Africa

The idea of an independent Africa was born at the first Pan African Conference in 1900

The idea of the Pan African movement had begun in the late 19th century when many African diasporans started to connect with each other. Through their interactions, they realised a dying need to bridge the gap between African Diasporan civil right activists and educated Africans fighting for the freedom of colonised states and countries.

Activists like W.E Du Bois had developed a keen interest in the ideology of African -Americans and diasporans moving back to Africa. While some activists shunned the idea, other activists in Europe and the Caribbean found the act possible and thus sparked a conversation.

In 1897,  London based Trinidadian lawyer and writer, Henry Sylvester Williams formed the Association of Africa in response to colonisation and partitioning of Africa by Europe. The association also served as a grounds for educating African Diasporan activists about the issues affecting Africa and the need to free the continent.

The successful operation of the association led to the development of the Pan African movement and the beginning of the Pan African conferences.

By 1900, the African Association was successful in bringing together a large community of Pan Africanist in the Diaspora. It also connected with Africans in Britain seeking higher education and interested in the idea of setting Africa free from its colonisers.

Noticing that the Pan-African ideology had established itself well, Williams found it necessary to organise a conference relating to Pan Africanism. In 1900, he set out to organised the conference and sought help from other willing activists.

Invitation to the 1st Pan African Conference of 1900

History was made on Monday, July 23, 1900, when the first Pan African Conference was held in London’s Westminster Hall. The three-day event brought together thirty leaders and activist across Africa, England, America and the West Indies, serving as a common ground for the start of a conversation on Africa and its future. From this conference began the widespread use of the word Pan-African, its course and objectives especially in Africa.

Documents such as “The Preservation of Racial Equality” presented by Anna H. Jones,“The Progress of our People” presented by John E. Quinlan and “The Necessary Concord to be Established between Native Races and European Colonists” presented Benito Sylvain were all discussed during the conference.

In the opening address by  Bishop Alexander Walters titled “The Trials and Tribulations of the Coloured Race in America”, he stated that “for the first time in history black people had gathered from all parts of the globe to discuss and improve the condition of their race, to assert their rights and organize so that they might take an equal place among nations.”

During the conference, the Pan African Association was officially set up. The new and well-structured association elected Bishop A. Walters, Rev. Henry B. Brown, Prof. W. E. B. DuBois, Mr H. Sylvester Williams, T. J. Calloway and Dr R. J. Colenzo as its top executives

The conference also birthed the call for the drafting of the code law for the international protection of the natives of Africa and the supervision of colonies by the League of Nations to prevent economic exploitation by foreign nations. It enjoyed international attention and stirred up great tension among Western Colonisers: the birth of a generation interested in the freedom and development of Africa had been born.

The Pan-African Conferences continued until October 1945, surviving through the second world war. By 1944, the Pan African Federation was established, and various African activists fighting for independence were well connected with activists in the diaspora. By then the conference and association created an avenue for more outspoken and action seeking African freedom fighters.

5th Pan African Conference in October 1945

The Fifth conference meeting of October 1945  saw the presence of Kwame Nkrumah, a staunch pan Africanist and the future first president of Ghana after a successful gain of its independence from the British in 1957, 12 years later.

READ MORE AT: https://face2faceafrica.com/article/the-idea-of-an-independent-africa-was-born-at-the-first-pan-african-conference-in-1900

Why the extraordinary story of the last slave in America has finally come to light

Oluale Kossola was taken from the Yoruba kingdom of Takkoi to Alabama in the 19th century.
Oluale Kossola was taken from the Yoruba kingdom of Takkoi to Alabama in the 19th century. Photograph: Courtesy of McGill Studio Collection, The Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of South Alabama

“We stand as living monuments,” wrote the historian Len Garrison, of the black British descendants of slavery and empire. “For those who are afraid of who they must be, are but slaves in a trance.” For Garrison, the idea of the African diaspora as “living monuments” was to some extent figurative. But a new book makes it literal. Barracoon: The Story of the Last Slave presents the remarkable fact that there were people alive in America who had experienced abduction from Africa – being examined, displayed, traded and enslaved – well into the 20th century.

The book is the story of Cudjo Lewis; a man born Oluale Kossola in the Yoruba kingdom of Takkoi. Kossola was the last survivor of the last known slave ship to sail from the African continent to America with a human cargo. Written in the 1930s, but hidden away from a public audience until now, it is also perhaps the last great, unpublished work by the Harlem Renaissance writer Zora Neale Hurston.

The word “barracoon” refers to the enclosures in which captives were held on the coast before being loaded on to ships. In Kossola’s case it was the Alabama vessel the Clotilda, which played its own gruesome part in the slave trade in 1860, half a century after its official abolition, transporting 130 men and women from the west African kingdom of Dahomey – modern day Benin.

By 1931, when Hurston interviewed Kossola – sweetening him with peaches, Virginia hams and late summer melons –, he was around 90 years old, and yet able, over a period of three months, to recall his life in Takkoi in great detail; his grandfather, an officer of the king; his mother and siblings; law and justice; love and adolescence. He spoke in heartbreaking detail of watching his community annihilated during a raid by Dahomey’s female warriors, leading to his capture and enslavement, the torture of the “middle passage”, and life in 19th and 20th century Alabama. Through all these years – many more lived in America than he had spent in his African birth nation – he never let go of the unspeakable loss of his homeland. When Hurston takes his photograph, Kossola dresses in his best suit, but removes his shoes, telling her: “I want to look lak I in Affica, ’cause dat where I want to be.”

The Point of No Return monument in Ouidah, Benin.
Pinterest
The Point of No Return monument in Ouidah, Benin. Photograph: Gallo/Getty Images

The uniqueness of the story and that of the writer who tells it are layered and intertwined. The old, poetic Kossola, generous with his parables and storytelling, is one of almost four million Africans enslaved late in the history of the transatlantic trade. And while the full history is documented in countless accounts of slave traders, merchants, plantation owners and masters, ledgers and auction records and court documents, the number of first-hand accounts of Africans forced to become Americans can be counted on two hands. It is Hurston, and perhaps Hurston alone, who could have drawn this heavy tale out of the often melancholy old man, and have the vision and skill to make it sing, in the way that Barracoon does, for reasons rooted deeply in her own life story.

Hurston was born in 1891 in Eatonville, Florida, a small town with an entirely black population, which she would later describe as “the city of five lakes, three croquet courts, 300 brown skins, 300 good swimmers, plenty guavas, two schools and no jailhouse”. She would keep close links to her hometown, despite leaving when she was just 13, and then drifting – working as a manicurist and achieving a degree part time at Howard University – until she arrived in New York in 1925. By then she was in her mid 30s (but convinced those whom she met that she was a full decade younger) and had – as she wrote later in her autobiography Dust Tracks on a Road – “$1.50, no job, no friends, and a lot of hope”.

