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What Does Pan-Africanism Mean to You?

By Ann Schneider
From the May 21, 2007 issue |

"It means coming together as African people of the continent and the Diaspora to find ways to work on common problems and find common solutions in a way that best benefit the masses of African people. Pan-Africanize is still a very important concept in this day and age. It has not been explored to its fullest. It has been trumped by U.S. and European dollarism which has taken some of the steam out of Pan-Africanism.

"”Kamau K. Franklin, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Racial Justice fellow at Center for Constitutional Rights

"Pan-Africanism means to me the unity of all people of African descent, in Africa and throughout the world; a desire to see Africa united as one continent as Kwame Nkrumah theorized it "” the united States of Africa; and to ensure that the resources are distributed and shared more equally."

"”Joan Gibbs, General Counsel to The Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College

"Pan-Africanism not only seeks to unite all Africans inside and outside of Africa, but also seeks to implement an equitable distribution of wealth and resources and participatory democracy for true universal liberation."

"”Wasim Lone, Director of Organizing at Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES)

"Pan-Africanism is about coming together and raising hell for as long as human life continues to be treated as expendable. It's been most salient in my work as an AIDs activist, where the apartheid health outcomes of capitalist globalization demand that Pan-Africanist struggles continue."
"”Amanda Alexander, Ph.D student in Africa and U.S. history at Columbia University and a visiting researcher at the Centre for Civil Society, Durban

"In its most basic form, Pan-Africanism is simply the idea that people of African descent, wherever they are in the world, should work together to promote the interests of Black people. In its more ambitious manifestations, as articulated by the likes of Marcus Garvey and Kwame Nkrumah, Pan-Africanism espouses a vision of a unified African motherland as the basis for global Black empowerment."
"”Dr. Ron Daniels, President, Institute of the Black World 21st Century

RESOURCES

Fifty Years is Enough: This group, which debunks the common myth that Africa's poverty is due to the corruption of its leaders, is having the last laugh as World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz is entangled in his own corruption scandal. This coalition of 200 grassroots, women's, social justice and development groups was founded in 1994 when the World Bank turned 50. The group calls for total debt cancellation and reparations for victims of structural adjustment, with partners in 65 countries. 50years.org

The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement: The group was founded in Brooklyn and now has seven chapters in the united States. Calling themselves new Afrikans, they aim for human rights, self-determination and reparations for slavery. They sponsor the Black august concert series to raise money for political prisoners. brothermalcolm.net

TransAfrica Forum: a Washington, D.C. institute that sponsors seminars, conferences and trainings and takes its mission from the 5th Pan-African Congress (1945). Formerly headed by Randall Robinson (author of The Debt). transafricaforum.org

African Liberation Day conference and rally, May 25 in Anacostia Park in Washington, D.C. a national coalition of reparations groups and the new Black Panther Party that seeks to address poverty and police brutality and to empower Hurricane Katrina survivors. alduhuru.org

Institute for the Black World Today: Founded in 2001 by Dr. Ron Daniels, it functions as a "resource center and engine for greater Pan-African unity." They convene bi-annual State of the Black World conferences and promote youth leadership development and Haiti solidarity. ibw21.org

© MBM

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"In its most basic form, Pan-Africanism is simply the idea that people of African descent, wherever they are in the world, should work together to promote the interests of Black people. In its more ambitious manifestations, as articulated by the likes of Marcus Garvey and Kwame Nkrumah, Pan-Africanism espouses a vision of a unified African motherland as the basis for global Black empowerment."---Dr. Ron Daniels

Dare I look forward on this???

Oh, well....

A unified effort to benefit the nations of Africa is a must...in some fashion.

This is particularly true for the nations of Africa identified as 'sub-Saharan'.

The different cultures of Africa offer the greatest challenge to this effort...in both the near and long terms.

But the effort must still be made.

The nations of Africa must regain control over their own resources both the natural and the human.

