By H. E. Wesley Jr.
PCEC Director of Operations
The Right Excellent Marcus M. Garvey (1887-1940) was the founder and first President General of the Universal Negro Improvement Association & African Communities League. As such Marcus Garvey was a pivotal figure in the twentieth-century global African experience. The dramatic rise to international prominence in the decade from 1917 to 1927 propelled the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA) to becoming the largest mass-based protest movement among Black people in the history of the United States, if not the world. The Honorable Cleophus Miller Jr. is the current President General of the UNIA Inc., and the PostColonial Cultural & Economic Conference (PCEC) is one of the ways he is codifying “Applied Garveyism in the 21st century. Using the 1920 International Convention of Negro People of the World as a backdrop .the UNIA & ACL will use PCEC to demonstrate that Africa is still the guiding star for the global African Family. PCEC is designed to formulate a package deal where the global African Family works as a collective seeking out a treatment that will reinstate the fact that Africa is for Africans, those at home and those afield.
Mme. M. L. De Mena wrote this editorial for the “Negro World” on October 17, 1933 that depicts this 21st century effort. Using her power as an ancestor, she speaks to you, and asks you to become involved. She reminds you of what it took in Garvey’s day and what is required of you today. She wrote --
“The sacred few, the noble few, the gallant few, who ... from a burning heart and languishing soul ... felt the true zealousness and sublimity of race consciousness. The fundamentality of nationhood, the infancy of a great commonwealth, operated and governed by Negroes in yonder fragrant Africa's sunny fields. Yea a modern heaven and refuge, a substantial environment, a solace wherein all Negro generations will be called blessed. This is our abiding faith, the eternal creed, the renovated religion, that now appeals and aches within the breast of our hundreds of million Negroes under the ethics of the Universal Negro Improvement Association.”
If the PostColonial Cultural & Economic Conference is to become a reality the global African Family has to become informed about developing a new mindedness; a postcolonial new mind. It is not possible to change your way of thinking without having something to think about. His Royal Majesty Alayeluwa Oba Dr Adedayo Olusino Adekoya (Erinsiba 1) is the President-General, of the “Worldwide Isese Agbaye Community”. Isese Agbaye is offered herewith as a sort of appendix needed to serve three purposes.
1. “Worldwide Isese Agbaye Community offers the global African Community sources for many of the assertions concerning Africa’s past, her Holonomic whole system science of harmony, encompassing all disciplines from the science of religion to the religion of science.
2. PCEC is offered as an open ending linking a new beginning. The “Worldwide Isese Agbaye Community has the potential to expand on a few controversial points regarding the past, the present and the future.
3. Isese Agbaye provides a starting point for finding information as we focus more of our attention on long-term issues.
Whereas all this may be new to many of us, His Royal Majesty Alayeluwa Oba Dr Adedayo Olusino Adekoya (Erinsiba 1) put what is at stake this in perspective.
“I come here before you in absolute humility. After accepting and succumbing to the call of elders of our race to be an Oba, which happened after the successful participation of the team I led to the Orisa World Congress held at Ile Ife Nigeria in 2001 from where everything moved so fast that I almost got tired of catching up with them. I became the Oba Isese Agbaye there-after, and I later got my crown consecrated and blessed at the highest Obatala Shrine in the whole world at the Palace of Purity, Ideta, Ile Ife, the crucible where Obas are made from in Yoruba land and really in the world. This was when I was made the Oba Amero Obatala World wide by the World Obatala Council, Ile Ife, Nigeria. You, I believe have all made me what I am today and I thank you all. Though a very big challenge, I had tried my best to rise up to all expectations.
