Pan Africanism : A New Africa

Discussion in 'Black History - Culture - Panafricanism' started by Changes_Changes, Mar 6, 2004.

  1. Changes_Changes

    Changes_Changes Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Family,

    I been itchin' to have a lil discussion bout an idea I been toyin'
    wit lately, so I wanna throw this out at ya'll and hope everybody
    will bring their two cents to the group . . . What would
    a structuraly closed continent look like? What are the benefits and
    disadvantages? What issues might hinder its formation . . . The
    reason I bring it up is 'cause if u keep a regular eye out for the
    issues currently occupying the continent, it likely may have occured
    to you that a strong, sovereign, self-defined Africa in a global
    paradigm anything like today's is a practicable impossibility, maybe
    even a theoretical one too.

    The strongest non-occidental models we've seen in recent times have
    been the Soviet and Chinese regimes both of which operated to a
    greater or lesser degree as closed societies. Clearly, the
    occidental "freedom" rhetoric propagated a lil before the halfway
    mark of the last century was principally about securing occidental
    interests and ensuring their global dominance - that is, crippling
    these two rival powers. I say that because the strength of these two
    regimes - especially the now emerging strength of China - would have
    been impossible if they'd become entrenched in the economic and
    ideological rubrics of western europe and its satilites.

    What would a cogent, closed Africa look like?

    The first issues in terms of formation that occur to me are:

    An independent African currency(ies) - does today's Africa harbor the
    resources to support its ca700 million citizens?

    A clearly defined and (especially) African-centered dogma - one that
    binds its citizens to it and commands the respect of all
    nations.

    A highly disciplined and imposing malitia - one capable of protecting
    the continents interests against any violation.

    What about the indisposed Africans? Would they have to be left to die
    to ensure the eventual strength of the continent?

    And clearly - at least to me - all the white people would have to be
    put out.

    I'm especially interested to hear what all the specialists have to say - the
    economists in here, the poli-sci heads, the artists, the
    sociologists - everybody. Let's school eachother.

    This is amongst the principle issues we'll discuss in the new weekly discussion forum, "The Master Plan," the first of which we'll do tonight at 8.00 in the one of the chat rooms, just before Brother Will's, "Blacks in the Political Arena."

    Ya'll stay blessed.

    Tray
     
  2. zuleilah2

    zuleilah2 Banned MEMBER

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    What would a cogent, closed Africa look like?

    Z: How closed are you speaking?

    The first issues in terms of formation that occur to me are:

    You said…An independent African currency(ies) - does today's Africa harbor the resources to support its ca700 million citizens?

    Z: Africa has always had the resources (natural) to support its people. However, it’s the actions of its countries’ leaders, in cahoots with European and American corporations that, assures that most of the income derived from these resources is funneled into the deep pockets of both.

    You said…A clearly defined and (especially) African-centered dogma - one that binds its citizens to it and commands the respect of all
    nations.

    Z: A Pan African Nationalist view is something that is not held by the average African citizen, even though this view (ideology) is one that will allow Africans to see themselves as a unified people, working together to form a unified Africa. It is also an ideology that will help them to remove the foot of the white man from their necks. As it stands now, Africans, generally prefer to be identified as follows…

    Ex. Igbo-Nigerian-African-Black.

    This type of identification is not conducive to fostering the type of nationalism that is needed to not only unify African countries but unify the continent in general.

    You said…A highly disciplined and imposing malitia - one capable of protecting
    the continents interests against any violation.

    Z: Violation from whom – European/American factions?

    You said…What about the indisposed Africans? Would they have to be left to die to ensure the eventual strength of the continent?

    Z: Revolution is not without its casualties.

    You said…And clearly - at least to me - all the white people would have to be
    put out.

    Z: Why? Are ALL white people, now in Africa, only there to rape her?

    Think about the period after our own emancipation.

    How long could thousands of our own survived without humanitarian intervention from those who didn't share or complexion?
     
