Abuja Statement on Neo-Garveyism
Preface to paper on 21st century agenda for Pan-Africanism
Presented at Abuja, Nigeria on 22 September 2010, at the CBAAC Conference on Pan-Africanism
Pan-Africanism and a Black Superpower —The 21st century agenda
Black Power Pan-Africanism or Neo-Garveyism is my theme today. It is, in essence, Nyerere’s Sub-Sahara Pan-Africanism plus Garvey’s Black superpower project as its paramount project. Why do we need Neo-Garveyism?
Since completing the task of political decolonization in 1994, Pan Africanism has lost momentum and has been floundering towards a goal called the US of Africa which, alas, is a mortal danger for Black Africa.
Pan-Africanism needs a new agenda, a new agenda for a new century, an agenda that can actually solve our cardinal problems, the enduring problems facing the black race, namely, powerlessness and poverty and racism.
If we want to abolish our powerlessness, if we want to abolish our poverty,
the theme or objective of Pan Africanism needs to change from African Unity to Black African Power and Prosperity; if Pan-Africanism is to become once again relevant to the ordinary people, it must return to its pre-1958 ethos and become the champion of the reforms that will give the ordinary Black African a life of prosperity and dignity.
Let me point out that Racism will not disappear until there is a Black superpower on earth, and a USofAfrica will not be a superpower. Therefore, the problem of the 21st century is not the problem of African unity, or the problem of the color line, but the problem of Black African power: how to build it, and enough of it to stop the extermination of Blacks that is now in process, and to compel the respect of all humanity and guarantee the survival, sovereignty and dignity of the Black race.
With these observations in mind, I do not speak of freedom; I do not speak of the unity that does not bring us power and prosperity and the respect of the world.
I do not speak of the continent; I do not speak of a land mass, but of a people, of a race, the black race.
I speak of a constituency, and a project that will unite the constituency and make it powerful.
I speak of a constituency: the Black race, of black Africa and its global Diaspora.
I speak of power, of Black power, of a superpower in Black Africa. A superpower that will make the world sit up and respect Black people anywhere on earth.
For the past six centuries, when people of other races encounter a black person, they have assumed, and quite rightly, that the black person does not belong to any society whose power is to be feared and respected. We need to change that presumption of powerlessness. We need to create a Black superpower in Africa, so that when a black person is seen anywhere in the world, it will not be presumed that he belongs to a powerless group.
I want to speak of a world where every black person will experience the quiet confidence that comes with knowing you can defend yourself and your loved ones against all comers. Others sense this confidence without any immediate proof. If they know there are people in your race with that capacity, they automatically wonder if you are one of them, and give you the benefit of the doubt. Their caution is warranted, for your weakness can then not be taken for granted, as it presently is, and will continue to be for as long as your black skin is indisputably a badge of chronic powerlessness. I therefore repeat:
Racism will not disappear until there is a Black superpower on earth, and a USofAfrica will not be a superpower. Therefore, the problem of the 21st century is not the problem of African unity, or the problem of the color line, but the problem of Black African power: how to build it, and enough of it to stop the extermination of Blacks that is now in process, and to compel the respect of all humanity and guarantee the survival, sovereignty and dignity of the Black race. MORE
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