Discussion in 'African American History Culture' started by Alarm Clock, Jun 15, 2013.
The general evolutionary process of all Societies on a universal basis....
Social progression: family, tribe, clan, nation, continental unity....
Africa's evolutionary progression was interrupted by European imperialism. Came in 2 forms: slavery and colonialism
Took 300 MILLION of the strongest (black people) out of Africa, then divided the continent in colonial spheres.
Despite the fratricide in Europe, they still have continental unity.
Africa's progression to continental unity was interrupted by Europe.
Enter revolutionary Pan-Africanism.
And so he, Kwame Toure aka Stokely Carmichael, begins.
Henry Sylvester Williams, organizer of the 1st Pan-African Conference (NOT "Congress" DuBois organized that) that Kwame Ture says we don't know enough about:
That Trinidad has produced a disproportionate number of unusual men is a truism ; that so many of them have been forgotten is a scandal ." So writes Professor James R. Hooker in his biography of Henry Sylvester Williams , the Trinidadian who organised the first Pan-African Conference in 1900.
For Williams was indeed a remarkable man. He was a black man of humble birth , but sound education who passionately believed that African people and people of African descent had the right to be looking after their own affairs , forging their own destiny. This at a time when in the history of Trinidad and indeed the world , to be a very dark-skinned black man was to find oneself at the lowest rung of the social ladder. Yet he climbed up and out . He became a barrister and like Mahatma Gandhi practised as a lawyer in South Africa from 1903 to 1905 . On his return to London he became involved in municipal politics and won a seat on the Marylebone Borough Council . He probably became the first black man to be elected to such a public office in that country .
Very little is found about him in the Pan-African literature of today . Williams was born of African descent in 1869 in Arouca . As a young man he went to North America in search of higher education , and also to Canada .
His experiences stimulated an interest in Pan-Africanism to such an extent that it became his major preoccupation when he later settled in London .
He wrote to newspapers and journals on matters touching on Pan-African interests and lectured publicly on related topics - a series of activities , which led to his organizing the first Pan-African
Conference in 1900 and becoming its first General Secretary . By organizing this on a purely African basis Williams set out to prove that the African wanted to shift his problems from the white man's
shoulders to his own.
Organizing the first Pan-African conference was a unique achievement for which Williams is given little credit today. When he formed the African Association , as it was first called , one of its aims was to "promote and protect the interests of all subjects claiming African descent , wholly or in part , in British colonies and other places especially Africa , by circulating accurate information on all
subjects affecting their rights and privileges as subjects of the British Empire , by direct appeals to the Imperial and local Governments."
Williams influenced "WEB Du Bois", who participated in the 1900 conference and who has come to be known as the father of modern Pan-Africanism. In fact in his writings Du Bois claims he originated
the Pan-African idea . His famous Address to the Nations with its prophetic statement " the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the colour line " came to be regarded as the defining statement of the conference . George Padmore , Kwame Nkrumah , CLR James and Du Bois subsequently became the more famous flag bearers but the idea for the conference and the association came from Williams .
Born in 1869 , his father , Bishop Williams , was a wheelwright from Barbados . His mother's name was Elizabeth. Williams attended the Arouca School , which at the time was run by a Chinese Trinidadian Known as Stony Smith.
When Williams was 17 he became a teacher with a Class III Certification , and in 1887 was posted to the government school in San Fernando. This was significant , because according to the records he
was one of only three teachers with certificates in that year. A year later he was the only certified teacher at the school in Canaan , just south of San Fernando ; and the following year he was transferred to San Juan , where he remained until he left Trinidad in 1891. A cultured man , he was also qualified to teach singing and played the piano regularly .
Even at that time there was in Trinidad a highly educated , articulate and race-conscious group of black men , among them JJ Thomas , Maresse-Smith , Mzumbo Lazare , CE Petioni , the Reverend Phillip Henry Douglin . Thomas particularly was famous for his books Froudacity and A Creole Grammar.
Williams wanted to get ahead. Teaching did not pay well (the salary was £83 per annum). So he went first to New York, but that city in 1891 was, for a black man, a poor prospect. He could only get work
shining shoes. He moved in 1893 to Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Again his experience there was not happy and he did not graduate. In 1895 he went to London and entered King's College of London University , although there is no record of his enrolment at that time.
It was therefore not until 1897 he enrolled as a student of Gray's Inn to read for the bar. There he satisfied the entrance requirements by passing a preliminary examination in Latin , English and History.
During this time Williams earned some money through lecturing for the Church of England Temperance Society. This took him to all parts of the British Isles speaking under the auspices of parish churches. He also lectured on thrift for the National Thrift Society whose chairman , Dr. Greville Walpole , wrote that Williams' "heroic struggle to make ends meet won his admiration because the little he was able to earn by his lectures simply defrayed the cost of living."
Things had begun to move in the then 29-year-old Williams' life. He was friendly with 32-year-old Agnes Powell who worked as a secretary with the Temperance Society. They married in 1898 in the face of the strongest opposition of her father who refused to give his consent and thereafter refused to receive him. They had five children , the first Henry Francis Sylvester was born the following year.
