May 25th, 2020, represents the 62nd commemoration of African Liberation Day (ALD). African Liberation Day was originally founded on April 15th, 1958, as Africa Freedom Day during the All African People’s Conference held by Kwame Nkrumah and the Convention People’s Party in Ghana.
For many people of African descent today (“all people of African descent are Africans and belong to the African nation” – Kwame Nkrumah in Class Struggle in Africa, 1970), it can be difficult for them to understand our focus on Africa and African liberation. For some Africans throughout Europe or the Western Hemisphere, their entire existence has been defined since birth as nationality based on where they are born and raised. Even many Africans throughout Africa have been socialized the same way based on the geography restrictions violently forced upon them by European colonizers.
These Africans have been taught to view the world as African-Americans or Afro-Brazilians, Jamaicans, Nigerians, Ethiopians, Black British, African-Nova Scotians, etc. This reality and lack of consciousness among the African masses have served to divide us and prevent us from seeing our common destiny. We have unwittingly accepted the imperialist definition of identity as that of common language and geography. Our reality is that the colonial definition of identity can never adequately apply to us because Africa was forcibly attacked and dominated by imperial, colonial powers. As a result, the institutionalization of colonialism and slavery has violently placed African people all over the world today. In other words, although you may be born in Canada, our ancestors were kidnapped and taken all over the world for slave labor. Plus, colonial conditions have forced us to leave Africa in search of resources we should have had access to in Africa. Consequently, African people are in an unusual and surreal situation where we can be born in Brazil and have biological relatives in Nigeria, or the U.S., or the Dominican Republic. We can be born in France and have relatives in Burkina Faso and Haiti. Relatives, we don’t know who don’t know us. Relatives we have no way to speak to language-wise. Those limitations do nothing to deny the fact we exist and maintain the same interests for a better reality. This reality makes Nkrumah’s redefinition of identity essential for us. Our identity must be defined strictly by our common history and culture, not language and geography. If we understood this definition of identity, we would be able to explain many aspects of our existence that we are confused about today. For example, sickle cell anemia, which widely affects Africans born in the West, is a manifestation of our bodies adapting to ways to fight off malaria which is common throughout much of Africa.
So, there’s no question, despite the rampant confusion and unfounded conspiracy theories that circulate with such popularity throughout social media, that African people have common interests, wherever we are on earth. This is true because wherever we are – Africa, Europe, North America, Central America, the Caribbean, South America, Australia, India, etc. – we are at the bottom of those societies. Why? Because our mother – Africa – is poor and exploited. She’s exploited because her mineral and human resources are the backbone of the profitability of multi-national capitalist corporations. Without that cheap human and material resource pool, there is no Apple, Samsung, Motorola, Shell, Chevron, Firestone, Debeers Diamonds, Kaiser Aluminum, Alcoa Aluminum, Ford, Toyota, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Mercedes Benz, BMW, etc. And since the very same multi-national capitalist corporations who rely on exploiting Africa are the same entities who shape educational curriculum in schools everywhere on earth through their foundational monies, it should surprise no one that our people remain extremely confused about who we are as Africans, period.
These reasons explain the necessity for Africa to be our focus. If you want a key to ending African poverty, patriarchal oppression against our women and non-men, exploitation of our children, ragged terrorism against us by state police and agencies, etc., the total liberation of Africa under scientific socialism is a must. It’s a must because we know that until Africa is free, united, and socialist, no African anywhere on earth will have freedom and self-determination. And, we know that this objective, which we define as Pan-Africanism, cannot happen without the international organization of African people into a worldwide fighting force that will facilitate a worldwide revolution against the forces of capitalism. Pan-Africanism means agency for us. The ability to control most of the essential resources needed to conduct world relations. The purpose of this revolution is to seize back the power that has been stolen from us for 500+ years of slavery, colonialism, and neo-colonialism. With the ability to collectively manage that level of power, we will no longer need to worry about being respected, something we consistently struggle to achieve today.
African Liberation Day is simply a manifestation for us to articulate the values expressed in this article and the need for our people to embrace these Pan-African values and to get to work to bring about our victory for all of our people everywhere. ALD is also a method for us to express our support for other liberation movements who are fighting the same enemies of humanity that we are i.e. The Filipino, Palestinian, Irish, and Indigenous people’s of the Western Hemisphere liberation struggles.
Some people will continue to cling to that extremely limited political perspective that imperialism insists we hang onto that African people within specific metro areas, not to mention countries or the world, will never unite We advance a much healthier and realistic perspective. We use African Liberation Day to demonstrate for the world that African people in every corner of earth, in multiple languages and practices, are already working for unity and empowerment to achieve our liberation collectively. The African Liberation Day program for 2020 will be held on May 25th. It will kick off at 8:30am PST, 9:30am MST, 10:30am CST, 11:30am EST, 3:30pm Ghana time, and 5:30pm Azanian (South African) time. The theme for this year’s program is “Imperialist Sanctions on Zimbabwe, Cuba, and Venezuela are Acts of War. Africans Everywhere Must Fight!”
This program will feature presenters and performers from Ghana, Zimbabwe, Guinea-Bissau, Cuba, Venezuela, the U.S., and more. Demonstrating that we are building on the ground Pan-African organizing work in every corner of the African world. Independent, revolutionary, socialist, and dedicated to organizing uncompromising revolutionary change for a better reality for our future generations.
Make a commitment to abandon the backward untrue allegations of our inabilities to unite. Join us for African Liberation Day this Monday May 25th. You can view this virtual program through the All African People’s Revolutionary Party’s Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter accounts.