The dream of a Black utopia
In 1983, the U.S. invaded the small Caribbean nation of Grenada. Forty years later, many Americans have no idea why — or that it happened at all. Today, in collaboration with “Throughline,” we tell a story of revolution, conquest, and dreams of a Black utopia.
For host Martine Powers, this historical deep-dive has a personal connection. Growing up in a Caribbean American family offered a different perspective on the 1983 invasion — a moment that isn’t just about President Ronald Reagan or Cold War machinations. Instead, this era in Grenada’s history is also the story of people and ideas that became symbols of Black freedom around the world — and a direct inspiration for Black Americans.
“This was a Black country with people making their own success and failure,” says Dessima Williams, Grenada’s former ambassador to the U.S. “We didn't have White people over us. And I think that itself was revolutionary at the psychic level.”
This story was produced in collaboration with “Throughline,” a podcast about history from National Public Radio. Here are a few other episodes that you’ll want to check out: “Palestine,” about the region’s history of settlements and displacement; “Five Fingers Crush The Land,” on the history and culture of China’s Uyghur people; and the unexpectedly dark story of American imperialism, in “Reframing History: Bananas.”
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