Crossing the West and Unite Essay

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Is Pan- Africanism merely an ideology of beliefs that belongs to a past? Historically it can be traced that Africans in their country of origin have a great civilization but why in the world would this great people need to walk a crusade like one of its forerunner’s Du Bois when he said that: “The Last Battle of the West” in liberation of the Africans. This was reechoed to the world when racial ideologies become severe in the West, in Latin America, and under the British Colony.

In the paper written by Araia it was mentioned in detail how Pan-africanism followed throughout history how the Africans were discriminated from repatriation towards the movement of the Diaspora. Some of them are also the black slaves who are treated well and given freedom by some of their masters. This loyalty taught the Diaspora to adapt the ways their masters taught them.

The Africans and Diaspora experienced the same discrimination and both have adjusted to their present environs. It was also proven that one color is not a proof of unity since man seeks to have different clichés or the need to belong to a certain group. In some cases, adoption to a certain laws and culture makes a person get antagonized by two identities especially if the one being introduced is exactly opposed to his or her tradition. And with that, instead of unification a person has the guilt of having adulterated ones culture or we may say to experience a culture shock.

That shock divides, and Pan-African organizations have travelled a long way to reunite its brood. An issue that goes with identity crises is repatriation which has bad and good consequences like founding its way for a new black republic in the western hemisphere. That beginnings fostered confidence to the Diaspora and to the Africans in the continent. These are somehow, providential that the Africans scatter the world like someone says that from evil there is an abundance of good. In this scenario, we can conclude that those early Africans who crossed the continent have struggled, though some may loose their birth right marks, many have hold on to his true identity.

In one of the conferences, African’s echoed the need to be respected like all other humans as Malcolm X stated that “…, so that Africa too becomes respected as other huge continents are respected, then, wherever people of African origin, African heritage or African blood go, they will be respected – but only when and because they have something much larger that looks like them behind them (GAraia).” His words explained the impact of Pan-Africanism ideology towards the African experience and the Black Diaspora. To him, the proof of a good race is the good examples that will be left behind by that color and creed.

Malcolm X words mean to say, the need for the Africans to show to the world that the race came from a good and descent stock while explaining that respect begets respect. But first and foremost respect for oneself should come first.

The elevation of the human nature is based on its dignity, and for this reason it is necessary to look back to where this race belongs. It is important to see how the older ones have struggled and how did they fought squarely the battle of searching for one’s identity. Thus when it is found, is it an experience of neither dismay nor courage. The integral part of this soul searching is whether it is accepted or not but the most important thing is to gain confidence and repair whatever damage is done.

The reformist Du Boisian pan-Africanism had more influence and ideological impact on Africans in the Continent during the early part of reunification but on the later part the transatlantic Pan-Africanism focused on nationalist ideologies thru Nkrumah. However, the vision of Garvey became relevant until today because it has promoted unity and well-being among Africans, re-examination of public policy against racism and other forms of discrimination which has resulted to security and equality, and provision of sovereignty and respect towards individual culture. Identity crisis was changed into acceptance in spite that points of view can not always be the same.

The Brazzaville and Casablanca could have been fueled by the so called identity crisis too which could have gotten down to the marrow of the new generations of the Africans in the middle of the 19th Century. The former against the bearing of a socialist mentality and the other gets intimidated of begging or having dependence on the Western aid. Those are two opposing ideological differences that have affected the political and economic perspectives of that time.

However, in the course of time different Africans groups learned to focus on their similarities to bridge the gap that has existed due to various groupings. This meeting of the minds ended in the formation of the African Unity which led by Nkrumah created the UNIA under the influence of the philosophy of Marcus Garvey to the Negritude of Cesaire and Senghor. This movement led to the search of the African identity till it is known today as African Union (AU) which was previously called Organization of African Unity (OAU).

Today, we may say that the Pan-Africanism movement has matured and was able to handle whatever difficulties they would get entangled within their individual principles and personal circumstances. Through viable global communications brought by new technology, a connection was built between Africa and its Diasporas which forge Pan-African unity transcending all unproductive dichotomies.

Today’s relevance of the Pan-African

Pan-Africanism will remain the instrument of fostering unity and empowerment as long as there is marginalized Africans and Diaspora that has been continually growing in numbers. It will be the voice to call and unite, and to remind wherever this colored men are, telling each one is his brother’s keeper.

With the growing world spearheading towards globalization, there is a great need for Pan-Africanism to be a state led project in the emancipation of its great role in the 21st Century. There will be new challenges facing the Africa and the Diaspora despite of its historical achievements of decolonization and civil rights. The ideology of collective empowerment can provide a great leap for Pan-African states and societies who are merely pawns in the world arena. According to Nkrumah there is a need to pull all resources like the socio-cultural, eco-political aspects and demographic capitals to attain the Pan-African vision of the socio-economic development of all its civil societies namely the Africans and the Diasporas.