After successfully overcoming the various challenges we faced at home in Africa, Nigeria and the grace that all Isese bestowed on us which has made me to overcome all obstacles that ranged from humiliations, attempted assassinations, imprisonment for trumped up charges, economic isolation and various other social pressures, all of which were based on religious bias, ISESE AGBAYE, is today the only legally recognized religion in Nigeria. This is because section 10 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria clearly stated that the country is a non-secular state, and therefore all other religions, particularly the non-indigenous ones like Christianity and Islam could only operate through various associations, churches and organizations. ISESE AGBAYE on the other hand, while its members were expressing their fundamental rights to freedom of religion expression and association by which they thus decided to choose their own leader got challenged and the religion was taken to court technically became the only legally recognized religion in Nigeria the “Holy Land”. On March 05 2008, a magistrate court in Nigeria struck out the case against us in our favor for want of diligent prosecution. This has therefore made the case a reference point for citation thus entering the annals of the laws of the country. This is a great achievement and victory for all ISESE AGBAYE religion believers both at home, the Diasporas and for all mankind. The centuries of sending Africans to strange continents across the oceans and deserts were terrible. Though it may not be totally possible to fully comprehend the impact of the unfortunate events of the massive forced exodus that happened during that period, I could, based on my professional training and experience as a medical practitioner both at the western and traditional African practitioner’s levels understand through empathic skills, partake effectively and somewhat efficiently to a very high extent, in the pains and sufferings of the times, and, of this times too, such that one can be a part of, and in fact lead in the implementation of the solutions that will form the way forward.
I can appreciate the difficult situations we found ourselves in at arriving in the new continents spiritually and in so many other ways where very young inexperienced people were taken into slavery because what were needed then were able-bodied men that would work tirelessly for their masters. Very young women too were taken, as they were needed for procreation to produce more slaves as geometric profit for the buyers. The matured and aged were either killed or left behind to die for want. The opportunity thus offered by ISESE AGBAYE to re-link the people on the different continents stands to be fully praised, supported and encouraged by all. One should at this point give great credit to our ancestors who were able to maintain strands of the religion and spirituality in spite of all odds that they faced at those times. This has kept us going today. May their spirits continue to guide us.”
Why A PostColonial Cultural & Economic Conference?
1972 was a year that found the UNIA & ACL struggling with the prospects of a name change. The idea was, by changing the name to the Universal African Improvement Association some how everything would improve for Black people. The Reverend J. C Tucker (from Detroit Michigan) was one of those who stood up in opposition to the name change. Rev. Tucker said –
“What are the benefits that you expect to accrue by removing word, Negro, replacing it with African? The name of this organization is the Universal Negro Improvement Association. The operative word is improvement, and it is that word that you should focus. Your problem is defined by your economic and industrial standing in the world, therefore think on how to enhance the Negro, you will advance the African.” Rev. Tucker philosophized that Western civilization would forever victimize people of visible African descent regardless of what he or she called themselves, Negro, Nigerian, Jamaican, New Yorker, or wherever, until the African continent becomes a national whole, recognized for its political strength and industrial and economic activity. He said – “leave the name alone; Change your condition”. Rev. Tucker explained that he was not against the name change pre say, He said, “the UNIA & ACL and Black people in general, must come to realize that if we are to reach our objective of improving the Race, we must be able to look through muddy water and see dry land.” He said, “that sound like an impossibility to most of us but with faith in ourselves and our God, the UNIA & ACL. can and will reach our objectives. The motion was voted down.
The name remained the same and sadly so has our condition. With years to reflect, it turns out that changing the name of the organization was an example of instantaneous emphasis on short-term events; that leads to all kinds of hilarious misreadings. If the UNIA had changed its name to UAIA it would have proved to nothing more than an instantaneous reactionary activities.
Thirty-five years after Rev. Tucker made his proclamation in Philadelphia Pa, it is obvious the global African Family continues to latch on to neo-colonial rule. Indeed Black integrationists and agent tools of those who are expounding neo-colonial rule bitterly opposed the UNIA and Rev. Tuckers’ views. Their efforts have resulted in the blurring the pervasive reality that a Black skin is a Black skin and that being an offspring of a segmented continent, controlled and manipulated by others, dictates subnormal treatment even in areas where they form the numerical superiority. Integrationists accuse anyone with such views racists. Here we have a situation where the slavers or slaver sympathizer accusing the enslaved of racism.