Hurston began studying anthropology at Barnard College and, having received a fellowship to gather material in her home state, set about documenting African American folk traditions in towns like Eatonville, and later in the southern states, the Bahamas and Haiti. It was during this period, right at the beginning of her career, that she first met Kossola, interviewing him several times in the late 1920s. It was her first major project, but also her first major failure. An article she published about Kossola in the Journal of Negro History would be accused of plagiarism, allegations which scholars now contest, and which in any event drove Hurston to return to Alabama, to conduct the series of interviews that would form the core of Barracoon, and, this time, to do so in a manner that would cast the work beyond any doubt.

Zora Neale Hurston.
Pinterest
Radical approach … Zora Neale Hurston. Photograph: © Barbara Hurston Lewis, Faye Hurston, and Lois Hurston Gaston

Around this time, black art began asserting itself brazenly in an America still emerging from four centuries of slavery and legalised white supremacy, and the belief that the African had no civilisation to offer. By the time of her death in 1960, Hurston would have published more books than any other black woman in America. But it wasn’t until she caught the attention of sociologist Charles S Johnson, champion of the Harlem Renaissance and the editor of Opportunity, the official journal of the National Urban League (which published her work as well as that of Claude McKay, Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen), that she got her break.

Even within the Harlem Renaissance, Hurston’s approach was radical. Inspired by her Eatonville roots, she was instinctively compelled by the folklore, the idioms, customs, worksongs, spirituals, sermons, children’s games, folktales and practices of African American communities of the south. While other members of the black intelligentsia were celebrating racial uplift, and while hundreds of thousands fled the rural south in the “great migration”, in search of what they imagined to be progress in northern cities, Hurston was interested in “the Negro farthest down”. Her goal as an author, anthropologist and essayist, was – the scholar Karla Holloway has said – “to render the oral culture literate”.

“The unlettered Negro,” Hurston wrote, was “the Negro’s best contribution to American culture.” It was this belief which inspired Barracoon – a book in which there is little of Hurston herself, but plenty of her ideology, in capturing Kossola, a man whose culture slavery both created and destroyed. Like the language of some of Hurston’s later works – Mule Bone, the play she would write with Hughes in 1931; Mules and Men, a compilation of oral folklore in 1935; and her most famous work, the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God in 1937 – Kossola’s narrative plays the music of history itself within its tonalities, rhythms and inflections. But the narrative, like Kossola, stands apart from Hurston’s others; his speech is more a recognisably African Creole than the African American vernacular, and despite all his decades living in America, Kossola is steeped in the thought of Africa, the world – as he calls it – “in de Affica soil”. Hurston’s fidelity to the manner and content of Kossola’s storytelling is the book’s strength. Yet within it were also contained the seeds of Barracoon’s downfall. When Hurston took the manuscript to publishers, they wanted her to anglicise his English, which she resolutely refused to do.

American slaves on a plantation in South Carolina, 1862.
Pinterest
American slaves on a plantation in South Carolina, 1862. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

“Hurston was not interested in, as Toni Morrison might put it, the white gaze, and how ‘they’ would perceive us,” explains Deborah Plant, a Hurston scholar who edited Barracoon. “She was interested in what was specific in African American culture, those aspects which were rooted in African tradition, African history, African civilisation, because in that authenticity lay the genius – the spirit, as Hurston describes it – that which the soul lives by.”

For Cheryl Wall, Zora Neale Hurston professor of English at Rutgers University, “this impatience with Hurston’s determination to transcribe Kossola’s speech faithfully is enormously frustrating”. It was “part of the pattern of Hurston’s life that she had to fight so hard to have her voice heard, and the voices of those whose stories she wanted to tell. We are told the dialect is too difficult. Is it really any more difficult than the dialect of Mark Twain or James Joyce? Yes it requires some extra effort, but it’s the kind of effort we usually put into a literary text without complaint.”

The irony is astounding. Kossola, a man denied his home and his voice by American racism, would have the telling of his story silenced too. Barracoon, having been met with intransigence by publishers, remained unpublished, ending up in a private collection that was passed to the archive at Howard University in 1956, where it remained inaccessible to all but a handful of scholars who read it and cited it in their work.

Hurston found her own life mirroring this cycle of narration and dispossession. After the success of her work in the 1930s and 40s, her hugely productive career spiralled downwards. She lived hand to mouth, writing articles for magazines while working at odd jobs, including one stint in Miami for an employer who saw her byline in the Saturday Evening Post and tipped off a reporter that the author was her maid. Hurston was humiliated, and spent the next decade in a series of small towns in Florida, plagued by health and money problems, until she ended up in a welfare home where she died, penniless, of heart disease in 1960.

A slave’s cabin at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Pinterest
A slave’s cabin at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Edisto Island, South Carolina. Photograph: Courtesy of NMAAHC

At the time of her death, none of her seven previously published books was in print. Neighbours collected money for her funeral and it made front page news in the local black weekly, the Fort Pierce Chronicle. But she was buried in a segregated cemetery, in an unmarked grave.

For the novelist and feminist Alice Walker, who in 1973 set out to discover what had become of Hurston, finding this grave in a “field full of weeds” was a devastating experience. “There are times,” wrote Walker, “and finding Zora Hurston’s grave was one of them, when normal responses to grief, horror and so on do not make sense because they bear no real relation to the depth of emotion one feels.” Walker was determined to restore Hurston’s legacy and reputation. She obtained a gravestone, and had it inscribed with the words: “Zora Neale Hurston – A genius of the south. Novelist. Folklorist. Anthropologist.”

Their Eyes Were Watching God, still considered Hurston’s greatest work, was soon back in circulation. That edition, by the University of Illinois Press, sold more than 300,000 copies, making it, as Wall says, “one of the most dramatic chapters in African American literary history”.

The publication of Barracoon thus represents a recovery within a recovery; the works of Hurston having been so dramatically resurrected, but this one languishing in obscurity until now. And its publication comes at an emotive moment in the African American experience – an experience loaded not just with historical trauma, but very contemporary pain. Alice Walker writes, for example, in the foreword to the book, that in reading Kossola’s story, African Americans “are struck with the realisation that he is naming something we ourselves work hard to avoid, how lonely we are too in this still foreign land”.

Karla Holloway, professor of English at Duke University, says: “The irony is that the loneliness that echoes through Kossola’s account, and that Walker so poignantly notices, is our collective legacy.

“We work hard to escape and slip past that loneliness, but inevitably we are captured, again, by the wake of slavery, a tidal wash as reliable as moonrise.”

The era of Black Lives Matter, of harassment in coffee shops, of a president who has been both overtly racist and also dismissive of racism, and of the disappointment at the first black president having been able to make little real change to poverty, criminalisation and exclusion, has produced a moment in which the struggle has never been more apparent, yet the cultural expression of that suffering has never been more visible.

Illustration by Swain, from 1835, of slaves being put into the hold.
Pinterest
Illustration by Swain, from 1835, of slaves being put into the hold. Photograph: Rischgitz/Getty Images

“I do think one of the reasons that the book is so attractive right now is that there is this longing for African Americans to have access to a pre-US life – a connection to Africa,” says Autumn Womack, an assistant professor of English and African American studies at Princeton University. “If nothing else, Barracoon announces the desire for this kind of connection, even if it’s never really fulfilled. People are searching for a vocabulary to make sense of that.”

