Woodson And African Centered Education
By Dr. Conrad W. Worrill
Date posted: 02/15/01
The African Centered Education Movement has brought a new
meaning to the annual African American History Month celebrations
that have become so popular. That new meaning of African Centered
thought, as defined by Dr. Wade Nobles, "is nothing more
than a term categorizing a quality of thought and practice which
is rooted in the cultural image and interest of African people
and which represents and reflects the life experiences, history
and traditions of African people as the center of analyses."
Through the African Centered Education Movement, African American
History Month has now become the catalyst for the intense study
of Africa and the history of African people throughout the world
365 days a year. Dr. Carter G. Woodson, who founded in February
of 1926 what at that time was called, "Negro History Week,"
would indeed be inspired by the continuing discussion and debate
over the infusion of the contributions of African people in all
subjects. Dr. Woodson was deeply concerned that the contributions
of African people to this society and the world were not given
their proper recognition.
Dr. Woodson's great book, "The Mis-Education of the Negro,"
written in 1933, described in the first chapter titled, "The
Seat of the Trouble," the essence of what the African Centered
Curriculum Movement is battling against today- 68 years later.
Dr. Woodson explained that "of the hundreds of Negro high
schools recently examined (1933) by an expert in the United States
Bureau of Education only eighteen offer a course taking up the
history of the Negro, and in most of the Negro colleges and universities
where the Negro is thought of, the race is studied only as a
problem or dismissed as of little consequence."
Continuing on, Dr. Woodson gave an example: "An officer
of a Negro university, thinking that an additional course on
the Negro should be given there, called upon a Negro Doctor of
Philosophy on the faculty to offer such work. He promptly informed
the officer that he knew nothing about the Negro. He did not
go to school to waste his time that way. He went to be educated
in a system which dismissed the Negro as a nonentity." Obviously,
since the writing of this great book, we have come a long way
in our battle against challenging the white supremacy foundation
of the American public school curriculum. However, we still have
a long way to go!
The Black Movement of the 1960s gave us an impetus to reexamine
our history and its impact on this country and the world. This
movement brought on renewed interest, on the part of our people,
to study our history. We moved from the use of the term "Negro"
in referring to ourselves and began to use "Black"
as the more appropriate way to describe who we are. We went from
Black History Week to Black History Month. In fact, some of us
began to refer to the month of February as Black Liberation Month.
It was through the movement of the 1960s, particularly the Black
Power Phase, that we began to reidentify with our homeland, Africa
and the interconnection of African people throughout the world.
The Black student movement of the 1960s sparked demands for
courses in Black Studies that led to the famous strike at San
Francisco State University. After a long battle with the administration
at the university, the students finally won a victory for the
first Black Studies Program to be established at an American
college or university. As a result, a movement for Black Studies
erupted all over America and stimulated at the elementary and
secondary levels demands from courses dealing with Black History.
As we have come full circle today in our general acceptance
of being an African people, whose ancestral homeland is Africa,
we are also beginning to recognize that African American History
Month celebrations and activities are great, but the contributions
of African people must be emphasized throughout the year.
(Dr. Conrad Worrill is the National Chairman of the National
Black United Front. Web page: www.nbufront.org)
The Afrocentric Paradigm of Social Work
The purpose of this paper is to address the Afrocentric Social
Work paradigm, a topic that is not well documented on the world
wide web. This topic is explained in the journal article by Jerome
H. Schiele entitled, "Afrocentricity: An Emerging Paradigm
in Social Work Practice." The Afrocentric paradigm is defined
as a social science paradigm based on African American and traditional
African culture and behavior. The article describes the origins
and principles of the Afrocentric or African-centered paradigm,
the relationship of Afrocentricity to social problems, and the
implications of this model in the helping process.
Origins and Principles
The Afrocentric Paradigm originated in traditional Africa
before the influence of Europeans and Arabs and this tradition
has maintained its "philosophical integrity" in continental
Africa even after their influence. (285) This implies that slavery
destroyed some but not all of this African traditional culture
in African Americans. Afrocentrists believe that traditional
culture has survived enough to describe African Americans as
a distinct cultural and ethnic group and furthermore, it is inappropriate
to use Eurocentric behavioral theories to explain the behavioral
conduct of African Americans. A major assumption of the Afrocentric
paradigm is that social science models are derived from the experiences
and cultural perspective of the inventor. Therefore, Afrocentrists
do not believe that one model or paradigm can be used to explain
the social behavior of all cultural and ethnic groups. Most of
the theories and models that social scientists and social workers
are exposed to were derived from a Eurocentric perspective, and
therefore minimally account for the world views of people of
color, especially African Americans.