  3. Changes_Changes

    Changes_Changes Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    >Z: How closed are you speaking?<

    Closed along the lines of Communist China or perhaps even modern day North Korea. The principal questions, perhaps, are, "what does the African gain from her interaction with those outside the continent, and couldn't those gains be replicated for her at home?" Also, a culturally closed and streamlined system yields benefits not unlike the self-imposed solitude of the individual: the opputunity to find one's bearings and gather one's strength. Without an extended period to build solidarity and allow a common world view and value system to become entrenched, the emergence of the Africans as an influential world power is doubtful at best. By all this I only mean to suggest that growth requires vulnerability, and we run a perhaps inreconcilable risk by excercising that vulnerability in front of those who are hostile to our interests.

    >Z: Africa has always had the resources (natural) to support its people. However, it’s the actions of its countries’ leaders, in cahoots with European and American corporations that, assures that most of the income derived from these resources is funneled into the deep pockets of both.<

    A few weeks ago my assumption would have been the same, but after reading Chancellor Williams's discussion of the agrarian, terrain, and weather histories of the Continent, I know that this is not unconditionally true. Part of the vulnerability of the Continent prior to white and eastern invasions was the impregnable expansion of the Sahara - dry land prone to extended drought and indisposed to support an agrarian community. That said, I still can't imagine why, with a concerted effort across the Continent, Africans wouldn't be able to feed themselves.

    >Z: A Pan African Nationalist view is something that is not held by the average African citizen, even though this view (ideology) is one that will allow Africans to see themselves as a unified people, working together to form a unified Africa. It is also an ideology that will help them to remove the foot of the white man from their necks. As it stands now, Africans, generally prefer to be identified as follows…

    Ex. Igbo-Nigerian-African-Black.

    This type of identification is not conducive to fostering the type of nationalism that is needed to not only unify African countries but unify the continent in general.<

    I agree. The idea that all the products of the Continent are linked by a common set of interests and values should be a forgone conclusion, and any African who doesn't understand that should just be called uneducated. Any white american who didn't understand her inextricable relationship with all the products of europe all over the world would be called an idiot by her own - there's no reason we shouldn't do the same. Part of the reason I think, though, that the Pan Africanist movement hasn't commanded more attention from a wider array of Africans - both at home and deparate - is that there perhaps hasn't been enough explaination of WHY we, our interests and values are the same. Africans need to be TOLD these things. An education of one's lineage and one's relationship to like individuals is indespensable to a mature and clear-headed existance. No white child in the world would be able to leave primary school harboring any doubts that he's more like other white people than he is like you or I, but I fear we let our own walk around with this misconception everyday. I say all this only to make the point that education does not yield to personal inclination - if an individual doesn't want it, it needs to be beat into her until she gets it.

    >Z: Violation from whom – European/American factions?<

    Any serious militia fights anyone who compromises the interests of those it protects. White people have historically been the most dangerous enemy of Africans - so, yes, a militia loyal to Africa would principally protect African interests from violation by white people.

    >Z: Revolution is not without its casualties.<

    I agree.

    >Z: Why? Are ALL white people, now in Africa, only there to rape her?<

    No white person would aid Africa at the expense of her own interests. I don't mean to suggest that wazungus currently on the Continent are good or bad - I dont think such definitions apply to living things. But even the most righteous amongst the wazungus are at least naive -- if they seriously thought Africa were a threat to their way of life they wouldn't be so quick to lend a hand. Now, personally, I find it demeaning that so many white people think the quickest route to heaven is to help the poor, Africans who can't help themselves -- how long would any self-respecting living being let another look upon her that way? It's degrading, and disrespectful. An educated people would have decended on the Continent in such numbers and with such force and focus that the white red cross and peace corp would feel uneeded, unwanted, and in the way.

    >How long could thousands of our own survived without humanitarian intervention from those who didn't share or complexion?<

    Well, with our own walking around half-asleep and unawares, not very long at all. It's disgusting, isn't it?

    Thanks for the conversation Sister or Brother. Stay Blessed.

    Change
     
  4. zuleilah2

    zuleilah2 Banned MEMBER

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    You said…The principal questions, perhaps, are, "what does the African gain from her interaction with those outside the continent, and couldn't those gains be replicated for her at home?" Also, a culturally closed and streamlined system yields benefits not unlike the self-imposed solitude of the individual: the opputunity to find one's bearings and gather one's strength.

    Z: What Africa gains is the opportunity to interact with those that will assist her in formulating African solutions to African problems which are already being “replicated” across the continent– slowly but surely. First she sits up - then she crawls - then she walks - until she no longer needs assistance.

    You said… Without an extended period to build solidarity and allow a common world view and value system to become entrenched, the emergence of the Africans as an influential world power is doubtful at best. By all this I only mean to suggest that growth requires vulnerability, and we run a perhaps inreconcilable risk by excercising that vulnerability in front of those who are hostile to our interests.

    Z: Before the seeds of continent-wide solidarity can be sown, Africa has to address widespread corruption, ethnic violence, gender relations, the role of chiefs, religious differences and its relationship with the African Diaspora.

    You said…A few weeks ago my assumption would have been the same, but after reading Chancellor Williams's discussion of the agrarian, terrain, and weather histories of the Continent, I know that this is not unconditionally true. Part of the vulnerability of the Continent prior to white and eastern invasions was the impregnable expansion of the Sahara - dry land prone to extended drought and indisposed to support an agrarian community. That said, I still can't imagine why, with a concerted effort across the Continent, Africans wouldn't be able to feed themselves.

    Z: Yes, environmental factors, do indeed, lead to lean times in agrarian based societies. But, the tools needed to overcome these factors are not available to those in need of them due to the greed, nepotism and favoritism of many countries’ leaders. So what I noted is not an assumption. It is the overwhelming truth and, the best source of this particular truth is Africans themselves. Listen to what they are saying and have been saying to the world – over and over again - in the face of leaders who try to curtail the telling.

    You said…The idea that all the products of the Continent are linked by a common set of interests and values should be a forgone conclusion, and any African who doesn't understand that should just be called uneducated.

    Z: Why should “any African who doesn't understand nationalism/panafricanism be called uneducated”?

    Africa has about 800 million people, comprising thousands of ethnic groups with their own language/dialect and culture spread out over an area three times the size of the United States. Not all have access to the basic necessities of life, let alone educational opportunities and the tools needed to keep up with what is happening in the world. Survival is the primary focus of millions of Africans – not nationalism/pan africanism.

    You said…Part of the reason I think, though, that the Pan Africanist movement hasn't commanded more attention from a wider array of Africans - both at home and deparate - is that there perhaps hasn't been enough explaination of WHY we, our interests and values are the same. Africans need to be TOLD these things. An education of one's lineage and one's relationship to like individuals is indespensable to a mature and clear-headed existance. No white child in the world would be able to leave primary school harboring any doubts that he's more like other white people than he is like you or I, but I fear we let our own walk around with this misconception everyday. I say all this only to make the point that education does not yield to personal inclination - if an individual doesn't want it, it needs to be beat into her until she gets it.

    Z: An African's first allegiance is to his/her ethnic group. They look out for their own - first. However, this is what causes so much of the political/ethnic upheaval in many of its countries. So when talk of a United Africa is being bandied about, most give such talk short shrift. Why? Because such a concept is easier said than done - idealistic but not realistic, owing to the sheer size and diversity of the continent. This aspect of African culture is not easily understood by Africans in the Diaspora and, it’s this aspect that more Africans need to discuss more fully with Diasporic Africans. “Beating” the ideologies of nationalism/pan africanism into the heads of those that disagree with it, do not understand it, or see no need for it will do nothing to change deep cultural beliefs – thousands of years in the making. Instead, it may serve to breed resentment from Africans who may perceive that the beater considers himself ‘superior’ to the ‘inferior/backward’ African who needs to be ‘brought into the light’.

    You said…No white person would aid Africa at the expense of her own interests. I don't mean to suggest that wazungus currently on the Continent are good or bad - I dont think such definitions apply to living things. But even the most righteous amongst the wazungus are at least naive -- if they seriously thought Africa were a threat to their way of life they wouldn't be so quick to lend a hand. Now, personally, I find it demeaning that so many white people think the quickest route to heaven is to help the poor, Africans who can't help themselves -- how long would any self-respecting living being let another look upon her that way? It's degrading, and disrespectful. An educated people would have decended on the Continent in such numbers and with such force and focus that the white red cross and peace corp would feel uneeded, unwanted, and in the way.

    Z: I disagree. Humanitarian aid continues to flow through the hands of those of another color to the African continent DESPITE them knowing that it will take more than aid to solve Africa’s problems. There have always been those of all colors, races and creed – religious and non-religious - who care about those in need. It’s that caring that makes us human.

    Look at it another way: When an African mother’s child is slowly dying of bloody dysentery, do you actually thinks she cares who steps up and saves that child?

    No.

    Global brotherhood is readily apparent in the quotes below:

    “Africanism includes all the races inhabiting Africa and comprises all linguistic and cultural groups domiciled in Africa.” ( Nnamdi Azikiwe, ‘The Future of Pan Africanism’)

    “An African is any person of good faith, of any race, creed (faith or religious belief) or colour who has chosen to live in Africa.” (Kwame Nkrumah)

    “A people that undertakes a liberation struggle rarely legitimises racism. Even in acute periods of armed struggle, biological justifications are never used. The struggle of those who have been inferiorized takes place at a more human level. Its perspectives are radically new. … Universality lies in … the decision to take responsibility for the reciprocal relativism of different cultures once colonial status has been ruled out. (Frantz Fanon, ‘Racisme et Culture’)

    I’m curious. Do you also find it demeaning for those of another color to help the poor and needy Black folks in our own communities and in the African Diaspora?
     
  5. Changes_Changes

    Changes_Changes Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Sister or Brother,

    I'm sorry for takin' such a while to get back at you. Your ideas are important and demand more than a passing regard.

    What I'm against is not the notion of assistance itself - no organism can exist without the persistent help of other living things. Since this is true, the most pressing questions become, "who is helping, and why." Two grave issues come into play when foreigners presume to help Africans:

    1. The importation of foreign mechanisms to cure African problems.

    Every living thing views the world only in reference to her own education (that is, experience, tutelage, parentage, lineage, et al). So, when a wazungu, for instance, assesses the situation on the Continent, her first reaction is, "this isn't how I would do it, which means it's wrong," without ever fully comprehending that what is right here is not necessarily right there. It must be understood that we are NOT the same. Our definitions are often profoundly dissimilar. An African love is not the same as a european love; an African beautiful is not the same as a european beautiful; an African intelligence is not the same as a european intelligence. Good and Bad are not universally consistent constructs but are forever locally defined.

    2. Malicious self-interest at the expense of the supposed beneficiary.

    Documented history has taught us that nearly every interaction between the Continent and the white world has ultimately resulted disadvantageously for Africa. How a three-thousand year paradigm could've been reversed in the last half-century is beyond me.

    If we agree that Africa harbors a wealth of non-human resources, then what does the world give to Africans, at home and disparate, that we cannot create ourselves? If white doctors have created a white medical system based on a white world view and white definitions for white people, why then shouldn't Black doctors create a Black medical system based on a Black world view and Black definitions for Black people? If it is true that white supremacy is the bedrock on which all white definitions rest, then the best one can wish of the continued interaction of Blacks and whites in a world where whites unequivocally lead is a corp of blacks leading blacks armed with the definitions and tools they learned from a system that is fundamentally opposed not only too their interests, but worse, to their very existence. The sum of the scenario is not at all unlike the state of things at present: white people thinking they're helping Black people by telling them at every possible juncture that the way to success is to be less Black, and a considerable Black middle class who's material success runs parallel with the abdication of their Blackness - and not only their ideological Blackness, but in many cases their phenotypic Blackness as well.

    So we need help, to be sure. But we are not the children to europe's able-bodied adult. If at present we are lying prostrate, then we need Black Mothers and Black Fathers to teach us how to sit up Black, how to crawl Black, and how to walk Black, so that we might one day go out into the world and shape it in our own image.

    It seems that our basic disagreement is the level at which major sociopolitical changes occur. You suggest that Africans, and on the Continent particularly, must address a myriad array of disparate issues as prerequisite to a singular African purpose. This method, though, is idealistic, too locally oriented, and has no historical precedent. Hitler didn’t launch his revolution locally. He created a rhetoric that defined every issue affecting teutonic life as subordinate to the assumption of racial and cultural supremacy. The disarming and political decline of two states (Germany and Japan), the political ascension of another (the US), the political restructuring of the whole of Europe, and even the creation of an entirely new state (Israel) all resulted as direct correlatives of Hitler’s obtuse – and arbitrarily chosen, by the way – central thesis. Two basic ideas affected the reality of all our lives, Sister or Brother: the primacy of the aryan race and teutonic culture, and divisive presence of jews in a tuetonic- and aryan-bent global paradigm.

