Read Part 2 of this Series
is the first of a two-part article on the origin and development of
African Liberation Day (ALD). The celebration of African Liberation
Day (ALD) in the United States began in May 1972 in Washington, D.C.
More than 60,000 people participated in this historic event.
1973, ALD was decentralized and Chicago sponsored its first ALD
celebration in May of that year. Since that time, we have celebrated
ALD in various ways, with parades, rallies, and cultural programs.
the 1980s through 1997, NBUF Chicago Chapter sponsored African
Liberation Day / ALD on the Westside, where we marched down Madison
Street and culminated with a rally and cultural program in Garfield
Park. These ALD events were very successful and we were very honored
to sponsor them. Other groups are now sponsoring African Liberation
Day celebrations and activities throughout the United States.
African Liberation Day has become an
institution throughout the African world. It is a day when all people
of African ancestry should come together. Whether you were born in
Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, Mozambique,
Zimbabwe, Haiti, Jamaica, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Belize,
Bahia, Canada, Cuba, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Paris, or Chicago, as
long as you are Black, you are an African, with a common heritage,
and a common set of conditions.
we prepare to participate in the upcoming weekend of events and
activities, we must always remember the origin and development of
African Liberation Day. Our ancestor, Kwame Ture, explained, “ALD
was founded by Kwame Nkrumah on the occasion of the First Conference
of Independent States held in Accra, Ghana and attended by eight
independent states. The 15th of April was declared African Freedom
Day to mark each year the onward process of the liberation movement,
and to symbolize the determination of the people of Africa to free
themselves from foreign domination and exploitation.”
the AAPRP (All-African People’s Revolutionary Party) points out
that, “On the 25th of May 1963, 31 African heads of state
convened a summit meeting to found the Organization of African Unity.
They proclaimed May 25th as ALD and called for mass demonstrations
and manifestations in every comer of Africa and the African
idea of ALD has its origins in the long history of African people to
break free of the yoke of European domination and white supremacy.
This is a time in which we emphasize our oneness as a people with a
common past, common set of problems, and a common future.
capturing of millions of African people, who were placed in slavery
and introduced into the western hemisphere as property and
commodities, is the backdrop upon which we commemorate African
It was the slave trade industry of
the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth-centuries involving
Britain, France, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, and Germany that served as
the foundation for these western powers and provided them the margin
of profit in getting the greatest return off of their investment. The
western world still seeks to keep Africa and African people worldwide
in bondage, so they can continue to maximize the greatest return off
of their initial investment.
After chattel slavery was abolished
in England and the United States, the slave trade industry began to
wind down. The former slave-trading nations found themselves no
longer needing slaves, but yet stumbled upon the other natural
resources of Africa. They began to fight each other over the gold,
diamonds, and other mineral and plant resources they were
This resulted in the calling of the
Berlin Conference in 1884, where the European powers united to divide
the continent of Africa among themselves. It has been discussed,
historically, that those who control Africa, control the world.
Therefore, the Berlin Conference was a crowning blow in African
history. The results of this conference led to the carving up of
Africa so that France, Britain, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, and Germany
controlled separate territories throughout the continent. This became
known as the colonial period in African history. The colonial period
in Africa, just as the enslavement of African people captured and
brought to North America, had a devastating impact on Africa and
African people. It was not until the early 1950s that the first
African country gained political independence in the movement to
reclaim Africa. That country was Ghana under the leadership of Kwame
Nkrumah who led the Ghanaian people in their fight against British
I will continue the discussion of
the origin and development of African Liberation Day in my next
column. Many groups around the country and the world where African
people reside will be hosting ALD Celebrations this year. Don’t
forget to support African Liberation Day activities in your area of
Read Part 2 of this Series