Integrationists the world over, it would appear, have had some success in demeaning Marcus Garvey’s Race First policies selling them as racism. As such the global African Family in still view as the wretched of the earth. The PostColonial Cultural & Economic Conference (PCEC) is not designed to preaching racism. It interprets the Marcus Garvey philosophy to contain the key to the survival and prosperity of people of African descent. It recognizes that the Black people of the world must help themselves as a collective whole. It maintains that unless and until this is done, there will continue to be underemployment, discrimination and injustice abroad; and exploitation, penury and general deprivation on the African continent. PCEC offers to the global African Family a path to conscious evolution.
While changing the form and content of education would be a major step towards conscious evolution, much has to be done outside of the schools as well. PCEC is constructed on the principal that Black people must come together to strengthen family ties, thanking God that we have overcome slavery and colonialism in a manner of speaking. PCEC is designed to bring Black people together to bask in the African sun, singing & shouting songs of praise, while we remember the blood and anguish of our ancestors in making such an event possible. And on the other hand, plotting a course toward a collective effort, advancing the Race towards a progressive African millennial vision for the future.
But how do we begin to do that considering the fact that the African Family is not now current on major technological issues. Much of the technological issues are considered as progress but in fact are mad, senseless, unthinking trail to disaster. PCEC can advance the Race towards a progressive African millennial vision for the future by bring a cross section of the African Family together to debate the issues in the villages, in governmental arenas, the media (especially television), and intellectual circles. There are those among us who have the leverage, the education and interest to move the Black Race forward to a new postcolonial mind. For whereas there is no simple way out of the African dilemma, there may well be a simple, constructive way to proceed.
One thing we know is, Black people's ideas are not as fixed as others are. Historically Black People were forced to adopt and change as a survival technique. PCEC will enhance that survival technique by bring ancient and contemporary knowledge to the conference table; increasing the availability of positive thoughts and decreases the availability of negative ones.
Africa is excellent as the venue for the PostColonial Cultural & Economic Conference because of Africa’s exhaustless sources of vitality. She is indeed the “fruit” of the tree of life. Mother Africa will allow PCEC delegates to relax under the shadow of Africa’s leaves that have always been there for the service of the Black Race. Under the African sky PCEC will give the Black Race the opportunity to drink from the life-giving fountain assigned to the Black Race. We will bathe in Africa’s silvery spray, and be refreshed; walk on Africa’s golden sands, and feel that we are no longer exiles.
PCEC will allow Africans across the globe to exchange the cross for the crown, and feel that the days of our humiliations are ended. The Conference will allow the family to lay down the staff and take the palm branch, and feel that the journey is done. We must pull off the garments of our warfare and put on the robes of triumph, and feel that the conflict is ended and the victory gained. We will exchange the toil-worn, dusty raiment of our pilgrimage for the glorious vesture of our African-ness in total. The PostColonial Cultural & Economic Conference will offer a day of rest and triumph, and as Africans one and all say -- Let the promise be fulfilled which bears the train of matchless glories that Mother Africa, along with her scattered children deserve.
Yes we are talking about moving the postcolonial African mind away from our colonial way of thinking to a “new 21st century African mind. But in the process, we cannot sidestep certain facts i.e., the long-term impacts of Arab/Euro-American activities over the past thirteen centuries. On the other hand we cannot ignore the great African minds of old and traditions of African people who do not participate in the industrial society. Yes there are members of the global African Family who still-hunt and gather. Most of us are inclined to think that such family members are "primitive" and simply need to be introduced to mechanize agriculture to solve their "food problems." But is that all together true? In fact, hunters and gatherers and traditional farmers alike have superb, time-tested techniques for extracting food from hostile environments.