    I am not so short-sighted and callous as to suggest that the daily lives of Africans at home and disparate are unimportant, or that the complexity of our multiple realities can be reduced. But it must be understood that this grass-roots method of progress is in fact nowhere known to have changed the world. We WILL NOT WIN THIS WAR if we aren’t willing to soil our purity and suspend our considerable intelligence. We’re trying to fight hate with love and idiocy with nuance. This simply won’t work.

    The emergence of African leaders whose work undermines African interests is not coincidental. Africa produced these men – they have African Mothers just like everyone else from the continent. It seems simplistic, short-sighted, and cliché to say only that a nation’s principal problem is Bad People; for, if the extermination of Bad People were the key to a nation’s material success, the united states of america would today have almost no white people, and after killing off the considerable numbers of bad blacks, Africa would magically rise to greatness. So, the question is not, “how do we rid ourselves of bad people,” but, “WHY are they working against the interests of that which created them?” and also, "how is it that Africans exist who seem to have little regard for African life?" All the products of the Continent need to be helped to fully digest the premises that, 1, Africa gave us everything we have, and ALL issues are subordinate to ensuring her continued existence and her re-emergence as a sovereign, self-defined power, and 2, that as Brother Chancellor Williams notes, “the whites are the implacable foe, the traditional and everlasting enemy of the Blacks.” Also, every African in the world still lives under an imperiallist regime. We have ALL been colonized. We talk, walk, learn, work, think, and often try to LOOK white. Is it any suprise then that many of those who presume to lead us - always fed a white world history at white educational institutions, and often intellectually reared by whites - don't think any more of us than our white educations teach us to?

    As you noted, I said that all the products of Africa are linked by a common set of interests and values, not by nationalism or a panafrican world view. These are not quite the same thing.

    Also, by uneducated I don’t mean to suggest invalid. Each of us has gaping holes in our knowledge of at least some issue that directly informs our lives. For Africans, PanAfricanism is merely the most pressing. I don’t think it can reasonably be argued that an African who doesn’t understand her very basic common interests with all those who look like her is a fully confident, conscious, in short, educated human being. Survival is an irreducible problem to be sure. But if one isn’t privy to the limitations a continuously polarized sociopolitical dialogue places on one’s OWN existence, then I fear one is doomed to spend one’s life ONLY surviving.

    Again, Sister or Brother, there are certain truths and realities that simply cannot be disputed. That the situation of all Africans, at home and disparate, will not improve without a common interest and singular focus is one such notion. Because this is irrefutable, discussion is merely a rhetorical exercise. When a living thing teaches me, I might question, but I cannot argue, because it is at that point that she ceases to teach me and I presume to teach her. If in this realm she sees further than I, then why am I arguing? If one is only trying to prove who knows more about a particular problem, then one might as well resolve one’s self to inertia, because one will never learn that way. Again, that’s the opposite of learning. To fear being called unknowledgeable when one very clearly knows little is to confirm one’s own fear. Africans all over the world almost reflexively sit back and shut up when a wazungu speaks, but when one of our own ilk presumes to guide us, we all want to chime in with corrections, amendments, even outright degrading. If every time the Father said go the Mother responded with, “why, how, you’re wrong,” and, “no,” the family would either starve, or lose a member essential to its prosperity. This is what’s happening to Africans all over the world. We are dying, and instead of picking one solution and sticking to it, we keep talking ad nauseum.

    Also, the ethnic, cultural, political, and personal cleavages you cite are not exclusive to Africa. The arab world, europe, far east asia, and the latin world are all rife with the same hurdles. The difference between Africans and europeans is that the latter have historically agreed on at least one common enemy. Brother Haki Madhubuti says, “White world unity whether in the guise of Communism, Socialism, or Capitalism has always worked against any effort of Black people to organize themselves. We see this today in the recolonization of Afrika and the steady destruction of Black organizations that will not coalesce with white people.” So it is clear that while whites, for instance, often harbor stark ideogical differences amongst themselves, they know when it is in the best interest of the whole group and the individual to shut up and go along. Bush and Chirac, for example, have been trying to one-up each other politically for the last four years if for no other reason than that american white folks want different things than french white folks. But a few weeks ago, when it became clear that Haitians were intent on fixing their political issues their own way, Bush and Chirac suspended their bickering in light of the fact that strong black people, especially in mass, unequivocally threaten the common interests of ALL white folks.