The article then cites several accounts in the past that have
illustrated Eurocentric theories on human behavior that vilify
people of color, that illustrate notions of people of African
descent being 'uncivilized' or contributing nothing to world
development, and that attempt to justify slavery. Still today,
symbolic racism can be found in "race-neutral codes that
carry racist connotations (that is, dysfunctional family values,
affirmative action, urban crime and violence, youth violence,
The Afrocentric paradigm seeks to:
"(1) ...promote a social science paradigm more reflective
of the cultural and political reality of African Americans; (2)
... dispel the negative distortions about people of African ancestry
by legitimizing and disseminating world view that goes back thousands
of years and that exists in the hearts and minds of many people
of African descent today; (3) ... promote a world view that will
facilitate human and societal transformation toward spiritual,
moral, and humanistic ends and that persuade people of different
cultural and ethnic groups that they share a mutual interest
in this regard." (286)
Some other aspects of the Afrocentric model focus on characteristics
of human beings. This paradigm emphasizes the collective identity
and collective survival of human beings. One quote used to support
this idea is the African adage, " I am because we are and
because we are, therefore, I am." (287) Another idea that
is encompassed by this paradigm is the importance of spirituality
which universally connects humans to a higher being. The Afrocentric
paradigm asserts that the study of the soul in social science
is just as important as the study of the mind and study of the
body, and that the three entities are interdependent. Another
idea of the model is affective knowledge or the dependence of
thoughts and rational on feelings. This idea is supported by
the social work principle of the client and helper relationship
and sharing feelings.
The Afrocentric model also asserts that the source of human
problems in the United States is oppression and alienation. These
environments promote "materialism, individualism and inordinate
competition," which in turn leads to a lack of development
in the aspects that this paradigm supports (i.e. spirituality,
Applications in Social Problems
Next, the article describes the need for applying this Afrocentric
paradigm in dealing with several social problems including youth
street violence and substance abuse. This approach may assist
other models to strengthen social work strategies against these
acts. The article states that although the US violent crime rate
has declined since 1991, the youth violent crime rate has increased.(289)
Under the Afrocentric paradigm, these youths commit these acts
as a result of oppression and alienation. They get discouraged
and angry by the lack of economic opportunities, and turn to
a life of street crime for acceptance and comfort. The model
not only views these youths as violent offenders, but also as
victims of "US exploitation and hypocrisy."(289) According
to this paradigm, intervention should include socially caring
policies that enhance positive potential of all people. Systems-accommodation
and systems-replacement models are very important and the social
worker should take on policy practitioning and community organizing
The Afrocentric viewpoint blames the occurrence of substance
abuse on sociocultural and political-economical conditions of
the United States. The author believes that Afrocentric social
work perceives the dominant group in the United States as trying
to preserve power in the hands of a select few by purposely keeping
the majority of the population passive. One way of keeping people
passive is by making drugs available for substance abuse. This
directly affects African Americans who are in some of the worst
socioeconomic conditions, and therefore in areas where drugs
are prevalent. Social workers that adopt this Afrocentric paradigm
try to expose the social inequalities and consequences of policies
about drug trafficking, distribution, and control.
Substance abuse can also be related back to spiritual alienation.
The Afrocentric paradigm reasons that when a person is at peace
with himself, he can more easily realize the importance of his
spirituality. When not at peace, happiness and human self-worth
may get distorted and become attributed to looks, material objects,
and competition. When the person fails to reach these goals,
he may turn to substance abuse for compensation. The Afrocentric
social worker in substance abuse sees the elimination of this
spiritual alienation as vital to helping substance abusers.
Implications in the Helping Process
The article then goes on to explain the application of the
Afrocentric paradigm in the helping process. An essential component
to the helping process is personalization of the professional
relationship and reciprocity in these relationships. Personalizing
relationships involves reducing the emotional distance between
the helper and the client and developing a more trusting and
helping relationship. It is important for the helper to disclose
positive feelings towards the client and his situation so that the client
can feel like the helper cares. An essential skill in this social work
paradigm is that the helper should personalize the client's situation
and realize that this issue not only affects the client's life but his
own life as well.
