is the second of a two part series discussing the origin and
development of African Liberation Day. The month of May is very
important in the worldwide African Liberation Movement. During this
month, throughout the African world Community, African Liberation Day
(ALD) is celebrated.
is important that African Liberation Day be a vehicle to continue to
highlight the problems, challenges and the future of African people
everywhere. The challenges facing Africa and African people worldwide
require that we remain dedicated to the cause of Africa’s
redemption and liberation. One way we can continue to showcase that
dedication is to actively participate in all of the African
Liberation Day activities throughout the world.
colonial period in Africa, as well as the enslavement of African
people who were captured and brought to North America, had a
devastating impact on Africa and African people.
people did not sit idly by. Just as we resisted our slave
circumstances in America, African people resisted their colonial
condition. Pan African meetings were called to plot strategy to end
colonial rule. The Garvey Movement and the Universal Negro
Improvement Association (UNIA) galvanized African people worldwide to
embrace the idea of African independence under “One God, One
Aim, and One Destiny.” The Garvey period in our history, more
than any other era, laid the foundation for what we now call African
people began waging a battle to reclaim their lands. This has been a
long and bitter struggle. Resistance to white supremacy and colonial
domination took many shapes and forms.
Pan African meetings (1900-1945) provided a mechanism for a small
group of African leaders to plan and plot strategy for African
freedom. The Garvey Movement of the 1920s brought the idea of African
freedom and independence to the masses of our people around the
world. “Africa for the Africans – At Home and Abroad,”
was a slogan that captured the spirit of African people. This slogan
gave a clear understanding of who we are as a people and what we
should be struggling for.
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 to their fight against British colonialism. Shortly
after this successful defeat of the British, Sekou Toure led the
people of Guinea towards their independence from French colonialism.
Right on the heels of this victory was the victory of Patrice Lumumba
and the people of the Congo, who won the battle, for a brief moment,
independence movement sparked an onslaught of African people
reclaiming their territories and led to the formation of the
Organization of African Unity (OAU) in May 1963. (This is why we
celebrate ALD in May.) It was during this period that Malcolm X
linked the struggle of African people in this country with the
struggle of African people worldwide.
is interesting to note that the Civil Rights Movement in this country
was sparked in Montgomery (1955) at approximately the same time the
independence movement in Africa began (1956-57). The call for Black
Power (1966) sparked a discussion in the Black Liberation Movement in
America that placed the re-identification with Africa and African
people on the Movement’s agenda, once again. This renewed a new
phase of the Pan African Movement.
call for support of our brothers and sisters fighting against the
Portuguese in Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea Bissau led to the
formation of the African Liberation Day held in the country on May
27, 1972 that attracted over 60,000 African people. African
Liberation Day has become an institution in America since that time.
Liberation Day is a day when all Black people should come together.
As I have emphasized many times before, whether you were born in
Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe,
Jamaica, Belize, Bahia, Germany, England, France, Alabama, Georgia,
or on 47th Street in Chicago, as long as you are
Black, you are an African with a common
heritage and a common set of conditions. We must continue to fight
against racism and white supremacy as we demand reparations for
African people in America and worldwide.
Read Part I of this Series