Pan Africanism : panafricanism?

Discussion in 'Black History - Culture - Panafricanism' started by simunyaa, Jul 8, 2003.

  1. simunyaa

    simunyaa Member MEMBER

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    what do u understand when u hear "panafricanism"? all blacks united? change ur mind! read the shortstory the colour of my skin!
     
  2. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Simunyaa ... i just read your story, The Colour Of My Skin, thank you for sharing it with us. Very nicely written.

    We have a thread titled, What is Pan-Africanism? You may want to read it to get an idea of how some here define the term.

    You say ... "what do u understand when u hear "panafricanism"? all blacks united? change ur mind!" ...

    After reading your story and the comment above, am i understanding properly ... that you want Black people to change their minds about the term and allow it to embrace those White people that were born in Africa (or all White people)?

    How do you define "panafricanism," since you were born / raised in Africa and are White?

    Please share your thoughts with us and thanks again for joining us!

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  3. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I fail to see why reading "The Colour of my Skin" should force PanAfricanist to re-evaluation the principles or purpose of PanAfricanism. As I have to disagree with sister Destee's opinion that the piece was well written. Quite the opposite, I found the piece lacking in a clear purpose. That is unless your purpose is to say that since there were whites who fought against apartheid, black nationalist movements have no purpose. If that is your belief you are wrong. Just as white involvement in the Civil Rights Movement in America did not change the need for "Black Power".

    PanAfricanism calls on blacks throughout the Diaspora to unite because of our shared heritage, history, and culture. This defination in and of itself excludes white involvement. Also since you have stated that you don't know what it is like to live as a black person in a white country....you really are not qualified to tell black people how they should classify themselves (or who they should identify themselves). That is actually very presumptious of you (kinda like me as a man telling a woman I know what childbirth is like). If you really want to learn about black people (I personally am suspicious about white people who frequent black venues), I suggest you listen/read to what is being said.
     
  4. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    simunyaa...Welcome to our Forums. :) If you are who you describe yourself to be, it takes courage to come to an afrocentric website, where the obvious majority of sentiments expressed here are afrocentric, and describe personal feelings about what it's like to be White living in an African nation where some Black citizens dislike you because of the color of your skin. I'm glad that you took the time to come and share your thoughts and pose your question.

    I read your short story. It's one that sounds so familiar to a Black person--anywhere on this globe. All the reader had to do was to reverse the roles of your main character and make him a boy/man or a girl/woman with Black skin, and it immediately reflects a history rife with hatred and abominable treatment simply because of the color of their skin.

    I don't think I would be totally wrong to suggest that the story of Blacks being in your shoes pre-dates your personal experience by a few years, don't you agree? And, I'm sure this comes as no surprise either--it's still happening. What amazes me is that having witnessed it first-hand, you still see a need to question how and why conscious Black people define Panafricanism the way they do?

    I'm not an insensitive person simunyaa so I felt the pain and understood the struggle of the person you wrote about. However, like I wrote earlier, it's all too familiar to many of us here because we're usually the one's in your shoes. Many of us can write a story like that about walking or driving the streets in America today. Without question, no one should be judged or stereotyped because they were born looking a certain way.

    Did anyone ever ask us how we felt about being raped, murdered and poisoned with diseases by people who didn't see or care about us as human beings, but only wanted what was ours -- natural and human resources -- for their own personal gain?

    Surely you can see that as rational as one might try to be and think how beautiful life would be without such despotism, the historical and present day facts make it impossible to ignore that although there may be a few, most white people have NOT achieved that level of understanding and empathy yet.

    Why do you think that a growing number of Black people around the world are joining together to fight racism and oppression and who do you think they see as their enemy? Do you think it's because they have nothing better to do? You say you've read many of the threads here and they tend to deal with racism a lot. Why do you think that is simunyaa and do you think it's just a figment of a whole group's imagination? Black people may be many things, but color blind and stupid they are not.

    I'm empathetic toward your plea for a day where race or the color of one's skin won't matter anymore, but look around you and tell me what you see, and you live in Berlin, Germany?

    Finally, I just want to say, to me, Panafricanism is about a united front of Black people around the world fighting back against racism and oppressive dictators that have and still are using it to destroy us and take from us. Simunyaa, if you're being genuine and believe that you're not among those, then I would suggest that you move out the way and make it known by fighting the ones who are--primarily your own people. Panafricanists have it covered on this end, because we already know that a new day IS coming!

    Peace!
     