Reciprocity in the helping relationship means that the client
and the helper identify problems mutually important to both of
them, and the client and helper teaching each other. This paradigm
does not view the only expert as the social worker and acknowledges
that all human beings have the ability to enlighten others through
their experiences. Thus social work practice should be based
The author concludes that Afrocentricity is an emerging social
work paradigm that can be used to better the oppressed and alienated
state of groups as well as bring out the spiritual and moral
side of the world. The application on historically oppressed
groups supports the social work mission of equality and justice
for all. This paradigm has incorporated the values of the traditional
African culture and therefore better explains the human behavior
and social problems of people of African descent. Therefore,
it can be utilized to better explain and deal with the social
problem of a more multiethnic and multicultural society.
The Afrocentric paradigm deals with concerns of whether or not
the majority of social work models practiced today in the US
adequately meet the needs of such a diverse population. Afrocentrists
do not believe that these models are doing justice to people
of color especially African Americans. Therefore, a model such
as the one discussed in this article, should be incorporated
to better assist people of African American descent. They also
acknowledge the fact that this model is not universal and that
its application may not be appropriate for all situations concerning
African Americans. My main concern with this model is the idea
of blaming the system and not the individual. I believe both
share the blame and that somehow this should be accounted for
in the model.
However, I do believe that this model may be a right step
in the direction of improving social problems in this country.
The idea of universal models and meeting the needs of all can
be extended to many other areas besides this field of social
work. One example is reform programs to recruit and retain more
women and girls in science, mathematics and engineering fields.
Do the same programs work for Caucasian, minority, and even disabled
women and girls? The Afrocentric social work paradigm seems very
promising and it will be interesting to see its effects on the
social welfare of this country.
Schiele, Jerome H. "Afrocentricity: An Emerging Paradigm
in Social Work Practice." Social Work, Vol.41, Number 3,
African Centered Education
by Jacob H. Curruthers
The African centered curriculum has emerged as the leading thrust in the movement to reform education in the United States. The western civilization cultural monopoly of modern education is undergoing revision and moving toward more balanced multicultural content in the wake of the momentum caused by the African centered education project and its predecessor, the Black Studies movement.
The African centered education campaign is related to the chronic failure of the education system to provide equal educational results and opportunities for African Americans. But even if African American students were equally successful in terms of education achievements, the African centered curriculum would still be necessary. Indeed African American students who excel in school are as deprived of cultural equality as are those who fail. Thus self-esteem as conventionally understood is not a central issue because many African Americans including most high achievers have positive self-concepts. What many African Americans including high achievers suffer from is the pervading negative image of African peoples of whom they are descendants. One would expect that improving the image of one's social or ethnic group would have a positive effect on one's self image.
Indeed all students suffer from these negative images of Africa and its people. Such deprivation is criminal in view of the fact that the negative images are the product of intellectual fabrications that were designed to justify racial exploitation and injustice especially slavery, colonialism, segregation and the denial of economic, social and political equality to persons of African descent. The problem of teaching about Africa is thus deeply embedded in the curriculum philosophy which is the turn based upon modern European philosophy.
The lowest point of modern western philosophy
was the inclusion of arguments for white supremacy and "Negro" inferiority
in philosophical writings during the 18th and 19th centuries. The prestige
of some of the thinkers compounds the evil. David Hume (On National
Character), Charles Montesquieu (The Spirit of the Laws), and George
Hegel (The Philosophy of History) were the forerunners for writers like
Thomas Carlyle (The Nigger Question) and Joseph Gobineau (The Inequality
of the Human Races) who were in turn forerunners of Adolph Hitler.
The modern fabricators of the doctrine of white supremacy firmly attached the insidious argument to the concept of western civilization. The result was the creation of the idea that the white race had performed a cultural miracle and broken with the superstitious cultures of remote antiquity. According to this, the ancient Greek pioneers had provided a mighty foundation for the development of the highest culture known to humankind. Thus civilization in is true form started among Europeans while the other continental cultures were still retarded in barbarism of savagery. The evolutionary cultural hierarchy that emerged placed African culture firmly on the bottom and European or western civilization at the top. Thus while all cultures other than the western European one were degraded, Africa occupied a unique position. Africans were removed from history through this worldview. Africa as Hegel put it "is no historical part of the world" (Hegel, p.99). Indeed the differences between the civilizations originating on the Eurasian continent and Africa are mostly depicted as qualitative and not merely attributed to a stage of development.
In view of the western philosophical project of historical and cultural genocide against African peoples, the African centered curriculum is essential. The first and most important reason is to restore the truth to the curriculum. The falsification of the role of Africa in world history and civilization results not only in a deformation of African history but the history of the world, especially since Africa has played such a decisive part in the events that comprise world history. The correction of this mutilation is surely in the interest of humanity, if the truth is at all relevant to human development.
