great historian and departed ancestor,
Dr. John Henrik Clarke described in his classic book, Africans
at the Crossroads: African World Revolution,
that, “The idea of uniting all Africa had its greatest
development early in this [20th] century.” In
this context, 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 and these 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 for
second conference on Reparations was held in Abuja, Nigeria in 1993,
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 the late 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
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 spirits of Malcolm and other great
Pan African leaders are helping to keep Reparations for
African people alive.
Abuja Proclamation” should be the basis for our continued
organizing of the Reparations Movement throughout the
world. These ideas are still relevant to our organizing
work in the Reparations Movement today. The following
are some of the key points presented in “The Abuja Proclamation:
on April 27-29, 1993: