Saturday, December 11, 2010
10. Pan African Unity
Toward Unity of North American Africans
10. Pan African Unity
Colonialism was/is so devastating it has made Pan African unity a most intractable project. Maybe before the end of the world, which is not far off since Mother Earth appears ready to recycle much human garbage from the global stockpile, yes, maybe just before the bell tolls, Pan Africans will decide to enter a program of detoxification and recovery from the ravages of imperialism and neo-colonialism. In America we call it domestic colonialism, the urban centers are basically colonies for dumping white supremacy goods and services upon America's wretched of the earth.
Pan Africanism has been promoted at least since the 19th Century, and of course in tune with world events, helped bring an end to raw colonialism and the beginning of modern African nation states. But hardly before the independence celebration was over, neo-colonialism stuck her butcher knives in the heart of Pan Africanism, After all, Nkrumah taught us neo-colonialism was colonialism playing possum. The colonial elite advanced to the neo-colonial elite. There was no therapy for the new African leaders, no detoxification and recovery from the addiction to global white supremacy, from greed and drunkeness of all things European.
The Pan African world thus continued to suffer from lacking the mental equilibrium to advance into true independence. Of course the colonial masters never actually intended to give up the reins of power, only pretend to do so. This happened throughout Pan Africa, from the continent to the Americas, including the Caribbean.
North American Africans would find themselves subjected to black elected politicians who ruled like their counterparts in Africa. In the Caribbean, black power literature was banned, even diplomats could not return from abroad with such incendiary literature. In the USA the black arts movement spread consciousness but it was diluted and polluted by a reactionary black studies that retreated from the cultural revolution in favor of tenured negroe revisionist culture. As my associate, the young Pan African scholar from San Francisco State University, Ptah Allah El (Tracy Mitchell) says, "Black studies went to college and never came home."
Before his murder by the imperialists, Patrice Lumumba had told us it would be fifty years before the Congo would be free. We can apply his remarks to Pan Africa, just add another hundred years or two. We see Africa slowly creeping toward Nkrumah's dream of a United States of Africa, yet the African Union seems about to get aborted to become the agent of the new imperialism called Globalism.
America has established military bases in Africa and is using African troops to do her dirty work of reconquering the continent, as if she ever left. And what the Europeans don't retake, apparently the Chinese will grab, giving African leaders a few kibbles and bits in the form of infrastructure, which is sorely needed, but taking precious metals in return. The only positive African state appears to be Ghana. Is the ghost of Nkrumah at work?
The South African revolutionary leaders appear to have joined the billionaires club, private jets, European women, the whole cha cha. No real land reform, no water, no electricity, no housing, no jobs. Rape is pervasive, homicide, AIDS, bleaching cream.
And so the Pan African dream continues, sometimes approaching a nightmare. New York City is a microcosm of the Pan African reality, with Africans from throughout the Diaspora in the house, from the Continent, the Caribbean, the South, but no Pan African economic unity, or political, but a host of Pan African psychological issues stemming from the trauma and unresolved grief of colonialism and neo-colonialism.
North American Africans need to have dinner with their Diaspora brothers and sisters so we can reason together, but it ain't gonna happen until we recover from our tribalism and provincialism. Meanwhile I'm a "black American", said with utter contempt, hatred, jealousy and envy. Yes, I'm that black American, now do you want to unite with me or fight with me? Yes, this is my turf, you don't like my presence, go back to Nigeria, Senegal, Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba, Trinidad.
Yes, we have some Pan African family issues we need to resolve long before there shall be any Pan African political unity, there must be psychological unity. Don't tell me Mr. Haitian taxi driver that I must pay in advance because you know how we people are. Who in the hell is you people? You ain't "you people" too?
Pan Africans, let us reason together, saith the Lord. Let us have a healing ritual to resolve our Negrocities, as Amiri Baraka calls our bad habits. Otherwise, we shall continue as black men with white hearts!
The Pan African Union of the Diaspora is the right direction, if and when such an idea reaches the grass roots and escapes the stranglehold of Pan African intellectuals who love pontificating but won't take their message to the streets where the need for Pan African love and unity is sorely needed, especially in the New York area.