That struggle is finding expression in film, TV and theatre that focuses on the experience of slavery; from the Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave, the remake of the memorable series Roots and the multi-award-winning musical Hamilton. It is present in pop culture, with the recent phenomenon of Childish Gambino’s “This Is America”, whose video references the violent brutalisation of African Americans. There are new museums – America’s first of African American history, which opened in 2016; the Whitney Plantation, the first plantation museum on American soil; and the nation’s first memorial to the horrors of lynching, in Alabama.

It is abundant in literature too; Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad and other influential books such ass Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns, which tells the story of the Great Depression in new and profound detail; Stamped from the Beginning, by Ibram X Kendi, which chronicles the lifespan of American racism; Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give, radicalising readers of young adult fiction to the injustice of police killings; and Jesmyn Ward’s devastating Sing, Unburied, Sing.

The pathos of the African American experience, told with such tenderness in Barracoon, is matched by its complexity. Hurston herself remarked that in writing Kossola’s harrowing account of how the king of Dahomey profited from raiding and selling members of neighbouring kingdoms, she was deeply affected by the question of African complicity in the slave trade. “The inescapable fact that stuck in my craw,” Hurston wrote, “was my people had sold me and the white people had bought me. That did away with the folklore I had been brought up on – that white people had gone to Africa, waved a red handkerchief at the Africans and lured them aboard ship and sailed away.”

And yet Barracoon also helps deepen the understanding of the context in which slavery took place. “This idea of ‘African complicity’ is more myth than a reality,” Plant says. “Because at that point in history, there was no such thing as an ‘African’. People on the African continent did not self identify as Africans; instead there was a self identity in relation to specific ethnic groups and specific kingdoms, religions or language. So many of us don’t know, because we don’t have these nuances about our history.”

The absence of stories like Kossola’s has hardly helped bring these nuances to the fore. There are other difficult questions arising from the book about the extent to which the African American victims of slavery internalised the attitudes of their oppressors. Kossola recalls how his children in particular endured bullying from neighbouring African Americans, for having two African-born parents.

“All de time de chillun growin’ de American folks dey picks at dem and tell de Afficky people dey kill folks and eatee de meat,” Kossola recounts in Barracoon. “Dey callee my chillun ig’nant savage and make out dey kin to monkey … It hurtee dey feelings.”

“Those acculturated African Americans could have been more open, more receptive, compassionate, and they weren’t,” Plant says. “They were a source of hostility to Kossola and his community. We can explain or rationalise it, but it doesn’t justify it.” The book’s uniqueness is in its recounting of a story in which we are all equally bound up by this cycle of oppression – the former slave plagued by the trauma of losing his homeland and family, the writer whose work survived the desire of intellectuals for white approval, the reader forced to challenge their own ideas about race and the internalisation of oppression. But more than anything it brings an African past up close to an African American present, at a time of great searching. “Throughout her life, Hurston fought against this idea that there was no connection to Africa once people arrived on these shores, and everything was forgotten,” Wall says. “We know that’s not true. But a book like this really brings that to life.”

Barracoon: The Story of the Last Slave by Zora Neale Hurston is published by HarperCollins.

READ MORE AT:  https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/may/26/why-the-extraordinary-story-of-the-last-slave-in-america-has-finally-come-to-light

Slave markets in Libya – Who is to blame?

By Richard B. Muhammad and Raychelle Muhammad, Final Call Staffers

 

Libya’s suffering and slavery didn’t just happen

protest_libya-embassy-france_11-28-2017.jpg

Demonstrators hold signs during a demonstration against slavery in Libya on November 24, 2017,outside the Libyan embassy in the French capital Paris.

When CNN released video footage of a live slave auction in Libya, captured by journalist Nima Elbagir, shockwaves were sent around the world.

Starting the bidding at $400 each, buyers purchased 12 African migrants at an undisclosed location outside the capital city of Tripoli in a matter of minutes.

How is it possible for open slave market to exist in the year 2017?

protest_libya-embassy-france_11-28-2017b.jpg

At the end of the day, several hundred people gathered in front of the Libyan Embassy in Paris to demand the end of slavery practices in the country updated following a report by CNN. Paris, France, November 24.

The roots of the slavery, suffering and misery in Libya goes back to the purposeful, targeted destruction of the government of Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi.

While President Barack Obama and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, declared their assault on the North Africa leader was about protecting the Libyan people and standing for what is right, Libya has gone all-wrong with no solution in sight.

Raymond A. Winbush, a professor and director of the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University, noted that by President Barack Obama’s own admission, the worst mistake of his presidency was how he handled Libya.

With three different feuding governments, Libya has never been more unstable. This instability left the door wide open for today’s widespread corruption, human rights abuses, and the slave trade, said Dr. Winbush.

Dr. Winbush told The Final Call that Libya once boasted the highest standard of living in Africa as Col. Gadhafi redistributed oil revenues back to his people. Libya is now in utter chaos. Racism and slavery are running rampant and these are crimes Col. Gadhafi would have never permitted, he said.

Dr. Winbush also noted that the end of Col. Gadhafi’s reign was accompanied by the birth of the international terrorist organization ISIS.

Gerald Perreira, the chairperson of the Black Consciousness Movement Guyana and Organization for the Victory of the People, drew attention to CNN and its role in offering an “expose:” “The world we find ourselves in is complex and full of contradictions. It is easy to fall for rudimentary textbook propaganda based on simplistic dichotomies, such as ‘the good guys versus the bad guys.’ If we are not aware of the complexities and nuances facing us, we can fall for this type of propaganda, whose sole aim is to keep us apart and destroy any type of unity that could strengthen our ability to defeat the enemy,” he wrote in a piece titled “Deceptive Intelligence: CNN breaks story on Slave Trade in Libya; French Government Voices Concern for African Migrants.”

“When examining and assessing the latest information fed us by one of imperialism’s mouthpieces, CNN, there are important things for us, as revolutionary Pan-Africanists, to keep in mind. The first thing to note is the clear hypocrisy and insincerity which is nowhere more stark than CNN’s recent expose of ‘Libyan crimes against humanity’ and French President, Emmanuel Macron’s call for a special meeting of the UN Security Council to demand immediate action against this heinous ‘Libyan’ crime,” he wrote.

Mr. Perreira warned against giving too much credence to CNN and Western media without a critical analysis of their roles and their corporate, imperialist agendas. Lies “can come in the guise of the imperialists and White Supremacists themselves, or their mouthpieces such as CNN, BBC, Fox News or any of the mainstream corporate media outlets. We should never forget their role as cheerleaders and purveyors of the fake news that laid the groundwork for the invasion and destruction of the Libyan Jamahiriya. Therefore, let us ask ourselves the burning question, why are they providing us with this information, and why now? Why are the imperialists suddenly feigning concern for the plight of Africans?” he asks.

