For All Points-Of-The-View.
Often times I wonder how we in the African Diaspora are to uplift ourselves from the reality of oppression and 2nd class citizenship we found ourselves in today. In my opinion, Pan Africanism holds the key for the peoples and nations/states of the African Diaspora to unify and through this unity compete effectively in the global economy. But what is Pan Africanism? The founding intellectuals of this thought, W.E.B. Du Bois, Kwame Nkrumah, and George Padmore all developed over time what it was to mean and as time has moved on it has changed and been reconstructed based on the situations people found themselves in. However at its core, I believe Pan Africanism developed as a response to the oppression of the people of the African Diaspora globally and across time. These founding intellectuals believed that we could, as peoples who originally came from the continent of Africa, accomplish more in unity than in disunity. In my re-definition of who the African Diaspora is, I wish to include Afro-Latinos, Afro-Europeans, Africans living abroad, Black Americans and Arabs.
Now to the definition! Pan Africanism believes in the unification of the African continent in order to better resist neo-colonialist and colonialist influences exerted upon it. It also believes that we as the people of the Diaspora share two common bonds that call for our unity. To begin with we all share bonds with the African continent as the black people spread throughout the world originally came from the motherland. Secondly, we all share in a common oppression wherever we went or stayed and have been successful in throwing off the yoke of that oppression due to the unity we have exhibited amongst each other. With this as the case, the founding minds in all the Pan African Congresses, but particularly in the 5th Pan African Congress in 1945 concluded that that by standing alone we are easily defeated but by acting in unity we are un-exploitable. This holds true for the people of the Diaspora outside the continent because if Africa as a political base is secure, strong and unified, it becomes difficult for states to justify treating blacks as inferior citizens unless they incur the wrath of Africa.
Indeed the African Diaspora is a diverse community but I believe that none of these differences should keep us apart. The ideas of Pan Africanism are creative and inclusive in nature. It is as George Padmore wrote in his book Pan Africanism or Communism a dynamic political philosophy that calls for us to assert of proper place as an equal contributor to glories of man. A world heritage is an Pan African heritage and visa versa. However,
Perhaps this theory is useless and outdated and has no relevance as a uniting force today. Pan Africanism indeed doesn’t have many champions today and seems to exist more as a fleeting memory or distant desire to the people of the Diaspora today. Is this because it has no use for us? Or perhaps we believe that we are so different that any calls for unity aren’t logical? Or maybe European-American propaganda and domination of the culture and thought process of the world has blinded us to our own potentials for greatness? Who knows? But maybe, just maybe, Pan Africanism’s founding intellectuals actually stumbled upon something that has relevance hundred years after its conception and we need to seriously re-engage with it. Indeed we all have our own unique histories and cultures even amongst Africans but we can be creative in our thinking and show the world the power, beauty and dynamism of the sum of our collective cultures, histories and experiences.