cited “the Emperor’s reactionary regime” as the reason. They were again supported by their country director; Murphy himself resigned, issuing a statement that he refused to work in a country “which cannot establish a social order with better answers to its problems than shooting and beating young people.”23 Peace Corps volunteers, therefore, looked to support the burgeoning student movement by removing themselves from the scene (which was the demand of the most explicitly Marxist Leninist subsection of the student movement). The murder of Tilahun Gizaw was a turning point for both the Peace Corps project in Ethiopia and the Ethiopian student movement. Following the mass resignation, the Peace Corps program retracted drastically in scale, particularly in the education sector. Meanwhile, the Ethiopian students themselves committed themselves to underground organizing, mass striking, and eventually armed resistance to combat Haile Selassie’s government.

Conclusion

22The transnational currents running between the United States and Ethiopia, embodied in particular by the Peace Corps program, were one of a number of important influences on the socialist oriented Ethiopian student movement. This chapter has taken a different approach to much literature on transnational connections by focusing on a program that had creative tensions with the developing socialist movement. The strains between the Peace Corps and students in Ethiopia were productive, as they jointly influenced the growing Ethiopian Student Movement to explicitly disavow US imperialism, up to and including the Peace Corps, as a way to critique the Ethiopian government, and to embrace a Marxist-Leninist identity while supporting different freedom movements across the world, from Black Power in the United States to the Viet Cong in Southeast Asia. This chapter has aimed to demonstrate that uneasy transnational relationships and tensions, as well cooperation, can produce new strategies for resistance and new bases for ideological positions. Encounters between Peace Corps volunteers and their students were experiences that left lasting impressions on those involved, and their different perspectives, interests and relationships to the state influenced the trajectory of the student movement in the years leading up to the Ethiopian Revolution and beyond.

Bibliographie

Alem Asres, 1998. “History of the Ethiopian Student Movement (in Ethiopia and North America). Its impact on internal social change, 1960–1974.” Ph.D. Dissertation, College Park, University of Maryland.

Bahru Zewde (ed.), 2010. Documenting the Ethiopian Student Movement. An Exercise in Oral History, Addis Ababa, Forum for Social Studies.

Bahru Zewde (ed.), 2014. The Quest for Socialist Utopia. The Ethiopian Student Movement c. 1960-1974, New York, Boydell and Brewer Inc.

Balsvik Randi Rønning, 1979. “Haile Selassie’s Students: Rise of Social and Political Consciousness,” Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Tromsø.

Balsvik Randi Rønning, 1984. Haile Sellassie’s Students. The Intellectual and Social Background to Revolution, 1952–1977, Michigan, Michigan State University African Studies.

Bergthold Gary D., McClelland David C., 1968. “The Impact of the Peace Corps Teachers on Students in Ethiopia,” December, Office of International Operation, Country Training Case Files, 1961–1987, Ethiopia to Ethiopia, Box 16, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park (NARA).

Clapham Christopher, 1988. Transformation and Continuity in Revolutionary Ethiopia, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Cobbs Hoffman Elizabeth, 1998. All You Need is Love. The Peace Corps and the Spirit of the 1960s, Cambridge, Harvard University Press.

Donham Donald L., 1998. Marxist Modern. An Ethnographic History of the Ethiopian Revolution, Berkeley, University of California Press.

Fischer Fritz, 1998. Making Them Like Us. Peace Corps Volunteers in the 1960s, Washington, Smithsonian Institution Press.

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Ivaska Andrew, 2001. Cultured States. Youth, Gender, and Modern Style in 1960s Dar es Salaam, Durham, Duke University Press.

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Nyerere Julius, 1967. “Socialism. An Attitude of Mind,” East Africa, no. 4, May: 24–30.

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Speich Daniel, 2009. “The Kenyan Style of ‘African Socialism.’ Developmental Knowledge Claims and the Explanatory Limits of the Cold War,” Diplomatic History, vol. 33, no. 3: 449–466.

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Wayne Beatrice, 2017. “Restless Youth: Education, Activism and the Peace Corps in Ethiopia, 1962-1976.” Ph.D Dissertation, New York University.

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Notes

1 At the Conference of Independent African countries held in Ghana in 1958, Emperor Haile Selassie made available 200 scholarships for African college students coming to study in Ethiopia. For more on the influence of these students on the ESM, see Balsvik (1984); Bahru Zewde (2014).

2 For more on the global influence of Cuba, China, and Vietnam on resistance movements in the 1960s, see Westad (2005).

3 For works that engage in the specificities of African socialism, see other chapters in this volume as well as Lal (2015), Ivaska (2001), and Speich (2009: 449–466).

4 This follows Bahru Zewde’s chronology of the ESM, as he differentiates between the period before and after the end of 1969, following the assassination of student leader Tilahun Gizaw on 28 December 1969. He argues, “[t]hat peak year […] had transformative significance as it marked the transition of the movement from student protests to armed confrontation with the regime” (Bahru Zewde 2014: 266–267).

5 “Minister Addresses Peace Corps Volunteers,” Ethiopian Herald, 8 September 1962.

6 Incoming Telegram, Department of State, 25 September 1966, Box 81, Ethiopia, Office Files of Bill Moyers, Papers of Lyndon Baines Johnson President, 1963–1969, The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library.

7 An outside study commissioned by the Peace Corps to study the effect of the Ethiopian program found: “Peace Corps teachers, each staying two years, have made possible one full year of education for 66,000 students” (Bergthold, McClelland 1968: 16).

8 Robert Albritton, interview by Beatrice Wayne, 14 December 2012, Toronto, Canada.

9 “Bill Moyers’ Notes—Ethiopia,” Box 15, Office Files of Bill Moyers, Papers of Lyndon Baines Johnson President, 1963–1969, The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library: 4.

10 Ibid.

11 Author interview with Fentahun Tiruneh, Washington D.C., 11 February 2015.

12 Teshome Wagaw, “The Burden and Glory of Being Schooled: An Ethiopian Dilemma,” (paper prepared for delivery at the Seventh International Conference of Ethiopian Studies, The University of Lund, Sweden, 26–29 April 1982): 4.

13 Peace Corps volunteers became involved with establishing the Ethiopian University Service, which they often referred to as the “Ethiopian Peace Corps.” EUS students came to play an important role in connecting the university student movement with high school students, and in protesting the presence of the Peace Corps. For more information, see Wayne (2017).

14 Ahmed Ali Egeh, interview by Beatrice Wayne, 26 February 2014, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

15 Bahru Zewde, e-mail message to author, 6 March 2014.

16 ESANA became ESUNA (the Ethiopian Student Union in North America) in 1969 (Alem Asres 1998: 92).

17 See, for example, Challenge: Journal of the Ethiopian Students Association in North America, February 1968, vol. 8, no. 1: 21. Also see Bahru Zewde (2010: 35). This collection contains fascinating accounts of the ways in which Ethiopian student’s experiences in the US shaped their anti-imperial activism, particularly documenting how experiences of racism in the US shaped their understanding of African diasporic politics.

18 Ibid.: 40.

19 Challenge: Journal of the Ethiopian Students Association in North America, February 1968, vol. 8, no. 1: 22–23.

20 Stanley Meisler, “Political Woes Hinder Peace Corps in Africa,” Los Angeles Times, 30 June 1969: A24.

21 “Imperialism in Ethiopia,” Challenge, January 1971, vol. 11, no. 1: 5.

22 Mary Myers-Bruckenstein, e-mail message to author, 3 July 2015.

23 “Many Peace Corpsmen Leave Ethiopia: Cite Government Repression of Students,” The Washington Post, 2 March 1970: A16.

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