    Actually, I’m not entirely sure, “no” is the only possible answer. If it were clear that the products of a particular lineage were repeatedly and consistently hostile to one’s interests, one might think twice about allowing a child’s life, especially at such a vulnerable moment, to hinge solely on the character of such an individual.

    Also, white folks extending what they call help to black folks is nearly as old as white folks killing black babies for sport. But as I suggested before, it is still white help they’re giving, and more ideal alternatives exist. Where my own health is concerned, if at all possible, I leave only the most rudimentary care to white people. I want to be touched, cared for, and healed by one whose experience favors as close as possible my own. When I cry out, when I can’t find the language to voice my concerns, when the problem affects not only my body but my spirit, it is that much more likely that she will understand and adjust her methods accordingly.

    President Nkrumah was a great man, but I just can’t reconcile this statement. What is good faith, and do whites with African citizenships conform to that definition? Whites have almost no reason to take up extended residence on the Continent other than willful self-interest which is always at the expense of Africans. A white business man who goes to Africa knows that, because of exchange rates, he will almost certainly be classified as upper-class, he will have no reasonable competition in his local market, and worse, his status as upper-class and white will be regarded with deference almost anywhere he goes.

    Have you ever heard of a poor white African? These people aren't citizens, they're an imperialist ruling class.

    Is this dude white? If he is he’s at least uninformed and likely lying. If he isn’t, he’s at least optimistic and likely naïve. In the middle ages western europe was in constant upheaval, its people were inert, and cannibalism was prevalent. After more than a thousand years of systematically pillaging, raping, robbing, and launching mass genocide on the americas, the Africas, the arab world, and the far east, western europe and its satellites control the greatest bulk of wealth of any contingent group in the world. THAT is a revolution. And contrary to what frantz said, that liberation struggle not only legitimized race, color and ethnicity as constituent elements of progress, but employed them as its basic impetus.

    Also, all Africans are still colonized, if mostly indirectly. So, if by quoting frantz you mean to suggest that Africans need to adopt a universally inclusive sentiment before launching our liberation struggle, then I think perhaps you’re reading our hand as considerably stronger than it is. We are the world’s underclass – how can we presume to be charitable? We have nothing we can afford to yield.

    Also, what kind of liberation struggle is it when the revolutionaries are seeking the assistance of their captures? Malcolm said something very similar about Dr. King’s march on washington. If we’re marching hand and hand with those who are responsible for our discontent, then we can forget it.

    Also, in Black American communities, we’ve an adage that goes something like, “you’re gonna have to be twice as good to get half as much.” In the current global paradigm, the same holds true for the ENTIRE RACE. Africa – the monolith, the idea, the world power – cannot afford to be just like everybody else because everybody else hates us. The only hope, I fear, for the Continent is that she grows so imposingly and impregnably strong that the world either follows her lead or perishes. Or do you believe, Sister or Brother, that after 3000 years of idiocy, the white world has, since the late nominal liberation of South Africa, finally grown a brain? Do you also believe that the white world, in light of its new found clarity, will idly abide a strong Africa, one that threatens european homogeneity and global control? If so, I deeply admire your optimism.

    Yes. We should be helping ourselves.

    Thank you for the discussion, Sister or Brother. Stay Blessed.

    Change
     
  6. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Excellent Post Changes_Changes, if no one else has done so, welcome to Destee!!
     
  7. Changes_Changes

    Changes_Changes Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Brotha Panafrica,

    wassup man - u just dont know how much i been learnin' from goin' back and readin' your posts man - thanks for the knowledge and the love bruh - keep teachin us brotha professor

    Change
     
  8. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Thank you very much Changes. If you haven't done so, I invite you to look at the thread on the United States of Africa, it addresses many of the questions you have asked.
     
