In the spring of 1969, Robert Wade applied for a passport, sold his household possessions, and purchased a ninety-day Eurail pass and a one-way ticket to Copenhagen, Denmark, departing June 1969. Within a few weeks of arrival, at Copenhagen’s Drop Inn restaurant and live-music venue, he met Connie Matthews, the executive director of a UNESCO cultural organization based in Copenhagen and an organizer for the Black Panther Party. Matthews told Wade about the upcoming Pan-African Cultural Festival (PANAF) in Algiers and encouraged him to attend. By then Wade had been working in photography for a few years and traveled with a couple of cameras and several lenses that summer. He took advantage of these tools during the festival, meeting and photographing people such as Eldridge Cleaver, then in exile in Algeria, and Julia Wright, daughter of novelist Richard Wright. Wade’s visual essay in this issue documents the musical performances of the 1969 PANAF against the cityscape of Algiers at the time.

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