  5. simunyaa

    simunyaa Member MEMBER

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    first of all: thanx to all of u for ur reply.

    i found ur answer most moving, PANAFRICA. proberbly because i felt the greatest opposition to what i wrote.

    u said: "white involvement did not chnge the need for black power." i dont know if i got that one right. but i quite aggee with u that absolutly nothing can substidize the empowerment of black people and that panafricanism is a black movement. however, i dont think that whites must totally excluded from it. it will raise the chance of an violent outrages (like in zimbabwe). if u want to pay everything back done by whites to blacks than u r right in striving for this. however, if u want a world of peace everybodies ideas should be considered by a movement. may those inputs come by blcks, whites, brown, yellow, red or purples with green spots. i can understand u when u r not satisfied with the outcome in south africa. it is neither a "rainbownation" nor did the situation of blacks improve rapitly. but look at zimbabwe: the country is in a terrible condition and the people r suffering more than before the policy against the white farmers started. i am on ur side when u want to take back what is urs. but be careful to prevent a drawback.

    u also wote that i should not tell blacks how to classify. did i ever do so? my statement was that i do NOT KNOW what it is like to be black. i cannot say how racism against blacks or whites differ in term of what it means to the individual. here i can only tell u about discussions i had with afrogermans. some were of the oppinion that eg not letting a black into a club is more imoral than beating up a white. i do not want to judge because the issue of history and clective memory is stronger than what i can bring up from my personal and very limited point of view.

    u mentioned that u did not find the story well written. and proberbly without knowing u touched my most sensitive point and one of the reasons why i posted my story to this forum: english is not my mother language, i cannot write in english very well. my german? i meet new people, talk to them. and after 15 minutes they will ask me: where r u from? i dont speak my mother's laguage which is portuegees. i speak a few african anguages but none to an extent that i could call it fluent. the country i call home does not accept me as her child. panafrica, were do i belong?
    and with this feeling i know i am not alone. there r many, many others. one of my best friends here in germany has a gambian father but has never been to africa. we used to sit down together and discuss who of us is more german and more african. we never found an answer. neither of us is fully at home anywere in the world but she at least have "african blood".

    if i want to understand blacks, i have to read and to listen. that's true. but please allow me to also be heared every now and than.



    NNQueen,

    what a nicely packed but envy reply! i know that many blacks could tell similar stories i just want to brake the "suscription of racial harrassment" to blacks. i think racism against blacks and whites can differ in many ways. but i would like to find out if it is still like that if u brake it down to an individual level. what do u think?

    i think i made it clear already that i see a need for change and support the idea of panafricanism so this is cerlainly not "a group's imagination."

    u also ask me who the enemy of the panafrican movement is? shouldnt u ask someone who regerds her-/himself as part of it?
    two of ur statements i did not understand. firstly: "blacks r not colour blind nor stupid". i agree with u in both cases: a black person is as racist as any human being. but what do u mean by stupid? did i ever give the impression that i think so?
    and then u ask me to get out of the way. how do u mean it? in whose way am i standing in ur oppinion?



    dear DESTEE,

    considering all african whites into the term panafricanism can be dangerous, as u can also see at the replies above. i dont think that most white africans would like it either. all whites sounds much better to me since humankind comes from africa. and with this we would be at a point were ur colour really does not matter anymore. however, for tis we still have a very, very long way to go.

    there is one thing still i would like to put forward. u might regard urself as panafrican or not. but i dont think i say anything wrong by the theses that all of u want to be accepted as a equal part of the society in the usa (or whereever u come from). this is what i also whish for.
     
  6. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Simunyaa ... Thanks for responding. You've said nothing "wrong." You are as entitled to your opinion as the rest of us. I appreciate you feeling comfortable enough to join and share ... and doing so in such a peaceful way.

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  7. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    As I read your questions and see your confusion to what I've written, my thoughts are--if your struggle was the same as my struggle as you are trying to imply, you wouldn't need to ask these questions nor would you be confused about what I meant.

    See, I think you prove an excellent point. Yes you're white and you claim to be oppressed by a racist Black group. But it becomes obvious to me that you still see the world through a different set of lenses than I do. Now true, this may just be a result of cultural miscommunication, but in America I've seen how whites react to being called racist for the first time and I get the impression that you're reeling from the same impact--shock, horror, hurt feelings, confusion..."who me?" syndrome.

    See simunyaa, my personal view of racism is the same as I view rape--it's about power and control. A person who has real power can be racist. Perceived power is not the same. White people have real power therefore they can be racist because they can take freedoms and privileges away from others for any reason. A Black person who claims not to like you because you're white doesn't necessarily have power over you that way so how can they be racist? True, they can be prejudice against you, they may even be able to discriminate against you, but I doubt they can be racist.