  9. Alkebulan

    Alkebulan Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    hi brother changes changes

    i'm still reading over ur thoughts & email (thanks). not all of the following addresses issues u've raised n this thread, but it does comprise the bulk of my general thoughts about pan-africanism. i am enjoying the dialogue thus far. i only wish 2 participate n the discussion & i hope no 1 feels any personal villification by any comments made, as that was not my intent.

    some ppl hv suggested that there should b a united states of africa, modeled on the u.s., or perhaps a conglomeration of nations similar 2 what the u.s.s.r. attemped.

    1. comparisons w the u.s. & (former)u.s.s.r, or other asian models may b inappropriate examples as possible solutions 4 our homeland. the union of states n amerikkka, 4 example, evolved concomittantly w its aggressive conquest of an inhabited territory & virtual genocide of the indiginous people, as is the way of the european everywhere they set shore. their unification was less grand plan 4 future major player & more crucial necessity 4 survival & victory n their war against both the land & its native inhabitants. developing states were dependant on assistance from & directly related by blood 2, occupants of the more established areas. even w those ever present incentives, they still found it necessary 2 settle the issue of wheather or not 2 remain as 1 thru a long & bloodletting revolutionary war. my point is that most large 'powerful' national development occurred n a unique set of circumstances during a crucial developmental stage n that countrys development, frequently at the xpense of an indiginous, vulnerable population, and is hardly exemplary or a model 4 others.

    it may sound rediculous 2 say, but i believe neocolonialism spared africans the fate of native americans. it was the europeans decision 2 carve up africa amoungst themselves & exploit the land & its peoples while remaining largely n the comfort of their (the europeans) homelands, 4 the most part (south africa being a noteworthy exception) that left the majority of the african population at least standing, albeit n destitution, poverty, disease & decay, on their own land.

    this was largely an economic decision & had nothing 2 do w morals or humanity. it was deemed more profitable & efficient 2 exploit people n their own land, where they already were, instead of shipping them around the world & exploiting/enslaving them there. it would also b much easier 2 disguise the scheme under the cloak of 'helping' or 'enlightening' the savages (us) that way. this became a platform 4 surruptitious unconcionable exploitation on a level unkown or even imagined previously while avoiding the unpopular appearance of being a slave trader, but it was slavery just the same. i also believe that these precedent setting levels of avarace & insaitiable greed from those n positions of power left indelible imprints on the african leaders that followed 4 decades 2 come, & continue 2 this day.

    2. africa has been a world leader & can b again. africa remains a source of inspiration, wonderment, beauty & encouragement not only 4 what she has been n the past, but by her very survival. i believe n gurvey s position, africa 4 the africans, those at home & those abroad. our motherland does not need 2 ape any euroamerikkkan models of unity. she is unique n all the globe &, as n the past, must find her own unique solutions & manner of association/cooperation/unification that specifically suit her needs & those of her people.

    there is the concern, expressed by some, that africa is comprised of too many different nations & is comprised of too large a diversity of peoples, tribes & cultures 4 it 2 ever behave as a unified continent. that point about the vast & almost overwhelming diversity of the continent is well taken & accurate. diversity, however, can b an invaluable asset, not just a barrier. it is the mental disposition of both, those n positions of power & the populus n general that is determinant. amerikkka, 4 example, has chosen 2 slaughter & castigate (blacks), ignore(hispanics & orientals), & exterminate (native americans) those who hv a culture, skin hue, orientation, or lifestyle divergent from what they consider appropriate. the prevailing order is not so much a melting pot but anglo conformity, a collective 'my way or hit the (global) highway' mentality. there is a positive contribution 2 b gained from every african culture f only the vision & humility exist 2 accept & encourage their development.

    b4 there can b any hope of any real change, great sacrifices will need 2 b made. we cannot afford 2 ape the european s hedonistic lifestyle. repeatedly labelling leaders as stupid or corrupt solves nothing, even f they r. there is an african proverb the jist of which is: f u cannot defeat a mans argument by logic all is not lost, u can always call him vile names. more constructive 2 start small & speak of communitys & what changes local neighborhoods can make 2 become organized 2 effect change, specificly, the ones they deem most urgent n their community. all africans who sincerely desire the motherlands prosperity or even continued survival must do some serious introspective soul searching & ask themselves, what creature comforts am i willing 2 sacrifice 4 what i believe.

