Pan-Africanism : Father of Pan-Africanism; Kwame Nkhrumah

Omowale Jabali

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But, who is the Father of Pan-Africanism? By this I mean the theory and ideology called Pan-Africanism. The "Pan-African Movement" is a less precise in definition. Literally, it means the All-African Movement because "pan" means all. But, Pan-Africanism does not include All-Africans.

For instance, Chinweizu recently launched a vicious attack against Pan-Africanism. Yet, people often see him as part of the "Pan-African Movement". Similarly, "negritude" and afrocentricity" may be part of the "Pan-African Movement". But, they are not Pan-Africanism. If they were Pan-Africanism they would not called themselves "afrocentricity and "negritude". They would call themselves Pan-Africanism.

Instead, some of them uses the label "Pan-African" as a cover to undermine and make war against real Pan-Africanism. We muct be wise enough to see through such non-sense.

As for Garvey, he did not actually call himself a Pan-Africanist. Neither did his teacher and mentor Muhammad Duse Ali call himself a Pan-Africanist. Nevertheless, Pan-Africanists have learned a lot from Marcus Garvey. The greatest of all Pan-Africanists was Kwame Nkrumah. When he took over in Ghana, he named the Ghanaian Shipping Line the Black Star Line in honor of the contributions that Garvey made to African Economic Development. So, it was not just Duse Ali who taught Garvey. Garvey himslef acknowledged that Booker T. Washington also played an important role in his development. I think Garvey's economic ideas can be properly traced back to Booker T. Washington.

But, no matter how we look at it, it was Kwame Nkrumah, George Padmore and W.E.B. DuBois who sat down and thought the whole thing through and moved the Pan-Africanist idea to much higher level in which the whole of Africa became independennt and is now seeking Unifiation and Economic Development. Thus, the highest expression of Pan-Africanism is Nkrumahism becuase it was Nkrumah who implemented it and made it work. Even so, their were many others who made major contributions to it, including Abdel-Nasser.

In his book Africa and Unity Thompson gives great detail on how Pan-Africanism developed. Based on this, a person could spend an entire lifetime coming to understand exactly what Pan-Africanism is or ought to be and refining and develioping it to new levels.

My main point has been that Islam played and continues to play a major role in Pan-Africanism. For many of us, this has long been a blind side. We have failed to see just how important a role that Islam plays in Africa. But, Sekou Toure was a Muslim. Samori Toure was a Muslim. Kwame Ture was a Muslim. Abdel-Nasser was a Muslim. Qaddafi is a Muslim. And, today Muslims are proving to be the truest to African Unity and Pan-Africanism. Christians have a long way to go to catch up.

I agree that "Christians have a long way to catch up" because many have an anti Islamic orientation which runs counter to the spirit of Pan Africanism.

However, the jihadist Salafist groups pose a greater challenge because they tend to lack respect for African cultural traditions and institutions.
 

Omowale Jabali

The Cosmic Journeyman
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Sep 29, 2005
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Temple of Kali, Yubaland
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Enejoh

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Aug 24, 2012
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I do not see is as an "either-or". I think boths are fathers of Pan-Africanism in different senses of the word. Actually, it was not Blyden who invented the theory. I think Sylvestor-Williams deserves more credit for coining the word and developing the concept. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Sylvester-Williams) Blyden took took more of a racial approach which inspires parallel theories that actually contradict Pan-Africanism. I have long believed that Pan-Africanism is more about geo-politics than it is about race or even culture. In fact, culture-based theories often lead away from Pan-Africanism rather than to it.

In the case of Blyden, I think he is a spolier used by the opponents of Pan-Africaanism much the way that Uncle Julius Nyerre is used against Pan-Africanism.

"According to historian, Hollis R. Lynch: "In 1845 a new and important influence came into Blyden's life when the Reverend John P. Knox, a white American, went to St. Thomas for reasons of health, and assumed the pastorship of the St. Thomas Protestant Dutch Reformed Church."[3] Blyden and his family lived near the church and Knox was impressed with the studious and pious boy of pious parents and became his mentor, encouraging his considerable aptitude for oratory and literature. Mainly because of his close association with the able and kindly Knox, Edward Wilmot Blyden decided to become a clergyman..." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Wilmot_Blyden) So far, that does not seem like Pan-Africanism. It is anything but....

"Blyden supported the creation of a Jewish State in Israel and praised Theodore Herzl as the creator of "that marvelous movement called Zionism." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Wilmot_Blyden). zionism is absolutely anthitheical to Pan-Africanism becuase it intejects a blocking entity between Africa and Arabia. This is the main pitfall of racism as opposed to geo-politcs.