“Muammar Qaddafi and the Revolutionary Committees Movement of the Al Fateh Revolution had a monumental task on their hands: to conscientize and reposition the Libyan people for a significant role in the revolutionary Pan-African project for a United States of Africa. This is a battle for all African revolutionaries. In Sub-Saharan African countries, where almost the entire population comprises Black Africans, we face the same battle. Here in the Caribbean, it is no different. So, when Qaddafi urged his people to look towards a United States of Africa and a revolutionary Pan-African perspective, he had to face Libyans who rejected this program in favor of Libya and the entire North African region joining the Barcelona Project, a Mediterranean-European alliance, whose aim is to take North Africa out of Africa,” Mr. Perreira continued.

“Prejudice against dark-skinned Africans exists all over planet earth. Even in countries where the population is almost 100 percent Black African, we have to contend with ‘shadism,’ a hangover from colonialism and plantation culture, where Africans with lighter skin shades are held in higher esteem than Africans with darker skin shades. However, to say that ‘Arab Libyans’ are selling ‘Africans’ is overly simplistic and deliberately misleading. There is a hidden agenda here—beware. The objective is to ignite hostilities between so-called Arab-Africans and so-called Sub-Saharan-Africans. There is a debate amongst Africans about who is an African. On the one hand, there are those who limit the definition of African to Black Africans in the Sub-Saharan region of the continent. On the other hand, there are those of us who believe that Africa is one, and we will resist any attempt by the imperialists to redefine and further balkanize Africa,” he continued. “Rather than becoming part of the European Community, North Africans promoting the Barcelona Project would be better off seeking out their African roots. This is what Muammar Qaddafi told all Libyans.”

col-muammar-gadhafi_11-28-2017.jpg

Col. Muammar Gadhafi

The writer lived in Libya and is a Gadhafi loyalist. Mr. Perreira pointed out how the forces of U.S.-European Union imperialism had fought to take down Col. Gadhafi and his government since its establishment in 1969. In 2011, Col Gadhafi was on the brink of unifying the African continent and was poised to receive the UN Human Rights Award, he wrote in an article published on Modern Ghana online.

But the Obama administration, on the advice and counsel of Secretary Clinton and others, along with British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Saudi Arabia King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, and Qatar Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani launched an all-out assault against Col. Gadhafi which ended in his execution on Oct. 20, 2011.

President Obama’s ‘regret’

In an interview with The Atlantic published in April 2016, President Obama discussed the U.S. “intervention” in Libya which he said was carefully planned to stop Col. Gadhafi from invading Benghazi, where there was an uprising. President Obama, along with Vice President Joe Biden and then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, initially wanted no part in the conflict, according to the article. It was Secretary Clinton, UN Ambassador Susan Rice, and others who won Mr. Obama over. But he expressed remorse for how Libya was handled and turned out—but not that Col. Gadhafi was killed.

hillary-clinton_11-28-2017.jpg

The effort, which cost the U.S. $1 billion, was an epic failure. Publicly, Mr. Obama said, “Libya is a mess.” Privately, the article said, he called Libya a “sh*t show.”

“When I go back and I ask myself what went wrong, there’s room for criticism, because I had more faith in the Europeans, given Libya’s proximity, being invested in the follow-up,” President Obama said to The Atlantic. “If we’re going to do something, obviously we’ve got to be up front, and nobody else is sharing in the spotlight.”

The former president’s admission of error does nothing to solve the problem. Complicating matters, Italy’s government has made deals with Libya’s coast guard, tribes, and warlords to prevent refugees from entering Libya and continuing their journeys into Europe.

And while Western nations were able to collude on how to deal with Libya and Col. Gadhafi, they have not come together to deal with the horrors of Libya today. Did the Western nations fear what was happening in Libya and an awakening of a broader African identity and possible political and economic reality?

Mr. Perreira offers a compelling answer: “The North Atlantic Tribes Organization (NATO) deeply fear this type of awakening and the unity of purpose and action it could lead to in this oil rich and wealthiest region of the world. Minister Farrakhan said many years ago, reflecting on periods of unity in our history, ‘we did it before and we can do it again.’ Muammar Qaddafi’s persistent struggle to forge a United States of Africa was starting to pay off. He was on the verge of creating an African currency that would have shifted the global economic imbalance, preparing the way for Africa to take its rightful place in the world. … Fear of this emerging African unity, especially between countries in the north and south of the continent, prompted France to orchestrate (Cote D’Ivoire leader Laurent Gbagbo’s)  removal from power at the same time as the NATO led invasion of Libya. Genuine African unity, resulting in anything more than talk, will always be opposed, no matter what the cost, by the forces of White Supremacy.”

Chaos breeds refugee crisis

Since 2014, over 600,000 people have migrated to Italy including an all-time high of 180,000 refugees in 2016 alone. Although this action has left migrants vulnerable to being sold into slavery, Italy’s interior minister Marco Minniti stands behind their policy.

The International Organization for Migration, a United Nations agency, has been reporting the rape, violence, extortion, and enslavement of refugees for months.

The IOM exposed the problem and yet no one was apparently listening. Migrants were being swindled by human traffickers they had paid to transport them off the African continent. Survivors said instead they were enslaved, starved, and abused by their captors.

“The latest reports of ‘slave markets’ for migrants can be added to a long list of outrages [in Libya],” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s head of operation and emergencies. “The situation is dire. The more IOM engages inside Libya, the more we learn that it is a vale of tears for all too many migrants.”

All Africa reported that many families of migrants captured by militia and smugglers have been extorted. If they can’t pay the ransoms, then the prisoners are sold. Often the new owners will try to extort the families as well. If at some point the captors can neither collect on nor sell a prisoner, or if the prisoner falls ill, the prisoner is killed.

The CNN footage has garnered much attention and condemnation from the UN, African leadership, and people around the globe. Shortly after the story aired, a massive, and at times violent protest in Paris outside the Libyan embassy ensued. Similar demonstrations were held at Libyan embassies in several African capitol cities including Bamako, Mali and Conakry, Guinea.

un-sec-gen_guterres_11-28-2017.jpg

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an immediate investigation into the matter and prosecution of all guilty parties.

France called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the problem. President Emmanuel Macron condemned human trafficking as a “crime against humanity” via Twitter on Nov. 22. He has since met with head of the African Union, Alpha Conde.

But are France’s hands clean? “The destruction of this most prosperous and just African country was led by France, who now dares to call for a special meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the crimes committed against African migrants ‘by Libyans.’ This is devil-speak,” said writer Perreira. “The same devil who, in the words of the Honorable Minister Farrakhan, ‘unleashed the demons’ that are now committing these and other heinous crimes, is trying to sow more discord by talking about ‘Libyan crimes.’ Where was CNN and the French government when these same gangs of demons were committing the atrocities described above?”

Libyans have vowed to cooperate with the UN probe while also conducting investigations of their own. But West African political leaders have heavily criticized the Libyan slave trade and are taking action on behalf of exploited migrants from the region. Both President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou and the foreign minister of Burkina Faso, Alpha Berry, summoned the Libyan ambassador to meet to address the issue.

President Issoufou has demanded that the International Court of Justice investigate Libya. The matter of the slave trade in Libya has been added to the agenda of the next African Union meeting in Ivory Coast on Nov. 29 and Nov. 30.