    we can all write great theoretical positions & perform mental gymnastics defining & defending our personal pet beliefs about whats best 4 this vast treasurehouse supported by this or that 'great' 'well known' authority, but it is of no moment. f we stand, or sit, idley by & do nothing, it will not matter whether we blame the leaders, the yt man or whomever, it will b us, ourselves, that will hv 2 hang our heads n shame knowing that we lacked the moral courage, intestinal fortitude & selflessness required 2 keep our collective 'mother' alive 4 her sons & daughters of future generations. we will hv failed both them & ourselves.

    unless our writing, discussions, seminars & conferences lead 2 an organized implementable plan of action, that is actually acted on at some point, its basically just so much mental masturbation. some of us hv even managed 2 trick ourselves n2 thinking that we re making a 'contribution' merely by discussion or dialogue. africa needs our deeds more than our words & she always will.

    this is just 1 black man s opinion. whats urs?
     
  10. zuleilah2

    zuleilah2 Banned MEMBER

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    Note: Since your responses are a bit detailed, I will respond to them in different postings.

    You said…What I'm against is not the notion of assistance itself - no organism can exist without the persistent help of other living things. Since this is true, the most pressing questions become, "who is helping, and why."

    Z: Sometimes the hate, bitterness and resentment over our treatment at the hands of white folks blocks some of us from seeing that not ALL of them are “the enemy” – not ALL of them have some evil ulterior motives. There are those of another color that have always been taught that ALL people should be treated like human beings, not second-class citizens or worse. Such was the case during our struggles in this country – past and present. We didn’t do it alone.

    You said…Two grave issues come into play when foreigners presume to help Africans:

    1. The importation of foreign mechanisms to cure African problems.

    Every living thing views the world only in reference to her own education (that is, experience, tutelage, parentage, lineage, et al). So, when a wazungu, for instance, assesses the situation on the Continent, her first reaction is, "this isn't how I would do it, which means it's wrong," without ever fully comprehending that what is right here is not necessarily right there.

    Z: It’s not only “wazungus” that are perceived as having an attitude, by those we call our sisters and brothers.

    Ex. A few years back, Charles T. Moses, a former advisor to Governor Mario Cuomo wrote an article that was published in South Africa’s ‘The Sunday Independent’ where he stated that many of the AAs in South Africa, at the time, had been treated rather badly, “usually out of jealousy and ignorance.” His article created a bit of a firestorm which led to a couple of television programs that focused on the ‘tension’ between AAs and South Africans. Mandela’s daughter was one of the panelists. She and the other South Africans laid it all out on the table. The South Africans accused AAs of coming to South Africa with a “patronizing attitude”, of AAs thinking they were doing South Africans a favor by “rescuing it after the white brain drain” and “coming to their country with a belief that they are owed something by Black South Africans for leading the anti-apartheid movement in the United States.” They also accused AAs of “socializing among themselves, being aloof from the black South Africans”, “moving into the fanciest white neighborhoods and living in palatial homes with maids and pools.”

    You said… It must be understood that we are NOT the same. Our definitions are often profoundly dissimilar. An African love is not the same as a european love; an African beautiful is not the same as a european beautiful; an African intelligence is not the same as a european intelligence.

    Z: What must also be understood is that Africans in the Diaspora and CAs are not the same either, which some of us find out when we travel back ‘home’. We may share complexions but there are distinct differences based on the nuances of our different cultures. In other words, we may be considered just as foreign as “wazungus” and, our ‘assistance’ could also be construed as unwanted, high-handed and patronizing.

    African love/intelligence is not the same as Black American love/intelligence, Caribbean love/intelligence, South American love/intelligence, Afro-Latino love/intelligence, Black British love/intelligence and any other Diasporan love. We ALL define ourselves differently although we ALL share the same ancestral beginnings. The only thing that is the same is the caring.
    You said… Good and Bad are not universally consistent constructs but are forever locally defined.

    Z: Good and Bad are defined within context of the greater good of the community. Some Africans patriarchs still feel that education shouldn’t be wasted on girls. They believe girls should only be taught the skills needed to run a home and take care of a home and children.

    Is this a “good” thing for the future of the village?

    Or, is this a “bad” thing for the future of the village?
     
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