A second reason is the necessity of developing
a framework for cultural equality as we move into the 21st century.
The next century which marks the beginning of a new millennium will
doubtless witness the transition of world power from one center of gravity
(the western one ) to another (the eastern one). Such a transition is
perhaps destined to be even more dramatic than that of the 16th century
which witnessed the reverse. The children now in school will live their
lives in the 21st century which will be characterized by multicultural
challenges not faced in previous centuries. Even today the multicultural
world is exploding as long suppressed cultures are now demanding dignity
and power in the world arena. The road to multicultural equality and
respect cannot even begin until Africa is restored to its proper historical
and cultural position.
A third reason for the necessity of the African centered curriculum is the fact that any culture (especially one which has been suppressed) needs its own apparatus for its restoration, maintenance and development. The main reason western culture has been dominant is because Europeans have controlled political, economic and social power including educational policy for the last several centuries. Even so some cultures have fared better in this regard because the west was not able to gain complete educational hegemony. Japan is a good example.
A fourth reason for the African centered curriculum is the peculiar capability of the African centered education movement to provide the leadership in educational reform. The African centered education project and its predecessor, the Black Studies movement, have developed the open ended critique of western education which is a necessary aspect of the reform of education. These movements have also spawned the organizational bases to effectively work toward the implementation of the changes. Without this critique and the organizational pressure multiculturalism would remain an abstraction capable of being used to perpetuate the Eurocentric and anti-African curriculum. Indeed many so called proponents of multiculturalism are demonstrating such contradictions today. Dianne Ravitch is a prime example of the problem.
A final reason for the African centered curriculum is the nature of the population composition in the United States. This country is composed of a variety of ethnic and racial groups. As such the country should properly be conceived of as the United States of various ethnic, national and racial groups. The Eurocentric curriculum, more or less, serves the cultural interest of most European ethnic groups. It does not serve the cultural interest of most people of African descent. Since population patterns are such that most African Americans live in predominantly African American communities and attend predominantly African American schools, it is logical that they should be taught from an African perspective if they so choose.
The African Foundations programs of the Kemetic Institute are designed to provide assistance to communities, schools, and teachers who opt to move in the direction of African centered education. Our programs will also assist those who are attempting to teach correctly about Africa. When the African foundation is firmly in place, the teaching about the African American experience will be successful.
Jacob H. Curruthers received his Ph.D. from
the University of Colorado and is currently on the faculty of Northeastern
Illinois University's Center for Inner City Studies in Chicago. He is
a founding member of the Association for the Study of Classical African
Civilizations (ASCAC) and Director of the Kemetic Institute. He is the
author of Mdw Ntr: Divine Speech (A Historical Reflection of African
Deep Thought from the Time of the Pharaohs to the Present) and The Irritated
Genie: An Essay on the Haitian Revolution.
Garveyism and African Racial Reconstruction
by President/General Marcus Garvey Jr.
Marcus Garvey first called upon the African people of the world to know themselves; then he called upon them to be proud of themselves. "Up You Mighty Race, You Can Accomplish What You Will", thundered this unrepentant African Nationalist. Universal African Nationalism is a nexus of the basic prescriptions for African nation building that Marcus Garvey, the great exponent of African Nationalism, stressed relentlessly during his life. The following basic concepts of Universal African Nationalism comprise the positive and dynamic agenda for African Racial Reconstruction and the building of African power in the world.
The first concept is AFRICAN IDENTITY. This implies that all persons of African ancestry and origin are essential and integral parts of the same Black African Nation. For the Garveyite, the race and the nation are coterminous. A people who where separated from their ancestral homeland by the barbarous actions of the Aryan and Arab slave traders cannot be expected to accept the nationalities imposed upon them by their enslavers. The African, in freedom, has the right to determine his own nation, to delimit that nationality, and to seek the greater ingathering of African people from all sectors of the African Diaspora. AFRICAN IDENTITY is a matter of common ethnicity, ancestry and origin,
The second concept, AFRICAN PRIDE, as invoked by Marcus Garvey, means two things: 1) appreciation and understanding of the achievements of our great race in the past; 2) African self-respect and self-worth in the present.