    Answer this...you claim to be living in Berlin, Germany now. Do you still feel oppressed as a White person or did your oppressive state of existence suddenly end the moment you crossed the border of Africa and entered an environment where there were more people there like you AND who were in control of their destiny?

    But let me join my Sister Destee in thanking you "for responding. You've said nothing "wrong." You are as entitled to your opinion as the rest of us. I appreciate you feeling comfortable enough to join and share ... and doing so in such a peaceful way."

    Peace!
     
  8. simunyaa

    simunyaa Member MEMBER

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    dear NNQueen,

    i am sorry to say that i am still not sure if i get what u r saying but anyway.

    after reading ur reply i switched the computer off and wrote a letter to a good friend of mine to discuss the issues u brought up. now the disatvantage of a letter is that u dont get a reply emidiatly. on the other hand i could order my thoughts. i have never seen racism a issue of power in the first place.
    to be quite honest, i still dont think so. to me EVERY HUMAN BEING IS RACIST. and that is nothing bad. i rather see it as the fear of the unknown. this issue only becomes a serious matter when someone -directly or indirectly- is being harmed. and it is then when power comes in.

    when i came to germany i was introduced to the terms "positive" and "negative" racism. to explain it on an example: negative is when i say: "BLACKS ARE STUPID". positive is when i say: "Blacks can dance very well" (AND FOR THAT THEY R THE BETTER PEOPLE) or (BUT THEY R STUPID).
    that just to make clear on how i define racism.

    however, back to the issue of power. this is what i actually ment when i was asking for the difference between "black" and "white" racism os it was actually very kind of u to make this perspective clear to me.

    now u were asking about germany. about being "on the other side". obviously i dont feel oppresed in any way. what i find very shoking is on how foreighn and especially black people r treated here. not by indeviduals but politics. the way on how asylum-seekers r treated here is more than horrible. i alway wonder why a state officially recognized as being democratic can force people to live under this conditions. in my oppinion here is a clear contradiction to the human rights.

    i wanted to bring up another issue. i dont agree with u when u say "whites have power, blacks dont". that is bacically because i am not looking from a black-white-perspective but from a south-north one. u were saying something against dictatorship and social injustes. how many black americans would not agree with u? however, still most r using cars, electricity from not regenerative sources, go to mcdonalt's and to the wall market, buy philip morris' products.... racism is also about not allowing the same standard of living to everybody else. but all those products and labels i mentioned and many more are involved in childlabour and /or into a poluted planet and /or support dictatorships and/or poison their own workers.........................
    everybody who is supporting those things cannot claim to be not racist.
     
  9. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I find it interesting simunyaa that you feel whites should be included in black power movements, and solving the damage that slavery & colonization did to blacks in America & Africa respectively. Specifically what I find interesting is that you (like most white people) don't seem to realize that whites WERE the cause behind the overwhelming majority of these conflicts. Your pointing out Zimbabwe is a prime example. How do you see blacks taking back land that was stolen from them decades ago as a problem?

    I ask you, were blacks consulted during the Berlin Conference of 1884-85, when Africa was divided among the European powers? Were they consulted during the scramble of Africa and the beginning of African Colonization? The answer to these questions are obviously no!!! Europeans (white people) created much of the trouble of modern Africa by displacing blacks from their land, subjecting them to low paid jobs, and creating artificial boundaries (forcing them to share land with groups they historically did not get along with). From 1884 to the mid 1960s whites were not concerned about the well being of black Africans, yet now that blacks in Africa have achieved some degree of political power, they want to become part of the solution to Africa's problems. The question is why would any black African in their right mind trust their former oppressors?

    So your father was happy that apartheid ended. Well what exactly does that mean? That he was glad his maid would have a better place to live, that she could now visit the beautiful beaches where her ancestors used to fish? That is nice......but meaningless. The true question is would your father have supported the ANC? Would he have voted for Nelson Mandela as president? Would he have voted for Mbeki to succeed him? Would he suggested that blacks be granted stock in De Beers? The question is would he have supported blacks having power? Because that is the real issue. Plenty of whites in America were down with the Civil Rights Movement when they thought all blacks wanted was to eat in Woolworths, but when they realized we wanted the same jobs they wanted........it was a different story. Whites have not been, still do not, and more than likely never will want to share economic power (the true power) in Africa and because of that they have NO BUSINESS.....NO PLACE....in Black Power Movements.

    Your inability to understand this shows you limited knowledge of the black struggle. Being born around blacks does not make you a partner in our experience, as your life in Germany demonstrates.
     
  10. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    ^^^^5, panafrica...
     
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