A-Z of Black Radicalism

A is For Afrika

Make it Plain is exploring Black Radicalism with Kehinde Andrews exploring a new letter each day. All of these are sourced from Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for the 21st Century, proceeds of which go to the Harambee Organisation of Black Unity There are some limited suggested resources below but please send in suggestions for more, these are just a few to start with

Africa. Home to over a billion people on the continent and providing the roots for over a hundred million more. Africa is the centre of Black radical politics, the heart and the home. The red, Black and green of the Garvey movement’s Universal Negro Improvement Association signifies the hope of the continent. The Black is for the people: Africans both home and abroad, representing the unbreakable umbilical cord between both. The green is for the land: Africa is the richest continent on the planet full of mineral resources and farmland. There is no other continent that has all it needs to stand alone. The red is for the blood shed to control and defend Africa through the centuries, and make no mistake we have resisted at every step. It is because Africa is so rich in resources that Europeans scrambled to control the continent. By 1913 almost the entirety of Africa was colonised by one European power or the other, draining their resources in order to build the wonders of the West.

Today the rest of the world has joined in looting raw materials and it is these stolen goods that are the basis of so called progress. Even the promise of the green revolution will be achieved by exploiting the necessary minerals from the continent. But another world, and another Africa are possible. In 1945 in Manchester at the Fifth Pan-African Congress the leaders from across Africa and the diaspora met and committed to delivering independence. They went on to win national independence, often having to engage in armed struggle. But the truth is that they failed to deliver on the dreams of the African revolution. The vision for a united Africa, tearing down colonial borders and building a radical new politics and economics was dashed earlier on. Instead the legacy is the African Union built in a way that that only further delivers the continent, neatly packaged to the rest of the world to feast on.

But the truth has always been that a united Africa has the power to transform the world. There is a reason that other nations swarm over the continent like flies. Over the next fifty years most of the world’s population growth will be in Africa and if this generation can realise the promise of a united, organised continent then Africa can use its wealth to create a new economic system that can provide for all.

Resources (please send suggestions suggestions):

Kwame Nkrumah Africa Must Unite

Kwame Ture Stokely Speaks: From Black Power to Pan- Africanism

Mallence Bart Williams Change Your Channel, Ted Talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfnruW7yERA

Kehinde Andrews The African Promised Land https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZFnTuT3z9I

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