The Black man had built many civilizations and cultures in the past, he could do so again. The Black man, created in the image and likeness of Almighty God, need not apologize for the color of his skin and the texture of his hair. The third concept of Universal African Nationalism is AFRICAN SELF-RELIANCE. The work of African racial reconstruction will be accomplished by African organizations under African leadership with all-embracing African programmes. African institutions designed for racial upliftment and liberation, whether cultural, economic or political must be controlled by the race, financed, directed, organized and established by Africans with programmes dedicated exclusively to the solution of Africa's problems -- at home and in the diaspora.
The fourth concept of Universal African
Nationalism is AFRICAN ECONOMIC POWER.
The wealth of the African community and the African nation must
be in the hands of the African people. Africans must control the
means of production, distribution and exchange within their own
boundaries. The economic exploitation of African people by alien
races must be opposed by African development of commercial, industrial
and financial enterprises. Marcus Garvey preached AFRICAN ECONOMIC
POWER and tried to alter the situations that were common to all
Black communities - alien ownership and exploitation. The UNIA-ACL
in 1920 formed the Negro Factories Corporation with a mandate to
establish and run commercial and industrial undertakings. The Black
Star Line was formed to promote trade and commerce between West
Africa, the Caribbean and the United States so that Black people
could benefit economically from the carriage
of their own trade in their own ships. Garveyism postulates that
national independence without national and community control of
the economy of the African states is no independence at all. The
final important question is who owns the wealth and the resources?
Who controls the total economy? Garveyism requires that ownership
must unmistakably be in the hands of the African people wherever
the African forms a meaningful African community and majority. Flag
or paper independence in which the African acquires the panoply
and pomp of nationhood, but the alien races retain control of the
meaningful heights of the economy, is no independence at all. True
national freedom requires control of the economy at all meaningful
The fifth concept of Garveyism or Universal African Nationalism is the requirement for AFRICAN UNITY BOTH IN THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL SENSE. Pan-Africanism, the coming together for the common good of all African people in the Diaspora and in the homeland, was a fundamental thesis of Garveyism. "I know no national boundary where the Negro is concerned: the whole world is my province until Africa is free." In the wider international sense, the obvious political advantages that accrue from building blocks of African power are paralleled by the economic and trading advantage of the wider markets and increased productive efficiency. The ideals of African federations and confederations are always present in Garveyite thinking and philosophy. The fact that potential African Federations in East and West Africa, as well as the Caribbean, have floundered before coming to fruition does not imply the incorrectness of African Unity, but rather that the enormous pressures exerted by the enemies of our race are still capable of keeping us apart even when it is in our obvious interests to unite. The creation of operational unity between the various sections of the African people inside and outside the Motherland of Africa was an essential ingredient of Garveyite thinking and policy during the high noon of the movement from 1919-1927. This need for unity is even more obvious today if we are to achieve a meaningful and independent place in the modern world. If we African people cannot achieve operational unity and overcome our petty differences, we will neglect to use, optimally, our potential power and will remain as one of the backward, fragmented third rate nations of the world. The idea that the Black man should create A GREAT AND POWERFUL CENTRAL NATION IN AFRICA that would be able to provide protection and aid to all African people wherever they were was a continuously recurring theme in the writings of Marcus Garvey. The programme of the UNIA and ACL was dedicated to the concept of a return to the Motherland by the Africans of the Diaspora to take part in the great task of nation building and racial reconstruction in the God-given homeland of the race. An african super-state capable of disposing power of every kind: economic, industrial, military, was a cardinal concept of Universal African Nationalism.
In his prophetic poem, "Hail! The United States of Africa!" (written while in prison in Atlanta, Georgia, USA in 1927). Marcus Garvey also stressed the importance of the application of Science and Technology to African nation building. In the Philosophy and Opinions, page 14 of Volume 1 he says - "The battles of the future, whether they be physical or mental, will be fought on scientific lines, and the race that is able to produce the highest scientific development is the race that will ultimately rule." In his famous statement - African Fundamentalism - he says: "There is no height to which we cannot climb by using the active intelligence of our own minds. Mind creates, and is as much as we desire in Nature we can have through the creation of our own minds. Being at present the scientifically weaker race, you shall treat others only as they treat you; but in your home and everywhere possible, you must teach the higher development of science to your children, and be sure to develop a race of scientists par excellence for in science and religion lie our only hope to withstand the evil designs of modern materialism."