Looking to the future

Where do we go from here? The answer to that question is multi-layered with many moving parts. Minister Abdul Akbar Muhammad, the international representative of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam told The Final Call that those who have bought and sold slaves must be held accountable.

All authorities, who include the AU, the UN, the U.S., international human rights organizations, and all three divisions of the Libyan government, must step in to chastise and isolate the offenders, he said.

Mr. Muhammad also observed that the fractured Libyan government model is nothing shy of a “basket case.” And with the government being a product of a military coup, Libya should be kicked out of the UN as well as the AU, he argued.

The United States must now be involved in the solution as both the creator of the problem as well as the home of the media outlet that filmed and aired the footage of the inhumane practice, Min. Akbar Muhammad said. CNN’s reporting has culpability in the world’s perception of this crisis and their investigative team is a witness against the perpetrators, he continued.

Mr. Muhammad also said Blacks in the U.S. and other members of the African Diaspora must become voices for the victims by petitioning their governments and human rights organizations to act swiftly against slave trafficking.

Perhaps the most important action that the 54 members of the African Union must take, Mr. Muhammad said, is to immediately begin to invest in building their economies, creating business and employment opportunities, and improving the quality of and access to education so that young people will no longer have to risk their lives migrating to Europe.

 

READ MORE AT:   https://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/National_News_2/article_103895.shtml

Time for an Awakening with Bro. Elliott, guest Obi Egbuna Jr. (U.S. Correspondent to Zimbabwe’s National Newspaper the Herald)

“Time for an Awakening” for Sunday 11/12/2017 at 7:00 PM (EST) 6:00 PM (CST) guest was Pan African Activist, Playwright, and U.S. Correspondent to the Herald (Zimbabwe’s National Newspaper) Obi Egbuna Jr. Our guest informed us about the Global African Children’s Festival and Celebration (GACFC) officially scheduled for December 9th 2017, and how you can participate. Also other hot topics, centering around his work as U.S. Correspondent to Zimbabwe’s National Newspaper.

Bigots are Yelling for Black People to ‘Go Back to Africa!’ – But What Does It Mean? And Is It Possible to Return?

Posted by

“Go back to Africa!”  It is the phrase du jour for racist whites, typically when used as part of a bitter, angry, expletive-laden rant against Black people.  There are so many examples of the popularity of this insult these days.

A Beaufort, South Carolina teacher told a Black high school student to go back to the continent after he refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.  In Virginia, the Sons of Confederate Veterans told the African-American community to go back amid calls for the city council to remove the Confederate flag from a local museum.  A Black student at Southern Illinois University was told the same thing when she was confronted by Donald Trump supporters in a residence hall.  And at Trump rallies in Chicago and Cleveland, Trump supporters were heard yelling the phrase, along with other racial epithets.

“If you call yourself an African-American, go back to Africa. If you’re an African first, go back to Africa,” said a white man to a Black woman and #BlackLivesMatter supporter at a Trump rally in Cleveland this past March, as reported by MSNBC.

 And recently, a Bank of America employee in Atlanta was fired for her racist Facebook rant.
 “When a bigot says ‘Go back to Africa,’ he or she is simply being nasty and irrational,” Dr. Wilson Jeremiah Moses, Ferree Professor of American History at the Pennsylvania State University, told Atlanta Black Star.  Moses is the author of Classical Black Nationalism: From the American Revolution to Marcus Garvey and Liberian Dreams: Records of an African Return 1853, among other works.  “I am not wise enough to know to how one can best respond to nastiness and irrationality.”

To be sure, there is a nastiness to the phrase, particularly when accompanied by other insults, threats and acts of violence.  For example, in October 2014, when a group of Black protesters outside a St. Louis Cardinals game sought to bring attention of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, they were met with a crowd of virulent white racists.  As Crooks & Liars reported, the white fans responded to the Black protesters by chanting “Let’s go Cardinals,” which changed to “Let’s go, Darren!” in honor of Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Brown. While attempting to initiate acts of violence, the white fans told the protesters to go back to Africa and called them jobless, while one of the white men called a Black activist a “crackhead.”

 “We’re the ones who gave all y’all the freedoms that you have!” shouted one white woman at the African-Americans, as a number of fans began chanting “Africa, Africa” – shorthand for the suggestion they go back to the motherland.

“Go back to Africa!”  It is the phrase du jour for racist whites, typically when used as part of a bitter, angry, expletive-laden rant against Black people.  There are so many examples of the popularity of this insult these days.

A Beaufort, South Carolina teacher told a Black high school student to go back to the continent after he refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.  In Virginia, the Sons of Confederate Veterans told the African-American community to go back amid calls for the city council to remove the Confederate flag from a local museum.  A Black student at Southern Illinois University was told the same thing when she was confronted by Donald Trump supporters in a residence hall.  And at Trump rallies in Chicago and Cleveland, Trump supporters were heard yelling the phrase, along with other racial epithets.

“If you call yourself an African-American, go back to Africa. If you’re an African first, go back to Africa,” said a white man to a Black woman and #BlackLivesMatter supporter at a Trump rally in Cleveland this past March, as reported by MSNBC.
 And recently, a Bank of America employee in Atlanta was fired for her racist Facebook rant.
 “When a bigot says ‘Go back to Africa,’ he or she is simply being nasty and irrational,” Dr. Wilson Jeremiah Moses, Ferree Professor of American History at the Pennsylvania State University, told Atlanta Black Star.  Moses is the author of Classical Black Nationalism: From the American Revolution to Marcus Garvey and Liberian Dreams: Records of an African Return 1853, among other works.  “I am not wise enough to know to how one can best respond to nastiness and irrationality.”
 To be sure, there is a nastiness to the phrase, particularly when accompanied by other insults, threats and acts of violence.  For example, in October 2014, when a group of Black protesters outside a St. Louis Cardinals game sought to bring attention of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, they were met with a crowd of virulent white racists.  As Crooks & Liars reported, the white fans responded to the Black protesters by chanting “Let’s go Cardinals,” which changed to “Let’s go, Darren!” in honor of Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Brown. While attempting to initiate acts of violence, the white fans told the protesters to go back to Africa and called them jobless, while one of the white men called a Black activist a “crackhead.”

“We’re the ones who gave all y’all the freedoms that you have!” shouted one white woman at the African-Americans, as a number of fans began chanting “Africa, Africa” – shorthand for the suggestion they go back to the motherland.

nd part of the assumption among whites is that Black folks should be happy to be in America, which, through its kindness and generosity, has rendered African-Americans the most fortunate Black people around. There is a perverse, outlandish assertion that Black people — kidnapped at gunpoint and brought to these shores in the belly of a slave ship, and, if they survived, were raped, tortured and forced to toil in prison camp plantations — should leave if they cannot appreciate all that white people have done for them. Of course, the parties to whom Black people would presumably return the favor came to North America from Europe — unannounced and uninvited — and stole the land from the indigenous population right from under their feet. Yet, never are there any calls for whites to return to Europe.

This sentiment was best articulated by conservative commentator Pat Buchanan in 2008.

“First, America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known,” Buchanan wrote on his website.

