The political and spiritual affinity felt by black peoples may date back centuries, but it was first formalized in Africa by a series of conferences at the beginning of the twentieth century. In the postwar struggle for independence, Africanness became a potent force. Later, in the early 1960s, the flood of newly independent African states adopted a Pan-African ideal in their common struggle against the remaining colonial and white-dominated territories on the continent. The launch of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1963 was an impressive achievement by any standards, and many commentators cited in this bibliography recognize this, adding that the OAU's survival for thirty years is even more astonishing.
Overall, however, assessments of the OAU's activities have not been positive. Lack of unanimity among member-states has weakened the OAU's ability to deal with disputes. While critical of OAU's ineffectiveness, most writers marvel at the organization's resilience over three decades. While Central and Eastern Europe fragment, Africa is still represented by one organization, with annual meetings continuing to be held and attended by foreign ministers, prime ministers, and presidents.
Chapters in this original and comprehensive bibliography include "Literature on the OAU," "General Assessments," "The OAU in African Politics," and "The OAU in World Politics." There are also extensive indexes of authors, titles, and subjects regarding the OAU. Organization of African Unity is a critical resource for political scientists, historians, and Africa area specialists seeking to understand a changing continent.