There's so much more that can be said about the contradictions of Memorial Day, July 4th, and every symbol of U.S. capitalism, but the point here is to highlight the existence of the important and principled holiday taking place this weekend all around the world - African Liberation Day. Unlike those other so-called holidays, which distort history, and basically exist to serve the purpose of justifying the historical and continued murder and oppression of millions for the sake of private profit, African Liberation Day (ALD) is a concept that rises out of the genuine desire of African people to be free from exploitation while making a concrete contribution to the rest of humanity's march for forward human progress. African Liberation Day accomplishes this as an outgrowth of the Pan-African movement. Pan-Africanism has always been a central aspect of African culture and history, but we will start with it's organizational expressions that date back to 1900 when the first Pan-African conference was organized in Britain. From that conference grew the subsequent Pan-African Congresses. In fact, between 1919 and 1945, five such Pan-African Congresses took place. The purpose of those meetings was to explore the concept that African people live in over 100 counttries worldwide as a result of slavery and colonialism. Africa's human and material wealth are controlled and exploited by the European and U.S. rulers who used and use those resources to industrialize Europe and the U.S. while keeping Africa, and African people, in a state of poverty, disorganization, and powerlessness. These meetings were attended by delegates to discussed the Berlin Conference in the 1880s and how Europe divided up Africa into the format it exists within to this day. The participants discussed and passed resolutions declaring that the problems African people face result from Africa's exploitation so until Africa is free and united, African people wherever we reside will cotninue to experience pain and suffering.
The first four Pan-African Congresses were primarily symbolic in thoughts and actions, but the historic 5th Pan-African Congress in Manchester, England in 1945, took all of the symbolism from the previous congresses and elevated those principles into concrete action that would translate into the African independence movements and the U.S., Europe, and Caribbean civil rights and Black power movements. All of the figures who would go on to play significant roles in developing the Pan-African ideological, strategic, and positive action work over the next few decades were present at the 45 congress. People like Kwame Nkrumah - the first president of Ghana, Sekou Ture - Guinea's first president, Patrice Lumumba - the Congo's first prime minister, and many other key figures like Trinidadian born George Padmore, Amy Jacque Garvey - the widow of the honorable Marcus Garvey, were present and U.S. born W.E.B. DuBois the senior organizer who played a role in initiating the first meetings, was declared the "father of Pan-Africanism at 5th PAC. It was at this historic meeting that Pan-Africanism was expressed as the solution to African suffering and the concept was defined as "one unified socialist Africa." People came out of 5th PAC with an agenda to work towards achieving Pan-Africanism. There was an understanding, still strong and getting stronger today, that a free and united Africa, under a continental government committed to and practicing scientific socialism, is the key solution to solving the problems facing African people wherever we are.
After Ghana's independence in 1957, the Conference of Independent African States in 1958 produced Africa Freedom Day on April 15th. In May of 1963, with the founding of the Organization of African Unity, African Freedom Day was changed to African Liberation Day and May 25th was designated as the day to commemorate ALD and African unity. The euphora and excitement for our future was stunted with the criminal sabotage against the Congo in 1960, and the subsequent murder of Lumumba in 1961. Of course, the setbacks continued with the murder of Malcolm X in 1965, the overthrow of Nkrumah's government in 1966, along with Keito in Mali that same year, the assassination of Cabral in 1973, and many other attacks. After the CIA instigated overthrow of his Ghana government, Nkrumah was accepted into Guinea and made co-president by Sekou Ture. From there he wrote his critically classic books "Handbook of Revolutionary Warfare" and "Class Struggle in Africa." These books clearly articulated the concepts of neo-colonialism's treacherous role in Africa and how the Organization of African Unity, being a tool of neo-colonialism, could not effectively be used as a tool for genuine African unity. It was in the handbook that Nkrumah argued that a grassroots political organization, based on uniting the African liberation parties and movements on the ground into an All African Committee for Poltiical Coordination which would constitute the All African People's Revolutionary Party (A-APRP). Nkrumah saw the A-APRP as the mass, revolutionary, alternative to the Organization of African Unity, which today is known as the African Union.
Fast forwarding to 2013, for the A-APRP, African Liberation Day is a tool to organize the African masses for the acheivement of Pan-Africanism. The need is there more today than ever for African unity. I talked to two brothers from Guinea, West Africa, recently who explained how there has been a major influx of Chinese nationals living in Guinea over the last few years. The Chinese are there to engage in technological contracts with the neo-colonial government. As a result of their work, in no time flat, Chinese residents have achieved a status in Guinea that places them above the Africans in all political, economic, and social spheres. This is the story of the African masses in every country we reside in and it will continue to be our story until we can organize and develop power to hurt those who hurt us. That power is Pan-Africanism. We use ALD simply as a tool to promote this message. As a result, the A-APRP is organizing ALD in several cities in Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, Canada, and the U.S. this year around May 25th. You can get more information by going to www.africanliberationday.net Pan-Africanism is Power! We Must Unite!!!