Sylvestor-Williams, ont eh other hand, "formed the African Association which was to challenge paternalism, racism and imperialism. He stated that "the time has come when the voice of Black men should be heard independently in their own affairs". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Sylvester-Williams) So, while Blyden fell into the racism trap, Sylvestor-Williams fought racism from day one.

"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." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Sylvester-Williams) So, Sylvestor-Williams opposes British imperialism from day one, whereas Blyden supported the British creation of the zionist monstrosity called israel.

"...he loved, married and had children with a white English woman." Here we see more proof that he was not a racist, yet an African nationalist. Although he married a "white woman" he did not mazrry the white supramcy system and that is what matters most: "An interesting point is that in January 1890 Williams became a founding member of the Trinidad Elementary Teachers Union. The feature address was given by Chief Justice Sir John Gorrie, was in favour of reform in government and was constantly at odds with the white ruling class."

Instead of being mentored by "white preachers" he was influenced by African leaders. "Even at that time, there was in Trinidad an highly-educated, articulate (African) men, among them John Jacob Thomas, Maresse Smith, Mzumbo Lazare, C E Petioni, the Reverend Phillip Henry Douglin. Thomas particularly was famous for his book Froudacity (1889) in which he refuted and questioned the view espoused by Oxford historian James Anthony Froude that black people could not be entrusted with self-government. Thomas's ideas certainly inspired Williams. (Note that I had to edit out the racism to avoid confusing matters.) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Sylvester-Williams)

In South Africa, it is likely that he was influenced by Gandhi. "He practised (law) around the same time as Mahatma Gandhi practiced as a lawyer. 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 organising the first Pan-African Conference in 1900 and becoming its first General Secretary." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Sylvester-Williams)

"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. (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 treatme
I do not see is as an "either-or". I think boths are fathers of Pan-Africanism in different senses of the word. Actually, it was not Blyden who invented the theory. I think Sylvestor-Williams deserves more credit for coining the word and developing the concept. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Sylvester-Williams) Blyden took took more of a racial approach which inspires parallel theories that actually contradict Pan-Africanism. I have long believed that Pan-Africanism is more about geo-politics than it is about race or even culture. In fact, culture-based theories often lead away from Pan-Africanism rather than to it.

In the case of Blyden, I think he is a spolier used by the opponents of Pan-Africaanism much the way that Uncle Julius Nyerre is used against Pan-Africanism.

"According to historian, Hollis R. Lynch: "In 1845 a new and important influence came into Blyden's life when the Reverend John P. Knox, a white American, went to St. Thomas for reasons of health, and assumed the pastorship of the St. Thomas Protestant Dutch Reformed Church."[3] Blyden and his family lived near the church and Knox was impressed with the studious and pious boy of pious parents and became his mentor, encouraging his considerable aptitude for oratory and literature. Mainly because of his close association with the able and kindly Knox, Edward Wilmot Blyden decided to become a clergyman..." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Wilmot_Blyden) So far, that does not seem like Pan-Africanism. It is anything but....

"Blyden supported the creation of a Jewish State in Israel and praised Theodore Herzl as the creator of "that marvelous movement called Zionism." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Wilmot_Blyden). zionism is absolutely anthitheical to Pan-Africanism becuase it intejects a blocking entity between Africa and Arabia. This is the main pitfall of racism as opposed to geo-politcs.

Sylvestor-Williams, ont eh other hand, "formed the African Association which was to challenge paternalism, racism and imperialism. He stated that "the time has come when the voice of Black men should be heard independently in their own affairs". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Sylvester-Williams) So, while Blyden fell into the racism trap, Sylvestor-Williams fought racism from day one.

"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." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Sylvester-Williams) So, Sylvestor-Williams opposes British imperialism from day one, whereas Blyden supported the British creation of the zionist monstrosity called israel.

"...he loved, married and had children with a white English woman." Here we see more proof that he was not a racist, yet an African nationalist. Although he married a "white woman" he did not mazrry the white supramcy system and that is what matters most: "An interesting point is that in January 1890 Williams became a founding member of the Trinidad Elementary Teachers Union. The feature address was given by Chief Justice Sir John Gorrie, was in favour of reform in government and was constantly at odds with the white ruling class."

Instead of being mentored by "white preachers" he was influenced by African leaders. "Even at that time, there was in Trinidad an highly-educated, articulate (African) men, among them John Jacob Thomas, Maresse Smith, Mzumbo Lazare, C E Petioni, the Reverend Phillip Henry Douglin. Thomas particularly was famous for his book Froudacity (1889) in which he refuted and questioned the view espoused by Oxford historian James Anthony Froude that black people could not be entrusted with self-government. Thomas's ideas certainly inspired Williams. (Note that I had to edit out the racism to avoid confusing matters.) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Sylvester-Williams)

In South Africa, it is likely that he was influenced by Gandhi. "He practised (law) around the same time as Mahatma Gandhi practiced as a lawyer. 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 organising the first Pan-African Conference in 1900 and becoming its first General Secretary." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Sylvester-Williams)

"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. (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. (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.)

