There is a modern bastardization of the Pan African movement. Some people believe that Afrocentrism, Nubian-ism or Pan African-ism is socialist beliefs. They have wrongly mistaken the late 1990s through to this point. These comprehensions are not fundamentalist opinions. More to the misconception is the taint of Pan African pathfinders. Those are the people who stood up to the notion of white supremacy and colonialism. The mainstream media deemed them, radical fundamentalists. I’m speaking of people like Marcus Garvey, or Sekou Toure. Legends like Muammar Gaddafi [yes I said Gaddafi] and Robert Mugabe. Or even Dr. W. E. D. Du Bois and Kwame Nkrumah. That is because they interrupted the tranquility of Westernization in Africa. However, they did that to protect African cultures and wealth from foreign exploitation.
How did Muammar Gaddafi pioneer Pan African-ism?
To understand how Gaddafi helped pioneer Pan African-ism, first, interpret Pan African-ism. After that, you should realize that the mainstream media systematically tarnished his name. That is because he committed atrocities that overshadowed his Pan-African efforts. Ultimately, he was responsible for many deaths. Today we know him as Libya’s former president who played a role in some crimes against humanity. So 1] what is Pan-Africanism? 2] How Gaddafi help to pioneer it and 3] How did he and the media besmirch his reputation?
What you probably do not want to hear is that the same war crimes Benito Mussolini [former Italian Prime Minister] committed against Ethiopia, for example, are the same crimes Saddam Hussein did against Kuwait which made him internationally objectionable. Only, Mussolini was exonerated of his crimes against humanity as President Bush got away with invading Iraq. I’m not saying this to be controversial. I suppose that because the idea forms a part of the Pan African story. It is important to know that Pan Africanism does not absolve anyone of war crimes and atrocities against humanity. Whatever the “good guy / bad guy” illusion is, these are the chronological facts.
Dictator or Revolutionist?
Once you understand that, you will know that before Gaddafi became a brutal dictator, he was a stern pioneer of the removal of western influence in Africa. In fact, it was his effort to remove western colonization in Africa that earned him his iconic bastardization. Some of his beliefs were for African nations to unite under one government, reject western colonial or imperial culture, stop the exploitation of African material and intellectual properties and price African resources at a competitive rate to bring wealth and establish Africa as a world economic power. This was his dream.
Insofar Hip Hop CREED is not anti-American or anti-European.
Gaddafi had great respect for Ethiopia and Halie Selassie I. He was offended by the Italian invasion that sank the Ethiopian economy. He was upset that the international community did nothing to punish Mussolini for this. Nor did they try to restore the Ethiopian dynasty. Fearing that the West could repeat this in other parts of Africa he called on the African leaders to unite. Insofar Pan African-ism is not anti-American or anti-European. The motive is to protect the African heritage. When we embrace Pan-African objectives, we also defend the African Royalty. It is an appeal against unwanted tribulation of colonialism or the fusion of Western culture in African societies.
“There must be a world revolution which puts an end to all materialistic conditions hindering woman from performing her natural role in life and driving her to carry out man’s duties in order to be equal in rights… The West sees liberation movements as terrorist movements, and that is why I am accused of supporting terrorism: because I support liberation movements.” – Muammar Gaddafi.
How did Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois pioneer Pan African-ism?
Building the restoration of African splendor dates back to the abolition movement. When Pathfinders such as Prince Hall and others attempted to return freed Blacks to Africa. They created the West African nation of Liberia with the specific purpose in mind. Over the centuries, when racism, segregation and civil injustice against Blacks succeeded slavery pioneers like Dr. Du Bois came to be one of the first Pan-Africanist. He hailed from the States side of the spectrum. His endeavors include co-founding the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People [NAACP] and writing a slew of social studies including one called, “The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study” which sites discrimination against Blacks and advocates for racial equality.
Unlike Gaddafi who used brutality, Dr. Du Bois used activism and reasoning.
Unlike Gaddafi who used brutality, Dr. Du Bois used activism and reasoning. The History of Pan African-ism does not only stem from civil right activism. Its endgame is to facilitate an end to division among African nations. We can achieve that outcome by teaching the appreciation of African heritage. Dr. Du Bois was one of the earliest social activists to write and protest not only for the repatriation of freed black men/women to Africa but also for the equal rights of those who remained in the West.
Writer or Activist?
That meant equal access to quality education, residential areas, and health care and employment opportunities. Even back in those challenging early years of the 1900s, he stood against discrimination. In doing so, he supported Pan African Congressional movements that took place in London England, Paris France, New York USA and Kampala Uganda in Africa. His reach was international. These movements helped pressure the US Government and the international community to repeal the Jim Crow laws of legal segregation in the South.
Even back in those very difficult early years of the 1900s he stood against discrimination.
First through the 1917 Buchanan vs. Warley case to overturn racial segregation in residential areas, 1946 Irene Morgan vs. the State of Virginia case to reverse apartheid in interstate transportation and the Brown vs. Board of Education case of 1954 that led to the reverse of Plessy vs. Ferguson mandate which allowed racial segregation in public schools. Pan Africanism embodies the legacy and accomplishments of Dr. Du Bois.*
“My ‘morals’ were sound, even a bit puritanic, but when a hidebound old deacon inveighed against dancing, I rebelled. By the time of graduation, I was still a ‘believer’ in orthodox religion but had strong questions which were encouraged at Harvard. In Germany, I became a freethinker, and when I came to teach at an orthodox Methodist Negro school, I was soon regarded with suspicion, especially when I refused to lead the students in public prayer.” – Dr. Du Bois.*