The final concept of Universal African Nationalism
is the AFRICAN IMAGE OF GOD and its concomitant theosophy. This ideological
concept of Marcus Garvey has evolved from the 1960's to the present
time in the dialectics of Black Liberation Theology. Black Liberation
Theology requires the active involvement of church and mosque in
the instilling of Racial Identity, Racial Pride, Racial Self-reliance
and African Unity in the minds of our people. This mental reshaping
and mind liberation are necessary for Africans if we are to successfully
deal with the general adversities by which we are confronted and
if we are to effectively oppose our natural and inherent enemies
who have physically enslaved us in the past and who continue to hold
us in physical and mental subservience at the present time. The African
Church and the African Mosque must provide purpose and direction
to the struggles of African people. The African image of God realizes
that a religious structure (Christian Church, Islamic Mosque) can
either be mind-liberating or mind domesticating (in the sense of
the acceptance of the status quo and the current social order). Universal
African Nationalism requires that all religious structures should
be mind liberating and serve the purposes of African nationhood and
For more info on UNIVERSAL AFRIKAN NATIONALISM, visit The Official Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League Website or visit the weekly Marcus Garvey Study Group(Division #330 Study Group), 6:00pm - 9:00pm every Wednesday, The Reeves Center (2000 14th St NW, 2nd Fl Community Room). For further information or directions, call (202) 543-7023.
"UP YOU MIGHTY RACE, YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH WHAT YOU WILL ! ! !"
AFRICAN UNION SUCCESS WILL DEPEND ON PAN AFRICANISM
Dr. Motsoko Pheko
The success of the African Union which will replace the Organization
of African Unity (OAU) in July 2OO2 will depend on the Pan Africanist
orientation and commitment of the African leaders to the total liberation
of Africa. The view by the President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki that
the success of the African union will depend on the "nature of
relations between the ruling parties" of Africa is wrong.
The OAU failed because it became largely a club of African Heads of State. Non Pan Africanists and even anti Pan Africanists led the OAU while Pan Africanists were overthrown, or assassinated or poisoned by agents of imperialism. Examples of such Pan Africanist martyrs were Nkrumah, Lumumba and Sobukwe.
The OAU from its inception was composed of dedicated Pan Africanists and those who were either stooges of the Soviet Union or of the USA. Both super powers looked for "spheres of influence" in Africa now that the colonialists were being made to retreat from Africa by the freedom fighters of Africa.
Pan Africanists wanted Africa to face neither East nor West but forward. The OAU became a political compromise between the Pan Africanist Group led by Kwame Nkrumah and the Monrovia Group led by leaders described by imperialists as "moderates". This is one of the reasons why the OAU became a Pan African body without the Pan African soul. And, therefore, failed in its primary mission of Africa's total liberation.
The African Union will fail if it does not learn from the mistakes of the OAU and allow its leaders to be dictated to by the European Union and the United States. The African Union will have a more difficult task. The OAU fought mainly against colonialism. The African Union is being born in the era of neo colonialism, the worst form and last stage of imperialism.
The essence of neo colonialism is that the state, which is subordinated to it, is in theory independent and has all the outward trappings of international sovereignty. But in reality its economy and political policy are controlled by foreign powers. Political independence is only a means to an end. It is not an end in itself. Its value lies in its being used to create new economic, social and cultural conditions which colonialism and imperialism destroyed. Independence means more than flying own flag, singing a national anthem and having one's own parliament.
The African Union will succeed only when Pan
Africanists and the African masses are involved
in it and the ordinary people see its benefits. The main objective of
the African Union must be the industrialization, development of Africa's
economy, modernization of her agriculture and maintenance of peace and
stability on the African Continent.
Pan Africanism is the imperative for the complete
desalinization of Africa and Africa's restoration to her lost power,
glory and dignity. Africans have been humiliated for far too long. They
must redeem themselves through genuine Pan African unity. The initial
twelve states in America rose to 52 states through Pan American unity.
They are today a super power. The European political leaders who denounced
Pan Africanism as an empty dream with unachievable goals have copied
everything which the Pan Africanists advocated for Africa.
The idea of an African Union which Pan Africanists such as Nkrumah, Sekou Toure, Sobukwe, Azikiwe, Marcus Garvey, Padmore, Mothopeng and DuBoise called "the United States of Africa" was conceived by African leaders in the Diaspora and in Africa, many years before the European Union.
As early as 1958, Nkrumah said, "I am prepared to serve in a political union of free African states under any African leader who is able to offer the proper guidance in this great issue of our time."
Pan Africanists in the southern tip of Africa reinforced the reality that very little can be achieved by Africans without Pan Africanism. That is why Sobukwe, Leballo Ngendane, Mothopeng, Gqobose and many others provided in the constitution of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) the fifth aim as "To propagate and promote the concept of and ideology of Pan Africanism by promoting unity among the peoples of Africa and of African descent through the projection of the African personality."