"Williams did not make it to Parliament but was elected to the Marylebone Borough Council in 1906. However, service as a councillor did not take him away from his interest in and devotion to Africa. He became involved with Liberian affairs and went there in 1908 at the invitation of President Barclay. He died on March 26, 1911, at the age of forty-two." (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.)

Be careful what you ask for. You just might get it.
I do not see is as an "either-or". I think boths are fathers of Pan-Africanism in different senses of the word. Actually, it was not Blyden who invented the theory. I think Sylvestor-Williams deserves more credit for coining the word and developing the concept. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Sylvester-Williams) Blyden took took more of a racial approach which inspires parallel theories that actually contradict Pan-Africanism. I have long believed that Pan-Africanism is more about geo-politics than it is about race or even culture. In fact, culture-based theories often lead away from Pan-Africanism rather than to it.

In the case of Blyden, I think he is a spolier used by the opponents of Pan-Africaanism much the way that Uncle Julius Nyerre is used against Pan-Africanism.

"According to historian, Hollis R. Lynch: "In 1845 a new and important influence came into Blyden's life when the Reverend John P. Knox, a white American, went to St. Thomas for reasons of health, and assumed the pastorship of the St. Thomas Protestant Dutch Reformed Church."[3] Blyden and his family lived near the church and Knox was impressed with the studious and pious boy of pious parents and became his mentor, encouraging his considerable aptitude for oratory and literature. Mainly because of his close association with the able and kindly Knox, Edward Wilmot Blyden decided to become a clergyman..." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Wilmot_Blyden) So far, that does not seem like Pan-Africanism. It is anything but....

"Blyden supported the creation of a Jewish State in Israel and praised Theodore Herzl as the creator of "that marvelous movement called Zionism." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Wilmot_Blyden). zionism is absolutely anthitheical to Pan-Africanism becuase it intejects a blocking entity between Africa and Arabia. This is the main pitfall of racism as opposed to geo-politcs.

Sylvestor-Williams, ont eh other hand, "formed the African Association which was to challenge paternalism, racism and imperialism. He stated that "the time has come when the voice of Black men should be heard independently in their own affairs". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Sylvester-Williams) So, while Blyden fell into the racism trap, Sylvestor-Williams fought racism from day one.

"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." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Sylvester-Williams) So, Sylvestor-Williams opposes British imperialism from day one, whereas Blyden supported the British creation of the zionist monstrosity called israel.

"...he loved, married and had children with a white English woman." Here we see more proof that he was not a racist, yet an African nationalist. Although he married a "white woman" he did not mazrry the white supramcy system and that is what matters most: "An interesting point is that in January 1890 Williams became a founding member of the Trinidad Elementary Teachers Union. The feature address was given by Chief Justice Sir John Gorrie, was in favour of reform in government and was constantly at odds with the white ruling class."

Instead of being mentored by "white preachers" he was influenced by African leaders. "Even at that time, there was in Trinidad an highly-educated, articulate (African) men, among them John Jacob Thomas, Maresse Smith, Mzumbo Lazare, C E Petioni, the Reverend Phillip Henry Douglin. Thomas particularly was famous for his book Froudacity (1889) in which he refuted and questioned the view espoused by Oxford historian James Anthony Froude that black people could not be entrusted with self-government. Thomas's ideas certainly inspired Williams. (Note that I had to edit out the racism to avoid confusing matters.) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Sylvester-Williams)

In South Africa, it is likely that he was influenced by Gandhi. "He practised (law) around the same time as Mahatma Gandhi practiced as a lawyer. 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 organising the first Pan-African Conference in 1900 and becoming its first General Secretary." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Sylvester-Williams)

"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. (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. (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.)

"Williams did not make it to Parliament but was elected to the Marylebone Borough Council in 1906. However, service as a councillor did not take him away from his interest in and devotion to Africa. He became involved with Liberian affairs and went there in 1908 at the invitation of President Barclay. He died on March 26, 1911, at the age of forty-two." (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.)

Be careful what you ask for. You just might get it.
I have long believed that Pan-Africanism is more about geo-politics than it is about race or even culture. In fact, culture-based theories often lead away from Pan-Africanism rather than to it.
Is imitating and repeating after others outside your race Pan Africanism?
 

Enejoh

Well-Known Member
MEMBER
Aug 24, 2012
194
129
I agree that "Christians have a long way to catch up" because many have an anti Islamic orientation which runs counter to the spirit of Pan Africanism.

However, the jihadist Salafist groups pose a greater challenge because they tend to lack respect for African cultural traditions and institutions.
All three Abrahamic religions got no respect for us Black Afreecans and our culture.
 

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