The politics of all of that is a killer.


PEACE

Jim Chester
I like the post, just had to add some organizational definitions...

A-APRP: PanAfricanism is the total unification and liberation of Africa nder scientific socialism.

African Socialists Internationl(International arm of International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement):
We want the total liberation and unification of Africa under an All-African socialist government

BTW ALD Day is Sat. May 26th and is actually organized by the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement, not the New Black Panther Party(although I am sure some chapters of the NBPP will attend).

I posted something about it before reading this thread...
This list of definitions is certainly more liberal than I had expected. I always had the impression that Pan-Africanism meant having to choose between total devotion to africa and working to uplift black people in whatever country one is born in.

Having been focused on the african-american experience for most of my life as opposed to "the african experience", I did not believe that I could legitimately call myself a "Pan-Africanist". This list of definitions, however, seems to indicate that wherever you are, whatever group of black people you are uplifting and encouraging unity can be considered PanAfricanism

I still have a lot to learn.
You know I used to be ambivalent towards pan-africanism. I found it difficult to advocate for global african unity while not having it at home.

However as I have gotten older and more reflective I think there is definitely value in the pan-african concept.

There are consistent patterns that are occurring amongst africans globally that can be unified around:

Economic Development
Exploitation of Resources and Labor
HIV / AIDS

If someone could develop on a global scale a general consensus on how to address key specific problems facing the majority of Africans / African Descendents on the globe I think real change could occur.

To me that is pan-africanism.
quote:
Originally posted by Dell Gines:
If someone could develop on a global scale a general consensus on how to address key specific problems facing the majority of Africans / African Descendents on the globe I think real change could occur.


I would think that maybe some kind of global Black business-to-business network could/should be implemented. There should be a company/organization dedicated to bringing Black businesses together for trade. In fact, there probably is one already. We just don't know about it. sck

But, if one already does exist ... I'll be it could use our help and support.
I have been toying with the idea of creating E-Bay villages where all we would need would be a stable banking system, and computers with internet access.

Due to the exchange rate, we could enrich African Villages in need simply by training them to list items online.

Now more than ever global connectivity can make a sense of pan-africanism much more real.
quote:
Originally posted by Dell Gines:
I have been toying with the idea of creating E-Bay villages where all we would need would be a stable banking system, and computers with internet access.

Due to the exchange rate, we could enrich African Villages in need simply by training them to list items online.

Now more than ever global connectivity can make a sense of pan-africanism much more real.


That would be difficult to implement considering land lines are far a few between(and non-existant outside of urban areas...villages would be practically inaccessable), internet cafe's are the norm...and they are SLOOOOOOW and expensive. The equipment to take pictures of items cost money(regular or digital cameras), scanners are non-existant in the cafes...ect. ect...and I haven't even begun ti discuss corruption and it's effects. Training continental Africans wouldn't be an issue. Many jobless folk are multi-degreed(their economies just suck)...

Before we come up with messianic buisiness plans for 'villages'...(hence my tone)...we need to learn about the realities on the ground in modern Africa, urban and rural. I suggest a lot of study before visiting...and I definately suggest visiting(and setting up buisiness contacts) before trying to do buisiness in any country.

Primarily I suggest organization, as usual. Individualistic efforts are well and good, but I've seen plenty tank because of a lack of ideological, political, economic, and historical/up to date information....not to mention a lack of 'contacts'. Africans in the diaspora, particularly in the U.S., need to be trained...not just African continentals in 'villages' sck.
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
In fact, there probably is one already. We just don't know about it. sck


Several actually... But people don't deal with PanAfricanism so they stay ignorant of what is really going on and being implemented, and what the possibilities are.

