Pan Africanism : Back to Africa? The Colonization Movement in Retrospect

Discussion in 'Black History - Culture - Panafricanism' started by Omowale Jabali, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    http://www.connerprairie.org/HistoryOnline/colon.html

    This article gives some historical background to the "Back to Africa" movement in the context of 'African Colonization Society'.

    Historically, "Pan Africanists" have viewed this early history as a development in the ideology of Pan-Africanism but let's take a closer look at how this idea of "African Colonization" actually developed.

    "But the most famous and important proponenet was the American Colonization Society. Organized in 1816, its purpose was aptly evoked by its name. The organization's official title was the American Society for Colonizing the Free People of Color in the United States. One of the founding fathers of the society was Rev. Robert Finley. Finley was instrumental in getting such luminaries as Francis Scott Key, Henry Clay, and Andrew Jackson to lend their names to the movement. The Society's first President was Bushrod Washington, nephew of the great man himself."

    There are a few thing here that I find the need to meditate upon.

    "Organized in 1816"

    "American Society for COLONIZING the FREE PEOPLE of COLOR in the United States."

    Well, for one I have to VISUALIZE "Free People of Color" in the United States in 1816.

    Does this sound like a "Pan Africanist" movement to you?

    It actually was a PLAN to COLONIZE FREE BLACKS residing in New Orleans/Louisiana and the "Diaspora".

    And it's intent was to dispose of these FREE BLACKS to open up settlement for european immigrants.

    But it also Pre-dated the Belgian Conference and the "Scramble for Africa".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scramble_for_Africa

    A close examination of these facts reveals that the united states interests in africa, thanks to the American Colonization Society, and others, was well established before 1888.

    Liberia and Sierra Leone became "colonization" schemes, sometimes with the assistance of Black "leaders", and as a base for american imperialism in Africa. And it was this early american initiative which gave it an early advantage over other european powers because it did not require a mass settlement of "white folks". They already had a ready supply of Black military personnel dating back to the war for "independence".
     
  2. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The Legacy of African Colonization Focus on Liberia

    "The name Liberia stands for "liberty" or "Land of the Free" as the country was colonized by freed African American slaves in 1822, and founded the country in 1847 with the support of the Government of the United States creating a new ethnic group called the Americo-Liberians. However this introduction of a new ethnic mix compounded ethnic tensions with the additional sixteen other main ethnicities."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberia

    "Colonized by freed African American slaves in 1822"


    "Once in Africa, they referred to themselves as "Americans" and were recognized as such by local Africans and by British colonial authorities in neighboring Sierra Leone."

    "The religious practices, social customs and cultural standards of the Americo-Liberians had their roots in the antebellum American South. These ideals strongly influenced the attitudes of the settlers toward the indigenous African people. The new nation, as they percieved it, was coextensive with the settler community and with those Africans who were assimilated into it."

    Hence, these "Americans" had the Mindset of a "colonist" and based its social structure on a policy of "assimilation".

    I will deal with the effects of the Scramble for Africa on Liberian "imperialism" later.
     
  3. Zulile

    Zulile Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Yes

    I was just posting a response re Liberia and the 'Americo-Liberians' and their failure to colonize Liberia effectively. Huge topic - but boiling down to lack of identity - still very prevalent today. smh.
     
  4. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    There is something else about this that I dont want to argue with you about or offend you. Its a sensitive issue. And would be off topic.

    But Im shaking my head too.

    Take the situation in "South Africa".

    "South Africa" not as some Africans say, "Azania".

    English and Dutch colonized but Africans are didvided and now calling themselves by the name of the colonizers. "South Africans".

    So, in essence, with abolishing "apartheid,you have the same effect. The "assimilation" of the majority into a colonial "culture". A colonial IDENTITY.

    This problem exists all over "Africa". It just so happens that "Liberia" was the only colony where "Africans" were colonized by re-patriated or "trans-planted "Africans".

    But the society is divided by rival political parties and factions.

    Same in South Africa. ANC ascended to power and in some cases was more oppressive to the PAC and AZAPO than the Nationalist party. And even oppressed the "Nationalists" and "Pan Africanists" within its own Cadre.

    When was the last time you heard an ANC representative reaching out to Black people in the Diaspora talking about "Africa for the Africans at home or abroad"?

