African Liberation Day 2012!
So my original plan was to join the comrades in Oakland to commemorate this 54th commemoration of African Liberation Day (ALD), but the rigors of starting a new job, and lack of finances, gave me the realization last week that this wasn't going to be possible. Once I realized this, the massive depression was overwhelming. You see, I haven't missed ALD since 1983. In fact, I've been a significant force in helping organize ALD for the All African People's Revolutionary Party in Sacramento from 1985 through 2008, and Oakland since 2009. Even after 28 years, ALD still generates the excitement in me that Christmas generates in a child. This day represents the struggles of the Convention People's Party, Democratic Party of Guinea, Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania, South Africa, African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau, Universal Negro Improvement Association, Black Panther Party, and so many other organizations who have fought courageously for African liberation over the last 500+ years. This thought has always sent chills down my spine. These heroic people stood up and challenged the system of capitalism and exploitation with major sacrifice. When I think of people like Nkrumah, Ture, Cabral, Marcus and Amy Garvey, Padmore, Sobukwe, Shirley and W.E.B. Dubois, Lumumba, Malcolm X, Huey Newton, Assata, Kwame Ture, Mawina Kouyatte, etc., I get great pride. These soldiers never sought validation from a backward racist U.S. and Europe. They sought to build independent African institutions and organization and most of them paid dearly for it. We can never repay them or their families for their sacrifices, but we can continue their fight. That's what ALD represents. I have the chance to make a difference and contribute towards our objective of Pan-Africanism - the total liberation and unification of African under scientific socialism. I'm so thankful for those who made these sacrifices. They are the true heroes and heroines and we won't let people forget that! So, I'm excited today because although the thought of not going to Oakland brought on severe depression at first, I decided to act as these ancestors always did. I organized an ALD commemoration here in Portland. Now the ideas of Pan-Africanism are spreading further so maybe that's the ancestors working through me. I don't know. What I do know is I remember working on my first ALD back in 1985. I worked so hard, I was completely exhausted for days. I remember talking to people in the neighborhood in Sacramento. I remember the excitement of the ALD march and rally and symposium. Now, almost 30 years later, I'm still doing it. Still fighting. All the people and energies I've encountered in that 30 years are with me, helping shape the person I am. I'm proud of that and I look forward to a fulfilling African Liberation Day here in Portland today.