This 60th year is very special because its also the 50th year since the publication of the eternal "Handbook of Revolutionary Warfare" by A-APRP founder Kwame Nkrumah. Its also the 50th year since the creation of the A-APRP as called for in the Handbook. A novice to political organizing and struggle might say 50 years? 60 years? Why have you not succeeded with your objective? The clear ideological answer is that we are succeeding and anyone who has the slightest understanding of organizational work should be able to easily understand why. In those 50 years we have made major contributions to a number of areas of significant political accomplishments. Just from my own humble experience I can tell you that when I started back in 1984, very few Africans in the Western Hemisphere wanted to identify with Africa. Today, African is a part of the dominant identifier in this country for people of African descent and we are seeing great strides on this question. Cuba allocates funding to teach about African culture in that country, recognizing that the majority of their population should identify as Africans. Other Caribbean nations like Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic are making progress on this question as well and the same can be said for South American countries like Brazil and Venezuela. The concept of African unity has never had as much steam as it does today on the continent itself. Even the neo-colonial regimes in countries like Ghana and Nigeria are having to cede to the demand of the people by instituting Pan-African steps like reducing border requirements and making it easier for Africans born in other countries in Africa, and even outside of Africa, to become citizens in African countries. In 1984, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), not to mention other imperialist and terrorist intelligence agencies like the Moussad from Israel and M16 in Britain, were viewed as the "good guys." Today, all of those entities are widely recognized for the beasts and terrorist organizations that they are and the entire imperialist industrial military apparatus will soon be joining them. Finally, in 1984, questions like African support and understanding of the connections we have with Palestinian and Indigenous people's of the Western Hemisphere struggles for justice couldn't boast anything close to the level of collective consciousness that all of those questions have among the masses of people today. My point is political consciousness is a process, not an event. It will take time, possibly generations, to get us where we need to be, but the work is clearly happening and its not happening by accident or chance. It reflects the organized efforts of organizations like the A-APRP. I'm only one A-APRP cadre and I can tell you I've probably facilitated 100 events dealing with these questions to many thousands of people. I've worked with dozens of organizations to build and maintain relationships. So, clearly, if we have any number of people, which we do, engaging in the same work that I do, that is going to have an impact. That's what we have been doing the last 50 years.
This weekend, we will again make ALD a reality for African people in every corner of the planet Earth. Our theme for 2018 - "Divided by Borders, United by History and Culture" - will be expressed this coming weekend in Guinea-Bissau Creole, Kenyan Ki-Swahili, Ghanaian Twi and Ga, Shona in Zimbabwe, and Xhosa and Zulu in Azania, South Africa. In Britain, our theme will be echoed in the Africanized version of that colonial English. The same will be true in Canada and throughout the U.S. For you, that may just be a wide spread event, but in reality, its clear and undeniable evidence that our people are coming together. That we do want unity. That we have the desire and capacity to be united. And, that ALD is just today's writing on the wall for what we will accomplish on behalf of our struggling people. You may see just a day. Just an event, but for those of us who actually do this work, and not just believe in our head's that we understand this work, we know what we are participating in and witnessing is the groundwork of victory in our struggle.
So, if you understand the above, then you shouldn't have any trouble understanding why the night before ALD - this Friday night, May 25th - I'll have a very difficult time sleeping. I've had that struggle since 1984 because the concept of what ALD actually means is extremely exciting to me. And, the fact I get the sincere honor to contribute to that process is extremely exciting to me. There are people who started this work with me in 1984 who are no longer on Earth. And then there are the giants who paved the way for us. That night, as I toss and turn, I'll be thinking about Malcolm and Kwame Ture. Kwame Nkrumah, Sekou Ture. Mbalia Camara and Carmen Peirera. Shirley Graham and W.E.B. DuBois. George Padmore. Franz Fanon. Patrice Lumumba. Fred Hampton. I'll be thinking of all of them and more and I'll be thanking them for all their sacrifices. I'll be attempting to be as still as I can be so that I can hear their voices speaking into me. I couldn't care less if you don't believe they speak into me. I believe they speak into all of us, but many of us are just not prepared to receive their communication. I am and its their guidance that has permitted me to weather this decadent society. They are the reason I haven't completely lost my way because through them I know what my true contribution has to be.
So, ALD may seem like just an event, but we know that its an institution. One we are building. One that will one day have an entirely different meaning. So, if you love freedom and African self-determination. If you love seeing all the struggles of all oppressed people united and sustainable together. If you love seeing women represented and strong, uncompromising voices through word, song, and dance, expressing our determination to be free. Then, I cannot for the life of me understand why you wouldn't want to be at the closest ALD to you (this link will give you logistic information for ALDs happening all over the planet - http://www.africanliberationday.net/. And, if physical circumstances just won't permit you to get to one of the manifestations, then let us know and we will forward you the commemorative 60 year tabloid containing articles and information about ALD. This day is about Africa and African people. There is absolutely nothing else that even comes close.