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vtePan-Africanism is a worldwide movement that aims to encourage and strengthen bonds of solidarity between all indigenous and diaspora ethnic groups of African descent. Based on a common goal dating back to the Atlantic Slave Trade, the movement extends beyond continental Africans with a substantial support base among the African diaspora in the Americas and Europe.
Pan-Africanism can be said to have its origins in the struggles of the African people against enslavement and colonization and this struggle may be traced back to the first resistance on slave ships—rebellions and suicides—through the constant plantation and colonial uprisings and the "Back to Africa" movements of the 19th century. Based on the belief that unity is vital to economic, social, and political progress and aims to "unify and uplift" people of African descent.
At its core, pan-Africanism is a belief that "African people, both on the continent and in the diaspora, share not merely a common history, but a common destiny". Pan-Africanist intellectual, cultural, and political movements tend to view all Africans and descendants of Africans as belonging to a single "race" and/or sharing cultural unity. Pan-Africanism posits a sense of a shared historical fate for Africans in America, West Indies, and on the continent, itself centered on the Atlantic trade in slaves, African slavery, and European imperialism.
Pan-African thought influenced the establishment of the Organisation of African Unity (now the African Union) in 1963. The African Union Commission has its seat in Addis Ababa and the Pan-African Parliament has its seat in Midrand, Johannesburg.
In the age of globalization and rapid technological advancement, the compression of space and time facilitated by new technologies has contributed to the growth of Pan-African thought in a way that is helping to promote unity throughout the diaspora.
1 Overview 2 History
3 Important Women in Pan-Africanism
4 Pan Africanism in the 21st Century
4.1 Social Media and the Internet
4.2 Globalization 4.3 African Union 5 Concept
6 Pan-African colours
8 Political parties and organizations
8.1 In Africa
8.1.1 Formal political bodies
8.1.2 Political groups and organizations
8.2 In the Caribbean
8.3 In Europe
8.4 In the United States
9 Pan-African concepts and philosophies
9.1 Maafa studies
9.2 Afrocentric pan-Africanism
9.3 Kawaida 9.4 Hip-hop
10 Pan-African art and media
11 See also 12 References 13 Further reading 14 External links
Kwame Nkrumah, an icon of pan-Africanism
Pan-Africanism stresses the need for "collective self-reliance". Pan-Africanism exists as a governmental and grassroots objective. Pan-African advocates include leaders such as Toussaint Louverture, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Haile Selassie, Julius Nyerere, Robert Sobukwe, Ahmed Sékou Touré, Kwame Nkrumah, King Sobhuza II, Robert Mugabe, Thomas Sankara, Kwame Ture, Dr. John Pombe Magufuli, Muammar Gaddafi, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, grassroots organizers such as Joseph Robert Love, Marcus Garvey, and Malcolm X, academics such as W. E. B. Du Bois, Anténor Firmin and others in the diaspora. Pan-Africanists believe that solidarity will enable the continent to fulfill its potential to independently provide for all its people. Crucially, an all-African alliance would empower African people globally.
The realization of the pan-African objective would lead to "power consolidation in Africa", which "would compel a reallocation of global resources, as well as unleashing a fiercer psychological energy and political assertion ... that would unsettle social and political (power) structures...in the Americas".
Advocates of pan-Africanism—i.e. "pan-Africans" or "pan-Africanists"—often champion socialist principles and tend to be opposed to external political and economic involvement on the continent. Critics accuse the ideology of homogenizing the experience of people of African descent. They also point to the difficulties of reconciling current divisions within countries on the continent and within communities in the diaspora.
Pan-Africanism, the idea that peoples of African descent have common interests and should be unified. Historically, Pan-Africanism has often taken the shape of a political or cultural movement. There are many varieties of Pan-Africanism. In its narrowest political manifestation, Pan-Africanists envision a unified African nation where all people of the African diaspora can live. (African diaspora refers to the long-term historical process by which people of African descent have been scattered from their ancestral homelands to other parts of the world.) In more-general terms, Pan-Africanism is the sentiment that people of African descent have a great deal in common, a
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Pan-Africanism, the idea that peoples of African descent have common interests and should be unified. Historically, Pan-Africanism has often taken the shape of a political or cultural movement. There are many varieties of Pan-Africanism. In its narrowest political manifestation, Pan-Africanists envision a unified African nation where all people of the African diaspora can live. (African diaspora refers to the long-term historical process by which people of African descent have been scattered from their ancestral homelands to other parts of the world.) In more-general terms, Pan-Africanism is the sentiment that people of African descent have a great deal in common, a fact that deserves notice and even celebration.