It is very striking to know that African migrants (Diaspora) today are very much educated as compared to people of its country’s origin. Making the brain drain problem severe in Africa but these international migrants who are skilled are assets for the developing countries in terms of remittances and brain mobility. Those who migrated towards the north are very much educated however they only comprise of the minority. Majority migrated to other African countries. In other words, the Diaspora represents a growing mighty force for the development of Pan-Africanism today. The African Diasporas because of their dual identities acquired from their host countries became more flexible and at the same time equipped with enormous social capital that could defend the future of Africa.

However, the government only views the Diasporas as an economic resource or by way a dollar remittance arm. They do not only exceed foreign investments cash capital but with their civic and cultural awareness could access global markets, create a more vigorous democracy that could strengthen a society that encourages growth of new philanthropic cultures. Diasporas are regarded as people with multiple identities but with commitments firmly rooted to their country of origin.

The new generation of the African Diasporas will surely bridged the gap of the Atlantic and Africa and the African American created by prejudices and the racist media. One can perceived today the growing awareness in the Pan-American consciousness for instance the assertiveness of the blacks in Brazil, the affirmation of Afrocentric culture in the US, and Afropolitan identities of the diasporas in European Countries. They are collective struggles that show the world that these African migrants are reconstructing their identities by renegotiating their place in wherever host societies they belong which is in congruent that they will attain full democratic citizenship and status, a dream that has been long awaited by their peers and fore parents.

In the long run, this presence of the Diaspora will be felt by the whole world and in order to facilitate their presence, African policy makers and Pan-Africanism should take the Diaspora options seriously. This requires networks that facilitate brain mobility, formation of diverse knowledge, and the defense to Africa which have been defamed in Euro-America.

AU with its 20 councils, promoted social and cultural contexts towards its civic organizations in order to unify and integrate Africa, an enduring dream for Pan-Africanism derived from the rising of the Diaspora’s homogenization from one’s host country. The AU is more robust organization, and is more people friendly. The OAU was preoccupied with politics, sovereignty and elite’s camaraderie. However, both are achievers in the vision of Pan-Africanism.

In its present trend, AU launched the “African Union-African Diaspora Summit at all levels of the State and Governments, with a theme “Towards the realization of a united and integrated Africa and its Diaspora” in short, after crossing the West – the African will be united. This unity hopefully will lead to a full cooperation and better understanding of every member of the Pan-African nations including the cooperation of the Diaspora host countries worldwide.

The self acceptance of the Diaspora rejuvenated Pan-Africanism with its contemporary dictum of being able to combine the old and new. Their demands are no longer driven by political independence but learning the complex ties that separate and unites them to their origin. With this knowledge, unity will not be an elusive dream to the Pan-Africanism but a way of life transcending global marginalism that has been caused by inequality of power and privileges.

The passing of time may have healed the wounds in the past; the present generations are no longer alienated to the prejudices, but men and women who are proud of their colors and traditional beliefs. These Africans are more capable of confronting the problems of today than merely following the course of history. These are men who see the world, fair and square but able to form kinship and friendship even with those who had inflicted wounds on them.

Pan-Africanism is not just an ideology it’s praxis, a chain that links all Africans of the world. It has guided the race through out history and will always be a gleaming light for those who find that multiple identities seem quite confusing. It will be a bosom for all Africans to convene, and to learn that adopting other technologies and means is not to be come inferior but teaching this race the value of genuine patriotism.

The so called ideology came from a long journey, it infiltrated the West and the Atlantic continent, and it has surrounded the world as bent on becoming a one and united dynamic race. They will be people who will not be saddened by their past mistakes but more of a people who have stand and struggled to gain respect.

These are people with human culture that is unique and these beliefs are needed to be upheld and preserved. The Pan-African vision will guide these beliefs through time which must be guided by wisdom. Loving ones country does not hate the other; nationalism is not wrong as long as we do not hate or inflict wrong another nation. Better still, we must love our own country but also loving the rest of the world and that’s what you call patriotism.

For those who are lucky to cross the West, and the other Diaspora, and those who belong to each others continent – it is time to unite. After all, man belongs to one single stock – the human being with a body and soul. Diasporas from all parts of the globe or Africans alike wherever continent they belong, they are just one brother and sister who belongs to one and the same human race.

To all Africans and Diaspora the ideology of Pan-Africanism will always be behind, until the time that this race received the respect its forerunners has long waited for. It will always be the shadow that will unite every Africans and the Diaspora who has been nurtured and taught by its adoptive nation. In turn, both will be teaching the other their ways combining new and old and giving good examples that the rest of the world will learn to admire and accept.

Works Cited

Ghelawdewos Araia. “The Historical and Ideological Foundations of Pan-Africanism.” 2006.