What Does Pan-Africanism Mean to You?

Ann Schneider May 21, 2007

“It means coming together as African people of the continent and the Diaspora to find ways to work on common problems and find common solutions in a way that best benefit the masses of African people. Pan-Africanize is still a very important concept in this day and age. It has not been explored to its fullest. It has been trumped by U.S. and European dollarism which has taken some of the steam out of Pan-Africanism.

—Kamau K. Franklin, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Racial Justice fellow at Center for Constitutional Rights

“Pan-Africanism means to me the unity of all people of African descent, in Africa and throughout the world; a desire to see Africa united as one continent as Kwame Nkrumah theorized it — the united States of Africa; and to ensure that the resources are distributed and shared more equally.”

—Joan Gibbs, General Counsel to The Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College

“Pan-Africanism not only seeks to unite all Africans inside and outside of Africa, but also seeks to implement an equitable distribution of wealth and resources and participatory democracy for true universal liberation.”

—Wasim Lone, Director of Organizing at Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES)

“Pan-Africanism is about coming together and raising hell for as long as human life continues to be treated as expendable. It’s been most salient in my work as an AIDs activist, where the apartheid health outcomes of capitalist globalization demand that Pan-Africanist struggles continue.”
—Amanda Alexander, Ph.D student in Africa and U.S. history at Columbia University and a visiting researcher at the Centre for Civil Society, Durban

“In its most basic form, Pan-Africanism is simply the idea that people of African descent, wherever they are in the world, should work together to promote the interests of Black people. In its more ambitious manifestations, as articulated by the likes of Marcus Garvey and Kwame Nkrumah, Pan-Africanism espouses a vision of a unified African motherland as the basis for global Black empowerment.”
—Dr. Ron Daniels, President, Institute of the Black World 21st Century


Fifty Years is Enough: This group, which debunks the common myth that Africa’s poverty is due to the corruption of its leaders, is having the last laugh as World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz is entangled in his own corruption scandal. This coalition of 200 grassroots, women’s, social justice and development groups was founded in 1994 when the World Bank turned 50. The group calls for total debt cancellation and reparations for victims of structural adjustment, with partners in 65 countries.

The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement: The group was founded in Brooklyn and now has seven chapters in the united States. Calling themselves new Afrikans, they aim for human rights, self-determination and reparations for slavery. They sponsor the Black august concert series to raise money for political prisoners.

TransAfrica Forum: a Washington, D.C. institute that sponsors seminars, conferences and trainings and takes its mission from the 5th Pan-African Congress (1945). Formerly headed by Randall Robinson (author of The Debt).

African Liberation Day conference and rally, May 25 in Anacostia Park in Washington, D.C. a national coalition of reparations groups and the new Black Panther Party that seeks to address poverty and police brutality and to empower Hurricane Katrina survivors.

Institute for the Black World Today: Founded in 2001 by Dr. Ron Daniels, it functions as a “resource center and engine for greater Pan-African unity.” They convene bi-annual State of the Black World conferences and promote youth leadership development and Haiti solidarity.

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