“Second, no people anywhere has done more to lift up blacks than white Americans. Untold trillions have been spent since the ’60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits and poverty programs designed to bring the African-American community into the mainstream,” he added. “Governments, businesses and colleges have engaged in discrimination against white folks — with affirmative action, contract set-asides and quotas — to advance black applicants over white applicants.”

While the concept of returning to Africa is pejorative and insulting when articulated by white racists, it also represented a movement throughout history, with Blacks and whites involved in “back-to-Africa” movements — Sierra Leone and Liberia in the 19th century, Marcus Garvey in the early 20th century, and Pan-African activists and intellectuals such as W.E.B. Du Bois and Kwame Ture settling in West Africa.  It is a complicated history.

“In the later editions of From Slavery to Freedom, John Hope Franklin gave a nuanced analysis of the multiple and complicated reasons why some whites and blacks supported African deportation before the Civil War,” said Dr. Moses.

 In that book, Franklin wrote that as early as 1714, there was a proposal to send Blacks back to Africa.  Whites believed the races could not live together in harmony, and free Black people could not adjust to life in America, and created a problem for maintaining the system of slavery.
“There is no adequate history of the American Colonization Society,” said Moses of the organization which helped relocate thousands of freed Black people to what would become Liberia.  “There is no satisfactory treatment of Henry Clay’s advocacy of African deportation or of Abraham Lincoln’s decreasing interest in African deportation, as he evolved from a Whig to a Republican. In my view, Lincoln was never convinced of the practicality of deportation, for reasons that Alexis de Tocqueville had articulated,” Moses offered.   “I touched on my reasons for believing that Lincoln was not serious in my biography of Alexander Crummell (Oxford UP, 1989).   As for Jefferson, I think he was absolutely insincere about African deportation.  Jefferson was a complete phony, and like many populists he used democratic rhetoric to cover up aristocratic programs.   He never joined the American Colonization Society and contrary to popular belief, never supported the abolition of slavery.  Jefferson only called for ending the Atlantic slave trade except in order to inflate domestic slave prices,” he added.

“I would suggest that no discussion of the Back to Africa movements, either the white racist ones, or especially the Black ones (such as Garvey’s), is complete without considerable explanation of the nadir of race relations,” said James W. Loewen, the author of Lies My Teacher Told Me; Lies Across America; Sundown Towns; Teaching What Really Happened; and The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader.  During the nadir, which began during the end of Reconstruction and lasted through the early 20th century, was a time of white supremacy, Jim Crow segregation, racial terrorism and a loss of civil rights for Black people.

“Going back to Africa was hardly irrational, given how race relations grew worse and worse after 1890. That needs to be explained, lest Garvey, et al., come across as charlatans,” Loewen, who taught race relations at the University of Vermont, told Atlanta Black Star.

Meanwhile, many African-Americans today are crossing the Atlantic to live in Ghana, once a major starting point of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, and one of the first African nations to emerge from colonial rule. While millions crossed the Middle Passage by force via Ghana for a life of permanent enslavement in America — 40 percent never making it to the other side — some of their descendants are returning for a better, more comfortable life, business opportunities and to rediscover their roots.

Ghana has a Right of Abode program that grants permanent residency and dual citizenship to people of African descent.  According to the African-American Association of Ghana, 3,000 African-Americans live in Ghana, most in the capital of Accra.  So, some Black people are going back to Africa, but they are doing so on their own terms.  And as the future becomes more difficult and more uncertain for people of African descent in the U.S., certainly more will consider the option

South African Professor Unapologetically Defend His Comparison of Hitler and White People

May 25, 2016 | Posted by

 

Last March, Mcebo Dlamini, South African Student Representative Council president of Wits University, resigned from his post after making a Facebook post praising Adolf Hitler for his organizational skills.

Dlamini talked about his comments on South Africa’s eNCA last year. In the nearly 11-minute interview, he praises German dictator Adolf Hitler. He says Hitler should be recognized for bringing the nation together. However, this is not the highlight of the interview.

In the final minutes, Dlamini says that all white people have an “element of Hitler in them.” To the surprise of the interviewer, she brings up “good” white people who were part of dismantling the country’s Apartheid to counter his claim.

He defends his statement by stating that “white people have blood on their hands, white people colonized us, dispersed us and enslaved us … that is white people … they are racist and full of hate.”

VOA: Enemy of Zimbabwe and Africa

Obi Egbuna Jr

Apr 21, 2016

While Zimbabweans were celebrating their 36th anniversary of independence one of the main propaganda outlets of US Imperialism Voice of America(VOA) had the audacity to host a forum entitled Zimbabwe at 36:  The Way Forward that included a panel discussion with the theme Zimbabwe’s Future: Changes and Challenges.  The participants were Mr. Gregory B. Simpkins the staff director for the US House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights, Reverend Issac Mwase of the Zimbabwe Diaspora Network, African Democracy Network and the AGOA Civil Society Network, and Mrs. Sibongile Sidilie Sibanda who previously worked for the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe but now represents Trusted Touch Healthcare LLC which she founded in 2011 the base of operations for TTH LLC is Rockville, Maryland just outside of Washington DC.

 

What the VOA demonstrated on Zimbabwe’s Independence Day through their neo-colonialist pet project Studio 7 created in 2003, is as long as they are in existence, those Zimbabweans who have decided to follow the trail of their countrymen and women who fought side by side with the British and Rhodesians during the 2nd Chimurenga, will always have a safe haven to openly and unapologetically plan the demise of their government country and people in the name of human rights and democracy.

 

It is important for the everyday Zimbabwean and African at home and abroad to understand that VOA is part of an Imperialist media conglomerate called the Broadcasting Board of Governors(BBG) that was connected to the United States Information Agency until 1999. The BBG has 8 bi-partisan members who are directly appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the US Senate, according to law no more than 4 members can belong to either the Democratic or Republican Party, the US Secretary of State is the ex-officio of BBG. In 1990 the Clinton administration established a Bureau of Broadcasting to consolidate three broadcasting services VOA Worldnet Film and Television service and of course arguably their most reactionary  media creation Radio and Television Marti .

 

The BBG has an annual budget of 713 million US dollars whose main goal as they like to put it is to deliver accurate news and information to significant audiences overseas and to serve as trustworthy news and as an example of a free professional press in countries that lack independent media.

Their list of strategic targets include VOA Middle East Broadcasting Networks Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Radio Free Asia and as aforementioned Radio and TV Marti.

What the annals of history demonstrate is whatever nation on earth that VOA gives an unusual amount of attention to, suggests that US Imperialism desperately wants to bring about a regime change and until the political atmosphere has been created to successfully execute their plan, the goal is to make the diplomatic representation of that country have sleepless nights pondering how to respond to the malicious propaganda efforts of VOA firmly backed up by BBG and the White House US Senate and Congress.

When visitors and residents of Washington DC visit VOA the first thing that catches your attention are the huge images and quotations of former US Presidents along with puppets of US Imperialism whose political parties and installations were created and bankrolled right there in the Nation’s capital.