Sometime after June 1897 Williams formed what he first called the African Association, and later the Pan-African Association. While on one of his Temperance speaking engagements in the UK he'd met a most unlikely person for that time , a black South African woman , a Mrs. EV Kinloch. She'd come to England with her Scottish husband who was a diamond-mining engineer. Mixed race marriages were not yet outlawed but black workers were already being treated like beasts. So moved was Williams that he allowed her to speak on his platform.
He says :
" I was pleased to see a woman of our own race coming forward from the
centre of southern Africa telling the people in England things they
knew not , or at least professed to know not. "
Williams' good friend Trinidad attorney Muzumbo Lazare , who at the time was in London taking part in Queen Victoria's 60th anniversary celebrations as an officer of Trinidad Light Infantry Volunteers also met Kinloch and was appalled at the horrible treatment the Africans were receiving.
The meeting of these minds resulted in the formation of the Association and Williams gave his first address as honorary secretary in the common room at Gray's Inn.
Some English people felt the Association would not last three months but by 1900 Williams was ready to hold the first Pan African Conference (subsequent gatherings were known as Congresses). The
three-day conference took place on July 23 , 24 and 25 with delegates comprising "men and women of African blood and descent" from West and South Africa, the West Indies , the United States and Liberia.
After this Williams set about spreading the word and he embarked on lecture tours to set up branches in Jamaica, Trinidad and the United States. On June 28 , 1901 the Trinidad branch of the Pan African
Association was formed with branches in Naparima, Sangre Grande , Arima , Manzanilla , Tunapuna , Arouca and Chaguanas. He spent two months here and after his departure for the US even more local
branches were formed.
But after this the profile of the Association suffered because he was not able to give it his full attention. On his return to London he finished his bar exams and went to practise in South Africa where he
stayed from 1903 to 1905. He knew that non-whites were badly treated , but still he took this bold step. He was soon agitating for the rights of blacks. He also presided over the opening of a coloured preparatory school staffed by West Indians. He was eventually boycotted by the Cape Law Society for it was felt he was "preaching seditious doctrines to the natives against the white man .
On his return to London he decided to run for public office as he felt there should be an African spokesman in Parliament and his South African experience had given him the knowledge he needed to speak competently on these affairs. The blacks and coloureds were "my people" was the emphysia on , and on his arrival he gave the Colonial Office his views .
We should not be deprived of equal justice because of the colour of our skins," he said. He did not make it to Parliament but was elected to the Marylebone Borough Council in 1906. he became taken up with Liberian affairs and in fact went there in 1908 at the invitation of President Barclay. He seemed to have intended to stay for he took a 15-year lease on a piece of land. He was spied on by the British Consul who reported him in the worst way to the British government. He also spent time in Guinea and Sierra Leone before severe illness forced his return to London. In August 1908 he came back to Trinidad with his family.
The only thing I am going to say about this us listen around the 1:03.00-1:04.00 when Brother Kwame mentions the organizations which his party has relationships with and his comments in regards to Kadafi whom he describes as "incorruptible".
He clearly does NOT identify himself as an "Afrocentrist" and as he points out Pan Africanism existed before the philosophy of Afrocentrism.
Ps: also notice his mention of Nasser along with Nkrumah, Sekou Toure and Lumumba.
Where in the video does he say he was not an Afrocentrist?
Oh, and so what if he did "mention" Nasser, Nkrumah and whomever? He only said they formed one block of Pan-Africanists and other heads of government formed another.
If you ask that question then you do not understand the context of the debate and why Asante asked him the question in regards to Afrocentrism/euro centrism which he was not given the opportunity to answer.
You tell me. When and where has he ever defined himself as an Afrocentrist when his ideology was Nkrumahist-Toureism?
I suggest you look into Dr Uhuru Hotep and The Kwame Ture Leadership Institue in Pittsburgh.
"The OAU is not Pan-Africanism. Pan-Africanism can only come from the bottom up. The OAU is an organization of the Heads of (African) states."
I disagree with this statement:
In fact, later, he says that Capitalism and Socialism are "economic systems." I point this out because colonialism is not just "economics." It's a socio/politico as well as economic system. Socially and politically, colonialists derived as much, if not more satisfaction from brow-beating, denigrating, and just feeling plain SUPERIOR to "natives," as well as making ALL the rules that made it legal for them to do/feel so. For anyone to say different is for an African-American to say that the ONLY reason whites enslaved our ancestors for 300 years was for the money. Our black ancestors who left behind "brown" children. As Ture said, "I don't money, I don't want popularity, I just want power." Money was just a byproduct of colonialism.
Oh, at around 19:00 he says:
The we-are-the-worlders should listen up. Only African people are black, ergo, Black Power is for black/African people.... ONLY.
Also, there are more than 2 economic systems. Not only is there Capitalism and Socialism, but there's Communism and traditional African Communalism.
I defy anyone to see where NON-AFRICANS are included in that statement.
I'm not here to play games. Either answer the question or step!
Molefi Asante about Ture - "he's one of my heroes," then "of course that doesn't mean I agree with everything he says."
Thank you brutha Asante for affirming that it is NOT required of those who admire Ture to be his idiot parrot; thank you for affirming that the measure of a MAN is having a MIND of his own.
Separate names with a comma.