History of Pan-Africanist intellectuals
Pan-Africanist ideas first began to circulate in the mid-19th century in the United States, led by Africans from the Western Hemisphere. The most important early Pan-Africanists were Martin Delany and Alexander Crummel, both African Americans, and Edward Blyden, a West Indian.
Those early voices for Pan-Africanism emphasized the commonalities between Africans and Black people in the United States. Delany, who believed that Black people could not prosper alongside whites, advocated the idea that African Americans should separate from the United States and establish their own nation. Crummel and Blyden, both contemporaries of Delany, thought that Africa was the best place for that new nation. Motivated by Christian missionary zeal, the two believed that Africans in the New World should return to their homelands and convert and civilize the inhabitants there.
Although the ideas of Delany, Crummel, and Blyden are important, the true father of modern Pan-Africanism was the influential thinker W.E.B. Du Bois. Throughout his long career, Du Bois was a consistent advocate for the study of African history and culture. In the early 20th century, he was most prominent among the few scholars who studied Africa. His statement, made at the turn of the 20th century, that “the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line” was made with Pan-Africanist sentiments in mind.
For Du Bois, “the problem of the color line” was not confined merely to the United States and its “Negro Problem.” (During those years, it was common for many in the United States to refer to the problem of African Americans’ social status as the “Negro Problem.”) Du Bois’s famous statement was made with the clear knowledge that many Africans living on the African continent suffered under the yoke of European colonial rule.
Among the more-important Pan-Africanist thinkers of the first decades of the 20th century was Jamaican-born Black nationalist Marcus Garvey. In the years after World War I, Garvey championed the cause of African independence, emphasizing the positive attributes of Black people’s collective past. His organization, the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), boasted millions of members, envisioning and then making plans for a return “back to Africa.” Garvey’s Black Star Line, a shipping company established in part to transport Blacks back to Africa as well as to facilitate global Black commerce, was ultimately unsuccessful.
From the 1920s through the 1940s, among the most-prominent Black intellectuals who advocated Pan-Africanist ideas were C.L.R. James and George Padmore, both of whom came from Trinidad. From the 1930s until his death in 1959, Padmore was one of the leading theorists of Pan-African ideas. Also influential were Léopold Senghor and Aimé Césaire, who were natives of Senegal and Martinique, respectively. A disciple of Padmore, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, was also an important figure in Pan-Africanist thought.
Despite their origins outside the United States, such Pan-Africanist thinkers drew many of their ideas from African American culture. Furthermore, James and Padmore resided in the United States for significant periods of time. An exchange of ideas about Africa and peoples of African descent took place between those intellectuals and African Americans, with African Americans taking the lead. It was, in many ways, a Black Atlantic intellectual community. Senghor and Césaire, in particular, were greatly influenced by Du Bois and by several Harlem Renaissance writers, especially Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, and Claude McKay. In the 1930s and ’40s, the African American actor and singer Paul Robeson was also a significant contributor to the continuing exchange of ideas.
By the late 1940s the African American intellectual leadership of the movement had receded, with Africans now taking the lead. That was due in part to the leftist or communist sympathies of many Pan-Africanist advocates, as in the late 1940s and early ’50s, the United States was in the midst of a Red Scare, when Americans with communist affiliations or sympathies were actively persecuted and prosecuted. The most-important figure of this period was Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, who believed that European colonial rule of Africa could be extinguished if Africans could unite politically and economically. Nkrumah went on to lead the movement for independence in Ghana, which came to fruition in 1957. Many African Americans cheered those developments in Africa.