Pan Africanists throughout the period of over
one hundred years of struggle for Africa's liberation; have aspired to
use their freedom and national sovereignty to raise the standard of living
of their people. To neutralize the evil effects of the artificial boundaries
imposed on Africa by colonial powers.
The success of the African Union requires Pan Africanist oriented, dedicated and selfless leaders and citizens. People who submerge self in service to the African nation and mankind. Leaders who abhor greed and corruption. Leaders whose integrity is their greatness.
The African Union will succeed only when it is
based on organized Pan Africanism - the tested African political philosophy
whose primary achievement has been its defeat of classical colonialism
in Africa which had grown very strong roots.. The African Union to be
judged a success as envisaged by Pan Africanist visionaries must be a
place where Africans will enjoy the full benefits of Africa's riches.
The history of the political struggle of the African people in Africa demonstrates beyond reasonable doubt that until they apply Pan Africanism to their overwhelming problems, they will continue to be relegated to perpetual foreign domination by every Tom, Dick and Harry.
Pan Africanism's clarion call for over a century now, has been that Africans must get rid of their image of poverty and powerlessness. They must look inward. They must largely rely on their own efforts instead of slavishly depending on the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and international donors. Africans must make up their minds to sweat for their economic development and technological advancement. To succeed the African Union must demand of the African people throughout the continent, to throw away their slave and colonial mentality and bear the brunt of their own Pan African success in the same way they did during Africa's struggle against classical colonialism.
The people of goodwill in the world will help the African Union. But the people of Africa as a whole must carry out the greater burden of their reconstruction of Africa, through HARD WORK, in order to achieve for themselves Africa's restoration to her lost power, glory and dignity. This will result in the social emancipation of the African people.
Dr. Pheko is a member of the South African Parliament and deputy President of the Pan Africanist Congress
|| "Pan-Africanism has its beginnings in the liberation struggle of African-Americans, expressing the aspirations of Africans and peoples of African descent. From the first Pan-African Conference, held in London in 1900, until the last Pan-African Conference held in Manchester in 1945, African-Americans provided the main driving power of the movement. Pan-Africanism then moved to Africa, its true home, with the holding of the First Conference of Independent African States in Accra in April 1958, and the All-African People's Conference in December of the same year."
"The work of the early pioneers of Pan-Africanism such as Sylvester
Williams, Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey,
and H. George Padmore, none of whom were born in
Africa, has become a treasured part of Africa's
history. It is significant that two of them, Dr. Du Bois and George
Padmore, came to live in Ghana at my invitation. Dr. Du Bois died as
he wished, on African soil, while working in Accra on the Encyclopedia
Africana. George Padmore became my Adviser on African Affairs, and spent
the last years of his life in Ghana, helping the revolutionary struggle
for African unity and socialism."
"The close links forged between Africans and peoples of African descent over half a century of common struggle continue to inspire and strengthen us. For, although the outward forms of our struggle may change, it remains in essence the same, a fight to the death against oppression, racism and exploitation."
"Most of Africa has achieved political independence. But imperialism
has not been vanquished. International finance
capital appearing now in its new guise of neo-colonialism seeks to maintain
and extend its stranglehold over the economic life of our continent.
Imperialists and neo-colonialists are resorting to every kind of stratagem
to achieve their purposes. They have allied with reactionary elements
in our midst to organize military coups and other forms of direct action
in an attempt to halt progress of the African Revolution. They are at
the same time working in more insidious ways to undermine our morale
and to divert our attention from the main purpose of our struggle?" the
total liberation of the African continent, an All-African Union Government
"The Organization of African Unity has been rendered virtually useless as a result of the machinations of neo-colonizers and their puppets. Yet it is being preserved as an innocuous organization in the hope that it may delay the formation of a really effective Pan-African organization which will lead to genuine political unification. Encouragement is being given to the formation of African regional economic organizations in the knowledge that without political cohesion they will be ineffective and serve to strengthen, not weaken, neo-colonialist exploitation and domination."
Introduction, "The Spectre of Black Power", Dr. Kwame Nkrumah
The Hon. Marcus Mosiah Garvey
The time has come for the Blackman 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 canonize our own martyrs and elevate to positions of fame and honor Black men and women who have made their distinct contributions to our racial history.
