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Michael Niblett

Bulletin of the International African Service Bureau (IASB). The IASB was founded in London in 1937 by the Trinidadian activists C. L. R. James and George Padmore, the Sierra Leonean I. T. A. Wallace‐Johnson, the Kenyan Jomo Kenyatta, and the Guyanese radical Ras Makonnen. All were leading figures within Pan‐Africanism, and their decision to establish the IASB was prompted in part by the Italian invasion of Ethiopia.

The aim of the organization was to help enlighten the British public by distributing literature and holding talks on the issue of colonialism. Africa and the World was introduced in early 1937 to further these ends, the driving force behind it being the Marxist activist and trade unionist Wallace‐Johnson, who became its editor as well as General Secretary of the IASB. By the autumn of 1937 the bulletin had developed into a journal, the African Sentinel which ...

Article

When Africa is regarded as part of the cultural and political history of the African diaspora, it is usually recognized only as an origin—as a past to the African American present, as a source of survival in the Americas, as the roots of African American branches and leaves, or, at the most dialectical, as a concept conjured up by New World blacks as a trope of racial unity.

Yet, in truth, the cultures of both Africa and the Americas have shaped each other through a live dialogue that continued beyond the end of the slave trade. In ways easily documented since the eighteenth century, travel by free Africans and African Americans (by which I mean people of African descent throughout the Americas) has continued to shape political identities and cultural practices in North and South America, the Caribbean, and Africa.

Since the eighteenth century enslaved or free black seamen have ...

Article

Anani Dzidzienyo

Afro-Latin America encompasses a broad geographical, cultural, and linguistic area of Latin America—from Brazil in South America to the Caribbean islands of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Hispaniola, which is shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Belize, and Mexico in Central America. There is no agreement among scholars or other observers about which countries may be correctly designated as Afro-Latin American. A generally accepted yardstick emphasizes the presence of people of African descent from the time of the Transatlantic Slave Trade to the present. How many Afro-Latin Americans there are today is a difficult question to answer. Throughout Latin America, definitions of race, color, and origin are extremely varied. In Brazil, for example, the four official racial categories are black, brown (or pardo), yellow, and white. Yet census takers in 1980 counted some 140 terms ...

Article

Roanne Edwards

Afrocubanismo, an expression of Cuba's national identity in the arts, arose during the late 1920s and the 1930s. Afro-Cubanist representatives, such as the composer Amadeo Roldán and the poet Nicolás Guillén, sought to recognize and promote the value of popular black musical, artistic, and literary forms. They also depicted Cuban blacks as central to the Cuban nation and a symbol of exploited Cubans in general. White Creole novelist Alejo Carpentier thus merged Afro-Cuban traditions with European avant-garde literary techniques to decry the social and political marginalization of Afro-Cubans in his first novel, Ecué-Yamba-O (1933). Wifredo Lam, an artist of Afro-Chinese descent, employed cubist techniques in paintings inspired by Afro-Caribbean religions. In their creative work, these artists focused on Cuba's urban black music and culture, which also became a source of inspiration for many middle-class white composers, such as Ernesto Lecuona As a result Afro Cuban ...

Article

Eric Young

Born and raised as a Muslim in the northern administrative center of Garoua, Ahmadou Ahidjo attended secondary school and college in Yaoundé. After working for several years as a radio operator, Ahidjo turned to politics. His 1949 election to the Cameroon representative assembly was followed by election in the 1950s to the territorial and union assemblies. He built a strong power base among the northern elite, composed of Fulbé notables and Hausa merchants. As head of the northern Union Camerounaise (UC), Ahidjo became vice prime minister in the pre-independence coalition government with the Union of the Population of Cameroun (UPC). When the coalition collapsed in 1958, Ahidjo formed a new government, calling for immediate independence while reassuring France that close ties would be maintained.

On the first day of 1960, Cameroon became independent with Ahidjo as president He ruled Cameroon for the next twenty two years Realizing ...

Article

Carlos Dalmau

A passionate speaker and outspoken critic of United States imperialism and the 1898 invasion and occupation of Puerto Rico, Pedro Albizu Campos spent many years in prison for his role in the pro-independence nationalist movement, during the turbulent years of the 1930s through the 1950s. He opposed the annexation of Puerto Rico by the United States when the island was ceded by the Spanish after the Spanish-Cuban-American War (1895–1898). For Albizu, Puerto Ricans—ethnically mixed and culturally different—were not, and should not be, Americans. Independence was the only legitimate and anti-imperialist solution to the island's status.

From an early age Albizu stood out as an excellent student He grew up in the city of Ponce a municipality in southern Puerto Rico where he received a grant that gave him the opportunity to study chemical engineering at the University of Vermont He later graduated from the Harvard Law School where ...