Some of the standouts include Ronald Reagan saying “VOA will not compromise the truth”

The former President of Poland Lech Walesa saying “There would be no victory over communism without the Voice of America” and lastly the Cuban Oswaldo Paya Sardinas who founded the Christian Liberation Movement in Cuba quoted as saying VOA programs represent the ideal medium to inform Cubans about the need to reform the political process in Cuba. For his efforts to bring about regime change in Cuba Mr. Sardinas received the Sakharov Prize from the EU parliament, the Need’s Homo Homini award and just like the former Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Morgan Tsvangirai was a recipient of the W. Averell Harriman Award created by the National Democratic Institute.

 

It appears the goal of VOA studio 7 who in addition to Zimbabwe targets South Africa,Mozambique,Namibia,Malawi,Botswana and Zambia, is to one day reach the heights of Radio and TV Marti in Cuba however forums like the one held on Zimbabwe’s Independence Day, challenge the very authenticity of VOA’s charter specifically the third statute that states VOA will present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively, and also present responsible discussions and opinion on these policies.

When Mrs. Sibanda stated that Zimbabweans in the diaspora are not allowed to vote she failed to mention the political makeup and aspirations of this constituency, if these Zimbabweans she speaks of belong the either faction of MDC or the civil society community financed by both the National Democratic Institute and National Endowment for Democracy, it would not be realistic for President Mugabe and ZANU-PF to take this into consideration. Mrs. Sibanda raised the point that for this reason she has a fear and lack of confidence in the financial sector, but failed to answer a question concerning how she felt as an entrepreneur about Zimbabwe being deliberately excluded from the US Africa business forum that the Obama administration hosted two years ago.

 

The most interesting comments came from Reverend Mwase who when asked his opinion of Zimbabwe’s Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Dr. Eng Walter Mzembi engaging not only the Corporate Council of Africa a few weeks ago but Zimbabwean citizens in Dallas, Texas, who along with Zimbabweans in Atlanta make up the largest groupings inside US borders claimed he had no idea Minister Mzembi was in the country. An interesting question is how does a Zimbabwean who oversees a network of his countrywomen and also men and established the African Democracy Network and the AGOA civil society network a coalition of African NGOS whose focus is the implementation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act not have any knowledge that a Minister of his Government is coming to address a body with the stature of CCA yet the main body of Zimbabweans in the diaspora receive him with open arms.

A rather troubling but predictable dynamic was VOA on Zimbabwe’s Independence Day allowing Mr. Simpkins to have the bulk of the time, which meant what was advertised as a forum ended up looking like the individual there to represent US interests received preferential treatment, because the Zimbabweans in attendance were they to reinforce their loyalty to VOA and US-EU imperialism

No one in their right mind would expect them to express any displeasure with this setup.

When Mr. Simpkins was questioned about the recent decision of the Office of Foreign Assets Control targeting the Chemplex Corporation and the Zimbabwe Fertilizer Company, he not only failed to give an informed and appropriate answer, but appeared openly disturbed because it is rather uncharacteristic for a point with that spin to be raised at a VOA sponsored event. After the event Mr. Simpkins reiterated he is not an enemy of Zimbabwe, but with friends who absolve US-EU Imperialism of any wrong doing concerning Zimbabwe past or present there is no need for enemies.

 

The behavior of these particular Zimbabweans is by no means a phenomenon that captures reactionary habits and tendencies of individuals born and raised in the country’s 10 main provinces exclusively. Their willingness to form an alliance with VOA is the historical equivalent of some of our ancestors on the slave plantations, who chose to become slave-catchers instead of working with Sister Harriet Tubman on the Underground Railroad or taking part in the epic slave rebellions Africans organized everywhere in the Western Hemisphere where we languished as chattel in captivity. Their social demeanor and political posture also brings back painful memories of the misguided and brainwashed Kenyans who opted to fight for the British King’s rifles in Kenya as opposed to the Land and Freedom Army better known as Mau Mau.

Because US Imperialism was constructed at the expense of the indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere, we understand why the presence of President Mugabe and ZANU-PF sends chills up their spines, they can never be comfortable dealing with a government and people who truly represent homeland security.

 

Obi Egbuna Jr is the US Correspondent to the Herald and the external relations officer of ZICUFA(Zimbabwe-Cuba Friendship Association) his email is  obiegbuna15@gmail.com

Israeli Weapons Sales To Rwanda During 1994 Genocide To Stay Secret – Supreme Court

Israel’s Supreme Court on Monday upheld the denial of a Freedom of Information request to make public documents about Israeli defense exports to Rwanda at the time of the 1994 genocide in that country. Israel continued to supply Rwanda with arms even though they knew a genocide was taking place in the country and there was a weapons embargo against it.

In 2014, attorney Eitay Mack and Prof. Yair Auron submitted a request to the Defense Ministry under the Freedom of Information Law, asking for details of Israeli arms exports to Rwanda between 1990 and 1995. In 1994, hundreds of thousands of members of the Tutsi minority were slaughtered by the Hutu majority during Rwanda’s civil war.

In their request, the two wrote, “According to various reports in Israel and abroad, the defense exports to Rwanda ostensibly violated international law, at least during the period of the weapons embargo imposed by the UN Security Council.” The Defense Ministry refused the request, saying this information “was not to be divulged.”

Mack and Auron appealed this decision to the Tel Aviv District Court, sitting as a court of administrative affairs. In December 2014 the court upheld the ministry’s decision, saying that providing the information would “with near-certainty” undermine state security and international relations. Mack and Auron then appealed to the Supreme Court.

“There is no doubt that the State of Israel and the defense and foreign ministries knew very well what was going on in Rwanda in real time, just as the entire world knew,” the two wrote in their appeal, adding that the government “continues to impose on the Israeli public a denial of Israeli involvement in the genocide there.” Mack and Auron argued that the lower court did not consider the public interest in publishing the information.

But the Supreme Court panel, comprising Court President Justice Miriam Naor and justices Isaac Amit and Neal Hendel, unanimously rejected the appeal. Amit wrote that although in principle “there is public interest in the requested information,” it did not tip the scales in favor of revealing it. The ruling states that the court was shown, ex parte, certain materials by the state that led the justices to conclude that the Defense Ministry decision was based solely on relevant considerations.

“We found that under the circumstances the disclosure of the information sought does not advance the public interest claimed by the appellants to the extent that it takes preference and precedence over the claims of harm to state security and international relations,” the court wrote.

“The ruling is mistaken and immoral. The State of Israel only loses from it,” Mack said after the verdict was issued. “At no point during the proceedings was there a denial that there were defense exports during the genocide; the Defense Ministry found the official documents about it and the justices examined them. In our opinion, it is this continued concealment that harms state security and its international relations. We will continue to fight to expose the truth and bring to justice those Israelis who abetted the serious crimes committed in Rwanda,” Mack said.

By African Globe Editorial_Staff

WE MUST NEVER FORGET!!!

inde

 

WE MUST NEVER FORGET!!!

CHRIS HANI  1942  –  APRIL 10, 1993

South African Political Activist and Freedom Fighter who was considered a threat to both the extreme-right wing in South Africa and the new, moderate leadership of the African National Congress,assassinated in April 1993

Martin Thembisile (Chris) Hani was born on 28 June 1942 in a small rural town, Comfimvaba, Transkei, South Africa.