    Wouldnt that sound too much like Robert Sobukwe??!

    http://www.ifp.org.za/Archive/trc/trc524.htm
     
  5. Zulile

    Zulile Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I hear you, Brother Omowale. Absolutely.
    Keep the info comin' - a good smack of reality, while could be offensive - is always interesting ;)
     
  6. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    sister Zulile

    I lost what I was going to post so maybe that was a "sign".

    I dont intend to offend any more than I already have.

    Its just that many "Black" folks here dont realize how "African Americans" are percieved as no better than "white people" by many Africans because of our own colonial mentality.

    Folks here dont really know our history and the role that we played in Colonizing "Africa".

    Africans then have a harder time understanding how we see ourselves as "victims" of "white supremacy" and how we define everything according to "race". Can these folks go to South Africa with a "race based strategy" with Africans going in an opposite direction?

    http://www.anc.org.za/ancdocs/misc/racism.html
     
  7. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    In fact can you show me where on this document, or writings since any African "leader" since the abolition of apartheid that even addresses "white supremacy" in those terms?

    Im asking because I would appreciate adding to my archives.
     
  8. MenNefer

    MenNefer Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Politically Enmeshed

    I don't have anything to contribute to your original inquiry (Haven't actually followed that path of questioning before)

    (Semantically speaking)

    Could "White Supremacy" be a gateway catchphrase for a predominately "European" agenda that has, consequently, (via cultural interfacing) eroded those "African" values that may have evolved to sustain those trade relations (discussed in the other Thread on Slavery); and in turn may have empowered the will of the various Sub communities within the larger ones? I mean the rush for resources in africa has mainly been eurocentric; not taking any consideration for the people (They really didn't HAVE to). The documentary "Darwins Nightmare" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin's_Nightmare
    expounds on this same agenda that has been cleverly hidden within the machinations of capitalism and "Progress".

    I agree that Diasporic africans should not naively roll up into africa with their own prescriptions without taking some of these issues you bring up into consideration.
     
  9. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Most definitely...

    Which is why I hardly use, or even ascribe to the term "white supremacy". If I even research the following "African Viewpoints on white supremacy" it either comes up as an "African "American" persepctive or a perspective of some white college/university professor. And they all suggest the same. That for "white supremacy" to be defeated the Oppressed must accept defeat or as they say, "victimization". This means recognizing the white man as "superior".

    I cant find a single African leader addressing "racism" as "white supremacy" TODAY. Not to say they dont exist but "google it" and check the results.

    In doing so we then become pre-occupied with what the "white man" is doing to us loosing focus of what we have done wrong, what we are still doing wrong and what must be done to correct our own wayward paths.

    Many of our "Ifrikian" societies were in a state of DECLINE by the time europeans invaded in 1492 and we cant just blame this on "Arabs" "Muslims" or "Chinese" because these others had very little effect on what was going on in sub-saharan African prior to the "Scramble for Africa" which occured leass than 150 years ago.

    I am sure that Shaka Zulu did not view white folks as "superior" and Im sure that neither did Haile Selassie or Emperor Menelik who militarily defeated them at different points in Our Story.

    So, yes, "white supremacy" IS a gateway catchphrase for a predominantly european agenda.

    And please dont take what im about to say the wrong way because its not the first time Ive stated this.

    But lets be more self-critical in our own "movement".

    When did the concept of "white supremacy" replace "racism" [racial prejudice and discrimination] become a pshychological and social CONSTRUCT among the Black Intelligensia?

    Did it exist before, during or after the ideological development of "Afrocentricity"? And what BLACK leaders HERE "definied" it as "white supremacy"?

    And I am talking about Black POLITICAL leaders involved in ORGANIZING Black people for Black Liberation. Who are these leaders and what were the aims and objectives of their ORGANIZATIONS relative to dealing with "white supremacy"?

    If you can identify these Organizations I have one more. WHO among them advocated solutions OUTSIDE the framework of american Capitalism?
     
  10. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    George M. Fredrickson


    To be more specific, I am trying to find reference from a Black Liberation perspective pre-dating the writings of this man.

    http://www.nybooks.com/authors/59

    Over the years, in the decline of the Black power movement in the 70s, I have had to deal with arguments similar to the ones posed by this person.

    I recognize the source.

    Its like all of the early hip hop that I listened to by black artists who used loops marketed by an english cat named Simon Harris without giving him credit.

    Some black folks have taken arguments from white folks such as Fredrickson and appropriated them and then sought to impose them as their own intellectual property, them repress any political thinking outside the same "racial construct".

    Sorry, this is why I know "i dont fit".

    Cuz I never have bought into this "liberal thought" process.
     
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