Article

Jeffrey Green

Born in Trinidad, John Alcindor was among the first black West Indians to practise medicine in Britain. Winning an Island Scholarship enabled him to study medicine at Edinburgh University, from where he graduated in 1899 with first‐class honours in three subjects. He was among delegates from the Edinburgh‐based Afro‐West Indian Literary Society to the 1900 Pan‐African Conference, where he met and developed friendships with Samuel Coleridge‐Taylor and W. E. B. Du Bois. Moving to London, Alcindor practised his profession in the city's hospitals, and for several years played cricket for the Mill Hill Park club. His marriage to Minnie Alcindor (née Martin) in 1911 produced three sons. In 1917 Alcindor established his own medical practice, and also worked as a Poor Law medical officer. He published three scholarly studies on his research.

Alcindor was a founder member of the African Progress Union over which he was elected president in ...

Article

Jeffrey Green

Manager of a hostel for Africans in London in the 1920s and wife of Dr John Alcindor. Born in London of a French father, raised by her mother's family, she trained as a journalist. She was disowned by her family after her marriage in 1911 to John Alcindor, a Trinidadian.

While raising their three children, John (1912), Cyril (1914), and Roland (Bob, 1917), Alcindor also assisted her husband in his west London medical practice, often dealing with patients herself when the Harrow Road surgery was closed.

Along with her husband, Alcindor was active in the Pan‐Africanist movement (see Pan‐Africanism), and during the early 1920s was one of only two white women to serve on the committee of the London‐based African Progress Union, over which her husband presided from 1921.

Her husband's death in 1924 left the ...

Article

David Dabydeen

Africanjournalist and nationalist born in Egypt of Egyptian and Sudanese parentage. At the age of 9 or 10 Ali was sent to England to be educated. He never returned to Egypt and spent most of his time between 1883 and 1921 living in Britain. During this period, he was poverty‐stricken, attempting to earn a living through his pen and tour acting. Ali published Land of the Pharaohs in 1911, an anti‐imperialist book that became a significant contribution to the decolonization efforts in the United States and West Africa.

In 1912Ali and John Eldred Taylor, a journalist from Sierra Leone, inaugurated the African Times and Orient Review (1912–20), a magazine that sought to deal with anti‐colonial issues that not merely embraced Pan‐African matters, but incorporated Pan‐Oriental topics as well. The journal was inspired by the Universal Races Congress in London in 1911 which advocated ...

Article

Ana Raquel Fernandes

Pan‐Africanist and the first black person to hold civic office in Britain. He was born in Liverpool, the son of a Barbadian, Richard Archer, and an Irishwoman, Mary Theresa Burns, but little is known of his early life, though he is believed to have lived in North America and the West Indies. Around 1898 he and his African‐Canadian wife, Bertha, moved to Battersea, south London, where Archer established a photographic studio. His concern to eradicate social and racial injustices led to a lifelong career in local government and national and global politics. In 1906 he was elected as a Progressive (Liberal) councillor for the Latchmere ward, and in 1913 Archer became Mayor of Battersea, Britain's first black mayor. His interest in colonial politics led to his involvement in Pan‐Africanism. In 1900 he joined the Pan African Association and he was a significant presence at the ...

Article

Unlike more established antiapartheid groups, such as the African National Congress (ANC), the South African Communist Party (SACP), or the Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC), South Africa’s Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) was not a single party. It was instead a philosophy, both political and intellectual, that spawned a loose federation of organizations. Drawing inspiration from independence movements throughout Africa, the postcolonial philosophy of négritude, and the Black Power Movement in the United States, Black Consciousness was one of the more powerful influences in the 1976Soweto uprisings and in subsequent resistance to South Africa’s apartheid system.

For their purposes, Black Consciousness leaders defined black to include not only black Africans but also people of Indian or Coloured descent The way to the future BCM leader Barney Pityana wrote is not through a directionless multiracialism but through a positive unilateral approach BCM leaders believed that only by working without help from ...

Article

On May 11, 1988, two days before the hundredth anniversary of the abolition of Brazilian slavery, 5,000 people marched under a punishing sun through downtown Rio de Janeiro. At the head of the march, Frei Davi, the fiery leader of Rio de Janeiro's Commission of Black Religious, Seminarians, and Priests, bellowed through a megaphone: “They say the good white masters gave us our freedom! Nonsense!” The true importance of the anniversary, he thundered, was that it reminded Brazilian blacks that they had yet to be liberated. “One hundred years without abolition!” the crowd chanted. “We are still enslaved! Racial democracy is a lie!”

Brazil's Black Consciousness Movement, a loosely linked collection of nearly 600 organizations, is now active in almost every state in the country. Their goal: to teach the younger generation of black Brazilians (or negros that their history and the very terms they ...

Article

James Graham

Formed in California in 1966, the Black Panther Party was a black revolutionary group whose original purpose was to patrol black ghettoes to protect residents from acts of police brutality. The Party was influential in shaping black radicalism in Britain.

Following the separatist black nationalist agenda pioneered by Malcolm X, the Panthers developed into an international Marxist revolutionary group. Among the demands contained within its ten‐point plan was the armed mobilization of Blacks; a radical redistribution of social and economic institutions within black communities; and reparations to Blacks for centuries of exploitation. Membership peaked around 2,000 in the late 1960s, when the Party's activities and influence were such that in 1968 it was declared by the FBI the greatest threat to the internal security of the United States Several shoot outs in the late 1960s and early 1970s led to severe repression from the police and the ...