It is the belief that what we do today is always better than what we did yesterday, that all forms of “progress” are desirable, inevitable, and irreversible But to disregard our ancient father’s knowledge in trying to solve the all-important food problem is the height of ignorance & arrogance: One of the oldest recommendations of our ancient parents was “Know Thyself”. The current condition that the global African family finds ourselves we cannot afford to be ignorance & arrogance about anything.
Consider this -- hunting-and-gathering peoples have classically harvested a wide variety of the animals available in their habitats. Euro-American trained herders and farmers today have based their activities on a continually narrowing resource base -- a few species of domestic animals and plants. This specialization has both advantages and disadvantages. In Africa the dependence of herders on cattle -- animals not native to Africa-have been a major factor in the gradual transformation of habitable land into desert due to the destructive use of the land.
Imported cattle must have daily water in semiarid environments, so they must walk to wells or water holes. The daily trek uses energy that could be converted into beef, and the trampling damages already sparse vegetation and compacts the soil, making it less able to absorb water and more subject to erosion. The moist cowpats produced by cattle harden into a "fecal pavement" that further limits plant growth by smothering it. The pats heat up in the sun, killing the bacteria and fungi that normally break them down and release fertilizing nutrients. As grazing intensifies, the grasses and herbs the cattle prefer become less common, and less nourishing ones become more common, and the capacity of the range to support cattle declines. Partly as a result of these factors, the Sahara Desert marches inexorably southward, and people starve to death.
In contrast, most native African grazing (grass-eating) and browsing (shrub-eating) antelopes and other hoofed animals are much more efficient in their water use than cattle. Some native animals seem to get all the moisture they need from the plants they eat and never need to drink at all; others drink only occasionally. In either case daily treks to waterholes are not necessary. The native animals, conserving water by reabsorbing it in the hind end of their guts, produce dry fecal pellets, which drop through the vegetation and fertilize without smothering it.
Furthermore, the different species of African grazers and browsers eat different kinds of plants; for example, giraffes can eat the tops of thorny acacia trees that cannot be used by other species.
As a consequence of these differences, a mix of native animal species does not degrade a range physically or chemically the way cattle do. Observing this, and taking a cue from so-called "primitive" peoples, some Europeans have been experimenting with ranching not cattle but antelopes, giraffes, and other native African plant eaters.
On the Athi Plain of Kenya, there is a thriving twenty thousand-acre game ranch. Since 1978, antelopes, zebras, and giraffes have been harvested along with cattle. The cattle are being phased out to be replaced with a native bovine, the Cape buffalo. At the moment, having some cattle gives better control over the grazing regime, since the cattle can be herded from place to place where the range is ready for grazing.
David Hopcrafts says the ranch is more successful than he had hoped. The range is improving steadily, and the yield of meat is higher than could be obtained from herding cattle alone. Furthermore, the game animals are more resistant to local diseases than cattle, and large amounts of money aren't needed for pumps, pipes, dams, and other devices to supply water.
Switching gears again, while peeping into the past, maybe we need to bring Her Excellency Nana Yaa Asantewaa Queen of Edweso, Ghana into our PCEC discussion. Of her it was reported in the September/August 2008 NEW AFRICAN
"Then there is the matter of the Golden Stool of Ashanti," the (British) governor went on.
"The queen [Victoria] is entitled to the stool; she must receive it. Where is the Golden Stool? I am the representative of the paramount power. Why have you relegated me to this ordinary chair? Why did you not take the opportunity of my coming to Kumasi to bring the Golden Stool for me to sit upon? You must bring the Golden Stool for me to sit upon this instant!"