Join an organization people!(This isn't directed towards you ER, I just get tired of people trying to reinvent the Pan Africanist wheel...you know me...emotional! 6)
It is not Messianic Oshun, it is economic. The same advantages China has in producing low cost goods Africa has. Your personal perceptions or understanding not withstanding, when opportunities of low cost labor that has a comparative advantage vis a vi America occurs, it makes sense to look for ways to utilize it specifically when it can be beneficial to the population as well.

We have developed a program that we are in the process of implementing for young black youth that provides a systematic low cost way of utilize EBAY and tapping into the global market place that eliminates some of the barriers you suggest would occur in certain places.

Of course corruption is an issue and of course technology is an issue, but remember the prospects of money has moved mountains. In addition, if as you suggest the human capital issue is not a problem in terms of education and ability, then it makes it even seem to be even more of an opportunity.

Final note, it is always better to enhance an idea and propose mitigants to risk instead of poo pooing it. Read Thomas Friedman's the world is flat. Why can't Africa fit into the global market place inspite of the well recognized risk?
Okay ... well, I certainly have no desire to put myself in the middle of an OA - DG ... er ... discussion! Eek Not to mention that I'm sure it would go way over my head! Smile

What I was talking about was a simple Black business-in-Africa to business-in-America type of arrangement with somebody in the middle making the connection.

I, personally, would prefer to see a small, sort of grassroots operation - at least to begin with - because the big, mega, complex technological idea of doing something like this usually starts off with the middle person working on solely based on personal profit ... which, in my belief is more detrimental than beneficial and usually in the end ends up helping nobody when the idea eventually goes bust.
quote:
Originally posted by Dell Gines:
It is not Messianic Oshun, it is economic.


You missed why I had a 'certain tone', even though I tried to point it out. I 'poo-poo' any idea when people in the West speak in terms of 'villages' when referring to economic ties with Africa. When Africans in the U.S. speak of 'villages' it shows they are not dealing with the rality in modern Africa. That is why I said it was messianic...because 'villages' don't need to be 'trained'. I'm all for economic ties with Africa, I have some myself, I know plenty people that do BIG BUISINESS with Africa. We need to stop thinking in terms of village economics, and selling ethnic trinkets, Africa is way beyond that and so are we in the diaspora. Pan Africanism moved beyond village economics/politics/culture quite a long time ago, if it was ever really on that small a level is debatable. That is not the REALITY, and 'village terminology' is offensive and insulting.


Lagos Nigeria

Harare Zimbabwe

Nairobi Kenya

Accra Ghana

Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire(Ivory Coast)

Dakar Senegal

Luanda Angola
[IMG]

I hope you get my point...

Music video in downtown Nairobi...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6xGoWTGjpw

The vampires need to stop sucking the life blood out of Africa. The abundant resources in Africa need to benefit the PEOPLE. International capitalists and their puppets need to be done away with. We need to oganize globally to do this. THIS is what Pan Africanism is trying to accomplish.
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- Cooperative economics between Arican Americans, African Caribbeans and continental Africans.

- Political and economic solidarity. Africa first is my personal policy.

- Re-examining African history from an African perspective as opposed to a European perspective and a return to traditional African concepts and culture.

- Accepting, learning and understanding diversity of Arican people, religions and values.

Pan Africanism is gradual, methodical process. A concept I believe in and practice as well. My first involvement in Pan-Africanism was during my preteen years when my uncle decolonized my school of thought from the colonial-european education system of Albany. My uncle was my Dr. Ben. During my high school years I met and got involved with seveal African immigrants who were organizing Nelson Mandela rallies down in lower New York. This was around the time I became politically active in African affairs. Once I moved to California to go to college I continued to be active in African politics and socialize with African students while attending the few African events that were held in California and so on.

Today I have a close friend who is from Benin. Also, a number of investments with African textile and cosmetic companies. If I choose to use shea butter for skin and hair care why not invest in African nations/companies that produce the butter. Several years ago you wouldn't see shea butter in commercial products. Today it's in just about every skin and hair care product imaginable. My invest has worked out quite well. Wink

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