Friday, May 25, 2012


The time has come for the African to forget and cast behind him his hero worship and adoration of other races, and to start out immediately, to create and emulate heroes of his own. We must inspire a literature and promulgate a doctrine of our own without any apologies to the powers that be. We are entitled to our own opinions and not obligated to or bound by the opinions of others. The world today is indebted to us for the benefits of civilization. They stole our arts and sciences from Africa. Their modern improvements are but duplicates of a grander civilization that we reflected thousands of years ago. Let no voice but your own speak to you from the depths. Let no influence but your own raise you in time of peace and time of war. Hear all, but attend only that which concerns you. Your first allegiance shall be to your God, then to your family, race and country. God and Nature first made us what we are, and then out of our own creative genius we make ourselves what we want to be. Follow always that great law. Let the sky and God be our limit, and Eternity our measurement. There is no height to which we cannot climb by using the active intelligence of our own minds.
Excerpt from the Philosophy of the Universal Negro Improvement Association-African Communities League (UNIA-ACL) The Universal Negro Improvement Association-African Communities League (UNIA-ACL) was founded by the Honourable Marcus Mosiah Garvey in 1914. Garvey who was born in St Ann’s Bay, Jamaica on August 17, 1887 is considered the Father of the modern Pan-African movement and his philosophies are the foundation of that movement. Garvey and the philosophies of the UNIA have influenced countless Africans including leaders and followers of powerful movements as varied as Rastafari, the Nation of Islam and the Independence movement of several colonized African and Caribbean countries. Garvey’s influence extended to African American leaders including El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (Malcolm X whose parents were followers of Garvey) and Martin Luther King Jr. On June 20, 1965 during a trip to Jamaica, King and his wife visited the Marcus Garvey Memorial at National Hero’s Park in Kingston, Jamaica and laid a wreath. In a speech King told the audience that Garvey was:
the first man of color in the history of the United States to lead and develop a mass movement. He was the first man on a mass scale and level to give millions of Negroes a sense of dignity and destiny and make the Negro feel he was somebody.
On December 10, 1968 King was the recipient of the first Marcus Garvey Prize for Human Rights presented posthumously (King was assassinated April 4, 1968) to King's widow by the Jamaican Government. One of the many African leaders influenced by Garvey’s Pan-Africanist ideas was Kwame Nkrumah who became the first Prime Minister of independent Ghana on March 6, 1957. Nkrumah is considered a pioneering advocate of Pan-Africanism on the African continent. He inspired and encouraged Pan-Africanism among several leaders of other African independence movements and was influential in the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU.) The OAU founded on May 25, 1963 in Addis Ababa, capital city of Ethiopia was an organization founded by the leaders of 32 African nations. The OAU pledged to rid the continent of all forms of colonialism, to free those Africans who were suffering under White rule on the African continent. At the time White men and women in Angola, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe were keeping the African majority in those countries in distressingly subservient roles in their own countries. Other aims of the AOU were:
to promote the unity and solidarity of the African States; to co-ordinate and intensify their cooperation and efforts to achieve a better life for the peoples of Africa; to defend their sovereignty, their territorial integrity and independence; and to promote international cooperation, having due regard to the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The advocacy of the members of the OAU contributed to the following:
In Guinea: where Portugal's last ditch attempt at colonial reconquest failed. In the wake of this aggression OAU‘s offer of financial and military aid to Guinea, along with its declared war on mercenaries in Africa and the successful information campaign it waged to alert international opinion were all evidence of the usefulness OAU has in facing outside aggression and the outside world. Apartheid South Africa has been forced out of the Commonwealth and a number of specialized institutions of the United Nations family. In world sports, Apartheid South Africa has been barred from the Olympic Games and from International Tennis Tournaments.
The OAU also staged promotions of African culture including the 1st All African Cultural Festival (Algiers August 1969) and the First Workshop on African Folklore, Dance and Music (Somalia October 1970.) Together with encouraging and actively participating in the founding of the OAU, Nkrumah was responsible for the founding of the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (A-APRP) with the goal of:
creating and managing the political and economic conditions necessary in the struggle against settler colonialism, Zionism, neo-colonialism, imperialism and all other forms of capitalist oppression and exploitation.
The A-APRP still exists in the 21st century, based out of Ghana, but with branches in many countries around Africa, the Caribbean, North America and Europe. Literature from the Toronto branch of the organization distributed at its May 19th observation of African Liberation Day stated that:
It is an integral part of the Pan-African and world socialist revolution, recognizes that African people born and living in 113 countries are one People, with one identity, one history, one culture, one nation and one destiny.” Citing the enemy of African people as imperialism, Zionism, racism and neocolonialism The A-APRP identifies that we as African people suffer from disunity, disorganization and ideological confusion it recommends “one scientific and correct solution, Pan-Africanism: the total liberation and unification of Africa under scientific socialism.
The theme for this year, the 54th observance of African Liberation Day is “African Youth: Get Up! Stand Up! Organize!” The struggle of African youth against oppression was recognized especially the youth who organized against apartheid in South Africa, against segregation in the southern United States and against oppression in Europe (Britain and France.) African Liberation Day will be observed on May 25 by the Network for Pan-Afrikan Solidarity (NPAS) at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) 5th floor at 252 Bloor Street West (beginning at 7:00 p.m.) with a documentary and discussion about the “Scramble for Africa.” This will be an important learning event for all but especially for Africans wherever they were born. Nkrumah the man who is considered the ultimate Pan-African leader on the African continent and follower of Garvey is credited with this quote:
“All people of African descent, whether they live in North or South America, the Caribbean, or in any part of the world are Africans and belong to the African nation.”
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