great historian and departed ancestor,
Dr. John Henrik Clarke described in his classic book, Notes for an African World Revolution,
that, “The idea of uniting all Africa had its greatest
development early in this [20th] century.” In this context, the idea of Reparations for African people will never die.
Clarke wrote that, “In 1900, the Trinidadian lawyer,
H. Sylvester Williams called together the first Pan African Conference
in London. This meeting attracted attention and put the word Pan African
in the dictionaries for the first time.”
to Dr. Clarke there were only thirty delegates to the conference
that came mainly from England, the Caribbean,
and the United States. Dr. W. E. B.
DuBois led the small delegation from the United
States. When we use the term Pan Africanism
we must be very clear. Pan Africanism is the belief that people
of African ancestry throughout the world have the same racial
and cultural characteristics and the same social and economic
conditions as a result of our African origin.
Pan African component of the Reparations Movement launched its
first international conference on Reparations in Lagos, Nigeria in December
of 1990. After that conference, the
Organization of African Unity (OAU) set up a Group of Eminent
Persons (GEP), in June 1992. Its
aim was to work out the different ways in which to proceed,
and secure technical advisors, who would
help solve some of the difficulties associated with the claim
second conference on Reparations was held in Abuja, Nigeria in 1992,
attended by representatives from throughout the Diaspora. That
conference issued a declaration, “The Abuja Proclamation,” which called for a national reparations
committee to be established throughout Africa
and the Diaspora. The African Reparations Movement (UK) was formed
in 1993, as a result of this proclamation.
is important that we understand that the idea of Reparations has
caught on with the masses of African people worldwide,
in spite of the opposition of the forces of white supremacy.
delegation from the United States, led by
the late Dr. Jacob H. Carruthers and Dr. Ron Walters,
participated in Abuja’s First Pan African Conference and reported
back to the leaders of the Reparations Movement, in this country, their observations and
analysis of the conference.
we think about Pan Africanism and continue our struggle,
let us reflect on the contributions of our ancestor,
Malcolm X. We must remember his role in helping to stimulate the
Pan African Movement that we stand on today as we fight for Reparations
for African people throughout the world.
Malcolm’s last visit to Africa before his
untimely departure from us, he visited the President of Ghana; Osagyefo Dr. Kwamé Nkrumah. Malcolm
gave this account of the meeting in his autobiography. Malcolm
said, “We discussed the unity of Africans and people of African descent.
We agreed that Pan Africanism was the key also to the problems
of those of African heritage… My time with him was up all too
soon. I promised faithfully that when I returned to the United States, I would
relay to Afro-Americans his personal warm regards.”
is no doubt that the spirit of Malcolm and other great Pan African
leaders are helping to push the Reparations Movement forward.
Abuja Proclamation” should be the basis for our continued organizing
of the Reparations Movement throughout the world. The following
are some of the key points presented in “The Abuja Proclamation:
on April 27-29, 1993. These
ideas are still relevant to our organizing work in the Reparations