Article

Chike Jeffers

The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (later simply the Black Panther Party) was born in Oakland, California, on 15 October 1966, and was a radical anti-oppression organization that became emblematic of the Black Power era. Unimpressed with the results of the Civil Rights movement, founders Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale came up with the Ten-Point Program.

The Program demands 1 the self determination of the black community 2 full employment 3 reparations 4 decent housing 5 education aiming at knowledge of self 6 exemption from military service 7 an end to police brutality 8 freedom for the incarcerated 9 trials in which the jury is truly made up of the peer group of the accused and finally and in sum 10 land bread housing education clothing justice and peace The Program suggests that the U S government has consistently failed and mistreated black people and that in light ...

Article

Yusuf Nuruddin

A Definition of Black Power. Black Power is a philosophy and socio-political movement that arose among African Americans during the period 1965–1976. It advocated the collective unity, autonomy, liberation, and empowerment of black people. Its emphasis on liberation and black autonomy (self-reliance, self-sufficiency, self-definition, self-determination, and self-defense) represented a radical shift from a prevailing Civil Rights movement emphasis on equality and Anglo-conformity (integration and assimilation into the American mainstream, or “melting pot”). The movement was a wide “umbrella” or “tent” that encompassed the varied political, social, cultural, economic, educational, and even religious initiatives of numerous groups and organizations (local, regional, national, and international) as well as a range of ideological tendencies and strategies, including racial pride and uplift, affirmation of African cultural identity, militant self-defense, community control, institution-building, sovereign nationhood via revolution, territorial separation or repatriation, and global Pan-Africanism.

Socio-historic Context of Black Power. African Americans launched an ...

Article

Building on intellectual currents of the late 1800s, and a centuries-old struggle by people of African descent against racial oppression, the core objective of the Black Power Movement in the Caribbean was the mobilization and independent organization of blacks in pursuit of economic, political, and cultural self-determination.

Article

Lisa Clayton Robinson

Edward Wilmot Blyden is considered a pioneer in Pan-Africanist thought, although the term “Pan-Africanism” was not coined until the very end of Blyden's long life and career. Throughout his career as a diplomat, statesman, educator, and one of Liberia's most prominent champions, Blyden encouraged people of African descent around the world to embrace their history and culture, and to return to Africa, their ancestral homeland. His call for “Africa for Africans” represented a vision that was truly ahead of its time, that of a proud, rich, black civilization spread throughout the African continent. Blyden's writings and speeches influenced leaders and philosophers such as Cheikh Anta Diop, Kwame Nkrumah, Marcus Garvey, and C. L. R. James.

Blyden was born in 1832 into a middle-class free black family in Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas, in the U.S. Virgin Islands Although he was brought up in relative privilege ...

Article

Eric Young

Born into a family of subsistence farmers, Barthélemy Boganda attended Catholic mission schools and seminaries in Brazzaville and Yaoundé. In 1938 he became the first Oubanguian Catholic priest. Sponsored by Catholic missionaries, Boganda was elected to the French National Assembly in 1946. But he soon realized the limits of his influence in France, and left the priesthood and returned to Oubangui-Chari to organize a grassroots movement of small African producers to oppose French colonialism. In 1949 he founded the Movement for the Social Evolution of Black Africa, a quasi-religious political party.

After his arrest for “endangering the peace” and detention for intervening in a local market dispute in 1951, Boganda became a messianic folk hero and the leading nationalist. The French realized that opposing Boganda would be dangerous and sought to accommodate him. In 1956 Boganda agreed to European representation on election lists in exchange for ...

Article

Amar Wahab

Pan‐Africanistleader in Britain in the early 1900s. Born in Sierra Leone, in 1869 he was sent to Cheshire to be educated and started working for the family firm, Broadhurst and Sons, in Manchester in 1905. By 1936 he is known to have been a cocoa merchant in the Gold Coast. He was heavily involved in the realm of Pan‐Africanist politics in Britain, becoming a founder member of the African Progress Union between 1911 and 1925. He became secretary of the Union in his sixties and continued as a member of the executive committee until its end. He worked with other leading supporters such as Duse Mohamed Ali, Edmund Fitzgerald Fredericks, and ‘the Black doctor of Paddington’ John Alcindor The Union organized around issues related to the welfare of Africans and Afro Peoples worldwide and vociferously advocated self determination This involved for example protests about ...

Article

David Killingray

Pan‐Africanist and Africantraveller. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, of black and white parents, Campbell began his working life as a printer's apprentice but gained some formal education and became a teacher. In the 1850s he emigrated to the United States, via Central America, where he worked as a teacher at an African‐American institute in Philadelphia. Campbell, ambitious for further education, was largely self‐taught.

In 1858 Martin R. Delany invited him to become a member of the Niger Valley Exploring Party, to find a site in southern Nigeria for an African‐American farm colony. ‘Return to Africa’ was controversial and divided African‐American opinion; many argued that, even with its pervasive racism, America was their home and not Africa; a further problem was that black emigration was supported by the white African Civilization Society. Campbell came to Britain in 1859 and although he failed to gain the support of missionary and ...