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The life, legacy & assassination of an African revolutionary - Lisa Janae Bacon


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In 1972, Thomas Sankara was swept into the revolution seeking to wrest control of Madagascar from France’s lingering colonial rule. The protests inspired the West African native to read works by socialist leaders and seek wisdom from military strategy. Leaving Madagascar in 1973, he was determined to free his country from its colonial legacy. Lisa Bacon details the life of the revolutionary icon.

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Thomas Sankara was one of the youngest and most revolutionary African leaders who pioneered many unprecedented reforms including women’s rights. Sankara was ahead of his time which meant that some were unprepared to make the radical changes he proposed. What was the ultimate outcome of this revolutionary’s life and policies?

Though his legacy is complicated, many of Sankara’s policies have proven themselves to be ahead of their time. In the past decade, Burkinabe youth have celebrated Sankara’s political philosophy, and nearby countries like Ghana have even adopted Sankara’s economic models. On March 2, 2019, a statue of Sankara was erected in Burkina Faso’s capital, establishing his place as an icon of revolution for his country and throughout the world.

For more on Sankara's Pan-African legacy, check this article on his revolutionary vision for Burkina Faso

For an in-depth reading on Sankara, check the Global Social Theory's essential reading guide on Thomas Sankara.

Check the Thomas Sankara inspired editoral news outlet that assess the modern day politics of Burkina Faso:

For a documentary film on Thomas Sankara, check out Robin Shuffield's 2005 Documentary, Thomas Sankara: The Upright Man.

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Meet The Creators

  • Educator Lisa Bacon
  • Director Tomás Pichardo-Espaillat
  • Narrator Christina Greer
  • Storyboard Artist Tomás Pichardo-Espaillat
  • Animator Tomás Pichardo-Espaillat
  • Art Director Tomás Pichardo-Espaillat
  • Music Work Play Work, Cem Misirlioglu
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Associate Editorial Producer Dan Kwartler
  • Fact-Checker Eden Girma

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