The assembled Asantes heard this speech, which was an anathema of anarhemas to them, in absolute silence. They a11 got up one by one and went home. In the night, the chiefs held a secret meeting in Kumasi. Among those who attended was Nana Yaa Asantewaa, queen of Edweso, near Kumasi. She listened quietly as the men explained how difficult it would be to fight against the British. Unable to hold her anger any longer, she stood up and said:
"Now I see that some of you fear to go forward to fight for our king. If it were in the brave days of King Osei Tutu [founder of the Asante nation], Okomfo Anokye [who aided Osei Tutu to found the nation by bringing down the Golden Stool from the heavens], and Opoku Ware [who did most to consolidate the Asante kingdom after Osei Tutu's death], our chiefs would not sit down to see their king taken away without firing a shot. No European could have dared speak to the chiefs of Asante in the way the governor spoke to you this morning. Is it true that the bravery of Asante is no more? I cannot believe it. It cannot be! I must say this: if you, the men of Asante, will not go forward, then we will. We, the women, will. I shall call upon my fellow women. We will fight the white men. We will fight till the last of us falls in the battlefields."
Nana Yaa Asantewaa understood the world had changing around her. She understood that changing the mindset of the men was not adequate to protect the masses. Picture Nana Yaa Asantewaa reaction if she was around to hear Franklin Delano Roosevelt the 32nd President of the United States; explain the New Deal that would in effect supply welfare checks to Black women who pushed their husbands to the curb. Thereby effectively destroying the Black Family. The idea behind Franklin Delano Roosevelt plan was to stop Garvey’s back to Africa Movement. (Remember that the ex-slaves were extremely industrious, many of the most progressive ideas in the United States of America were those coming from individuals of African descent. Think of it – what would Africa be like today if Garvey’s plans were allowed to succeed.) The welfare checks offered to Black women was part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt plan to disrupt the UNIA & ACL. He wanted to divert the minds of the ex-slaves away from Africa and self-reliance to welfare and abject poverty.
It would appear that the British governor and Franklin Delano Roosevelt were two sides of the same coin; proving that the only thing ex-slaves have to fear is Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his kin & kind. Today there is needs for the global African Family to review the life and times of Nana Yaa Asantewaa, and Marcus Garvey and seek out likeminded individuals-and formulate a PostColonial Conference. The idea is to plant the seeds for a new African mind and the develop a 21st century global African skills bank, that will overriding the default mind set instituted by offered by Roosevelt and British governor with their New Deal. Up till now a small amount of thought by the average African has gone into debunking the welfare mentality offered to the Black Race by Roosevelt, and reinforced by the United Nations, the World Bank, the IMF, and now the World Trade Organization.
The time has come for the global African Family to make an organized effort to educate all African minds to filter in what is good for the Race and, not filter out what is detrimental. , The default way of thought has to be overridden, especially in politics, culture and economic. African people must come to determine that Africa is for Africans at home and abroad. It sounds like an impossible task, but it is not.
The UNIA believes that you are one of the atoms which can be joined to the PCEC development team that will produce an implosion of consciousness among Africa’s children at home and abroad; thus facilitate solutions.
A final note -- PCEC was not formulated by a group of “grant writers” seeking funding from the World Bank or the IMF or the Bill Gates Foundation. The underpinning of this Conference, by necessity, has to be authentically African both culturally and economically. A successful PostColonial Cultural Economic Conference will demonstrate that together the global African Family is to accomplish much.
-- For further information --
PostColonial Cultural & Economic Conference (PCEC)
Universal Negro Improvement Association & ACL
UNIA Cleveland Ohio Address
UNIA Parent Body, 4447 Lee Rd, Cleveland OH 44128
The Honorable Cleophus Miller Pres. Gen. UNIA Inc.
PostColonial Cultural & Economic Conference Raleigh Office
H. E. Wesley Jr., Director of Operations (PCEC)
E-mail: hwesley@bellsouth. net, Fax 1-919-834-7973
New York Offices
Kamau Khalfani, Field Director
24 Mill Street, Apt. 212
Paterson NJ 07501
Mr. Byron Moore
Co-Director of Operations
Ms. Nefertari A. Ahmose
Minister of Information