Sojourner Truth is worthy of sainthood alongside of Joan of Arc. Crispus Attuck and George William Gordon are entitled to the halo of martyrdom with no less glory than that of the martyrs of any other race. Jacques Deselines' and Moshesh's brilliancy as soldiers and statesmen outshone that of a Cromwell, Napoleon, or Washington: hence they are entitled to the highest place as heroes among men.
Africa has produced countless numbers of men and women, in war and in peace, whose lustre and bravery outshines that of any other people. Then why not see good and perfection in ourselves? We must inspire a literature and promulgate a doctrine of our own without any apologies to the powers that be. The right is the Blackman's and Africa's. Let contrary sentiments and cross opinions go to the winds. Oppositions to Race Independence is the weapon of the enemy to defeat the hopes of an unfortunate people.
We are entitled to our own opinions and not obligated to or bound by the opinions of others. If others laugh at you return the laughter to them; if they mimic you return the compliment with equal force. They have no more right to dishonor, disrespect or disregard your feelings and manhood than you have in dealing with them. Honor them when they honor you; disregard them when they vilely treat you. Their arrogance is but skin deep and an assumption that has no foundation in morals or in Law.
They have sprung from the same family tree of obscurity as we have; their history is as rude in its primitiveness as ours, their ancestors ran wild and naked, lived in caves and in branches of trees like monkeys as ours; they made sacrifices, ate the flesh of their own dead and the raw meat of wild beasts for centuries even as they accuse us of doing. Their cannibalism was more prolonged than ours; when we were embracing the Arts and Sciences on the banks of the Nile, their ancestors were still drinking human blood and eating out of the skulls of their conquered dead.
When our civilization had reached the noon-day of progress, they were still running naked and sleeping in holes and caves with rats, bats, and other insects and animals. After we had already unfathomed the mystery of the Stars and reduced the Heavenly Constellations to minute and regular calculus they were still backwoodsmen, living in ignorance and blatant darkness.
The world today is indebted to us for the benefits of civilization. They stole our Arts and Sciences from Africa. Then why should we be ashamed of ourselves? Their modern improvements are but duplicates of a grander civilization that we reflected thousands of years ago; without the advantage of what is buried and still hidden, to be resurrected and reintroduced by the intelligence of our generation and our posterity.
Why should we be discouraged because somebody laughs at us today? Who can tell what tomorrow will bring forth? Did they not laugh at Moses, Christ, and Mohammed? Was there not a CARTHAGE, GREECE and ROME? We see and have changes everyday; so plan, work, be steadfast and do not be dismayed. As the Jew is held together by his religion, the white races by the assumption and the unwritten law of superiority, and the Mongolian by the precious tie of blood; so likewise the Blackman must be UNITED in one grand RACIAL HIERARCHY. Our union must know no climate, boundary or nationality.
BLACK MEN THE WORLD OVER MUST PRACTICE ONE FAITH, THAT OF CONFIDENCE IN THEMSELVES, WITH: ONE CAUSE, ONE GOAL, ONE DESTINY.*
Let no religious scruples, no political machination divide us, but let us hold together under all climates and in every country; making among ourselves a RACIAL EMPIRE upon which, "The Sun shall never set."
Let no voice but your own speak to you from the depths; let no influence but your own rouse you in time of peace and time of war. Hear all but attend only to that which concerns you, your allegiance shall be to your Race, then to your family and your Country. Remember always that the Jew in his political and economic urge is always first a Jew, the white is first a white man under all circumstances; and you can do no less than being first and always a Blackman; then all else will take care of itself. Let no one inoculate you with evil doctrines to suit their conveniences. There's no humanity before that which starts with yourself, "CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME." First to thyself be true and thou canst not then be false to any man.
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 be your limit, and Eternity our Measurement. There's no height to which we cannot climb by using the active intelligence of our own mind. Mind creates, and as much as we desire in NATURE, we can have through the creation of our own minds. Being at present the scientifically weaker Race, you shall treat others only as they treat you, but in your homes and everywhere possible you must teach the higher development of science to your children; and be sure to develop a RACE of SCIENTISTS par excellence, for in Science and NATIONALISM lie our only hope to withstand the evil designs of modern materialism.
Never forget your Cause. REMEMBER! We live, work and plan for the establishment of a great and binding RACIAL HIERARCHY; the founding of a RACIAL EMPIRE whose only natural, spiritual and political limits shall be: LIBERTY FOR AFRICANS, AT HOME AND ABROAD.
Download the Full Version of the Marcus Garvey recording