The Pan-African Movement
Although the end of colonialism occurred shortly after the end of World War II, it would be a mistake to assume that the calls for independence by Africans began in the aftermath of the defeat of Nazi Germany and its racism. Demands to liberate Africa from colonial status began at least as early as the end of World War I and the Versailles Peace Treaty. That treaty was based on the ideal of self-determination--the belief that people should decide their own form of government and that world peace hinged, at least in part, on the principle that no people should be ruled by an "outside" group (one not of the ethnic background of the citizenry itself).
Pan-Africanism was the attempt to create a sense of brotherhood and collaboration among all people of African descent whether they lived inside or outside of Africa. The themes raised in this excerpt connect to the aspirations of people, the values of European culture, and the world of African colonies. How do the authors of this statement define the major events of Europe at the time. What do they see as their own role in the future of Africa? What is their evaluation of the bulk of the African population?
[From: African World Supplement, September, 1921, pp. xi-xix, "West Africa and the Pan-African Congress" reprinted in J. Ayodele Langley, Pan-Africanism and Nationalism in West Africa, 1900-1945 (Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1973), 375-379.]The London Manifesto (29 August 1921)
The United States of America, after brutally enslaving millions of black folk suddenly emancipated them and began their education, but it acted without system or forethought, throwing the freed man on the world penniless and landless, educating them without thoroughness and system and subjecting them the while to lynching, lawlessness, discrimination, insult and slander, such as human beings have seldom endured and survived. To save their own government they enfranchised the Negro and then when danger passed, allowed hundreds of thousands of educated and civilised black folk to be lawlessly disfranchised and subjected to a caste system, and at the same time in 1776, 1812, 1861, 1897, and 1917 they asked and allowed thousands of black men to offer up their lives as a sacrifice to the country which despised them.
France alone of the great colonial powers has sought to place her cultured black citizens on a plane of absolute legal and social equality with her white, and given them representation in her highest legislature. In her colonies she has a wide-spread but still imperfect system of state education. This splendid beginning must be completed by widening the political bases of her native government, by restoring to her indigenes the ownership of the soil, by protecting native labour against the aggression of established capital, and by compelling no man, white or black, to be a soldier unless the country gives him a voice in his own government.
The independence of Abyssinia, Liberia, Haiti and San Domingo is absolutely necessary to any sustained belief of the black folk in the sincerity and honesty of the white. These nations have earned the right to be free, they deserve the recognition of the world. Notwithstanding all their faults and mistakes and the fact that they are in many respects behind the most advanced civilization of the day, nevertheless they compare favourably with the past and even recent history of most European nations and it shames civilization that the Treaty of London practically invited Italy to aggression on Abyssinia and that free America has unjustly and cruelly seized Haiti, murdered her citizens and for a time enslaved her workmen, overthrown her free institutions by force and has so far failed in return to give her a single bit of help, aid or sympathy.
What, then, do those demand who see these evils of the colour line and racial discrimination, and who believe in the divine right of Suppressed and Backward Peoples to learn and aspire and be free?
The Suppressed Races through their thinking leaders are demanding:
The recognition of civilised men as civilised despite their race and colour.
Local self-government for backward groups, deliberately rising as experience and knowledge grow to complete self-government under the limitations of a self-governed world.
Education in self-knowledge, in scientific truth and in industrial technique, undivorced from the art of beauty.
Freedom in their own religion and customs and with the right to be non-conformist and different.
Co-operation with the rest of the world in government, industry and art on the basis of Justice, Freedom and Peace.
The ancient common ownership of the Land and its natural fruits and defence against the unrestrained greed of invested capital.
The world must face two eventualities: either the complete assimilation of Africa with two or three of the great world states, with political, civil and social power and privileges absolutely equal for its black and white citizens, or the rise of a great black African State, founded in Peace and Good Will, based on popular education, natural art and industry and freedom of trade, autonomous and sovereign in its internal policy, but from its beginning a part of a great society of peoples in which it takes its place with others as co-rulers of the world. ...
The absolute equality of races, physical, political and social, is the founding stone of World Peace and human advancement. No one denies great differences of gift, capacity and attainment among individuals of all races, but the voice of Science, Religion and practical Politics is one in denying the God-appointed existence of super-races or of races naturally and inevitably and eternally inferior. ...