THIS BRIEF AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ACCOUNT WAS WRITTEN BY CHRIS HANI IN FEBRUARY 1991:

“I was born in a small rural town in the Transkei called Cofimvaba. This town is almost 200 kilometres from East London. I am the fifth child in a family of six. Only three of us are still surviving, the other three died in their infancy. My mother is completely illiterate and my father semi-literate. My father was a migrant worker in the mines in the Transvaal, but he subsequently became an unskilled worker in the building industry.

Life was quite harsh for us and we went through some hard times as our mother had to supplement the family budget through subsistence farming; had to bring us up with very little assistance from my father who was always away working for the white capitalists.

I had to walk twenty kilometres to school every five days and then walk the same distance to church every Sunday. At the age of eight I was already an altar boy in the Catholic church and was quite devout.

After finishing my primary school education I had a burning desire to become a priest but this was vetoed by my father.

In 1954, while I was doing my secondary education, the apartheid regime introduced Bantu Education which was designed to indoctrinate Black pupils to accept and recognise the supremacy of the white man over the blacks in all spheres. This angered and outraged us and paved the way for my involvement in the struggle.

The arraignment for Treason of the ANC leaders in 1956 convinced me to join the ANC and participate in the struggle for freedom. In 1957 I made up my mind and joined the ANC Youth League. I was fifteen then, and since politics was proscribed at African schools our activities were clandestine. In 1959 I went over to university at Fort Hare where I became openly involved in the struggle, as Fort Hare was a liberal campus. It was here that I got exposed to Marxist ideas and the scope and nature of the racist capitalist system. My conversion to Marxism also deepened my non-racial perspective.

My early Catholicism led to my fascination with Latin studies and English literature. These studies in these two course were gobbled up by me and I became an ardent lover of English, Latin and Greek literature, both modern and classical. My studies of literature further strengthened my hatred of all forms of oppression, persecution and obscurantism. The action of tyrants as portrayed in various literary works also made me hate tyranny and institutionalized oppression.

In 1961 I joined the underground South African Communist Party as I realized that national liberation, though essential, would not bring about total economic liberation. My decision to join the Party was influenced by such greats of our struggle like Govan Mbeki, JB Marks, Moses Kotane, Ray Simons, etc.

In 1962, having recognized the intransigence of the racist regime, I joined the fledgling MK. This was the beginning of my long road in the armed struggle in which there have been three abortive assassination attempts against me personally. The armed struggle, which we never regarded as exclusive, as we combined it with other forms of struggle, has brought about the present crisis of apartheid.

In 1967 I fought together with Zipra forces in Zimbabwe as political commissar. In 1974 I went back to South Africa to build the underground and I subsequently left for Lesotho where I operated underground and contributed in the building of the ANC underground inside our country.”
————————–————————–————————–

In 1967 he took an active role in the Rhodesian bush war, acting as a Political Commissar in the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA). ZIPRA, under the command of Joshua Nkomo, operated out of Zambia. Hani was present for three battles during the ‘Wankie Campaign’ (fought in the Wankie Game Reserve against Rhodesian forces) as part of the Luthuli Detachment of combined ANC and Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) forces.
Although the campaign provided much-needed propaganda for the struggle in Rhodesia and South Africa, in military terms it was a failure. Far too often the local population informed on guerrilla groups to the police. In early 1967 Hani narrowly escaped into Botswana, only to be arrested and detained in prison for two years for weapons possession. Hani returned to Zambia at the end of 1968 to continue his work with ZIPRA.

In 1973 Hani transferred to Lesotho. Here he organised units of the MK for guerrilla operations in South Africa. By 1982, Hani had become prominent enough in the ANC to be the focus of several assassination attempts, including at least one car bomb. He was transferred from the Lesotho capital, Maseru, to the centre of the ANC political leadership in Lusaka, Zambia. That year he was elected to the membership of the ANC National Executive Committee, and by 1983 he had been promoted to Political Commissar of the MK, working with student recruits who joined the ANC in exile after the 1976 student uprising.

When dissident ANC members, who were being held in detention camps in Angola, mutinied against their harsh treatment in 1983–4, Hani played a key role in the uprisings’ suppression – although he denied any involvement in the subsequent torture and murders. Hani continued to rise through the ANC ranks and in 1987 he became the Chief of Staff of the MK. During the same period he rose to senior membership of the SACP.

After the unbanning of ANC and SACP on 2 February 1990 Hani returned to South Africa and became a charismatic and popular speaker in townships. In 1992 Hani stepped down as Chief of Staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe to devote more time to the organisation of the SACP. Communists were prominent in the ANC and the Council of South African Trade Unions, but were under threat – the collapse of Marxism in Europe had discredited the movement world wide, and the policy of infiltrating other anti-Apartheid groups rather than making an independent stand was being questioned.

Hani campaigned for the SACP in townships around South Africa, seeking to redefine its place as a national political party. It was soon doing well – better than the ANC in fact – especially amongst the young who had no real experiences of the pre-Apartheid era and no commitment to the democratic ideals of the more moderate Mandela at all.

Hani was described as charming, passionate and charismatic, and soon attracted a cult-like following. He was the only political leader who seemed to have influence over the radical township self-defence groups that had parted from the authority of the ANC. Hani’s SACP would have proved a serious match for the ANC in the 1994 elections.

On 10 April 1993, as he returned home to Dawn Park, Boksberg (Johannesburg), Hani was assassinated by Januzs Walus, an anti-Communist Polish refugee who had close links to the white nationalist AWB. Also implicated in the assassination was Conservative Party MP Clive Derby-Lewis. Hani’s death came at a critical time for South Africa. The SACP was on the brink of becoming a significant status as an independent political party – it now found itself bereft of funds (due to collapse in Europe) and without a strong leader – and the democratic process was faltering. The assassination helped persuade the bickering negotiators of the Multi-Party Negotiating Forum to finally set a date for South Africa’s first democratic election.

Walus and Derby-Lewis were captured, sentenced and jailed within an incredibly short period (only six months) of the assassination. Both were sentenced to death. In a peculiar twist, the new government (and constitution) they had actively fought against, caused in their sentences being commuted to life imprisonment – the death penalty having been ruled ‘unconstitutional’. In 1997 Walus and Derby-Lewis applied for amnesty through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) hearings. Despite claims that they were working for the Conservative Party, and therefore the assassination had been a political act, the TRC effectively ruled that Hani had been assassinated by right-wing extremists who were apparently acting independently. Walus and Derby-Lewis are currently serving their sentence in a maximum security prison near Pretoria.

Time For An awakening guest 11/29/2015/ Toyin Agbetu

 

On 11/29/2015, Writer, Educator, Activist, and founder of Ligali – a Pan African Human Rights Organization that challenges the misrepresentation of African people, culture and history – Toyin Agbetu, joined us. We discussed what’s going on in France and how it affects our people in both England and France from a Black perspective, among other topics.

index

 

 

 

Scroll to top