Between 1881 and 1914, European nations gathered in Germany to divide up the African Continent among themselves.
This meeting drew political borders between Black nations that had been unified for centuries. Even worse, Africans had no say and no knowledge of the Berlin Conference until it was too late.
Pan Africanism became our solution to the problem of white colonialism. If you believe in laws and politics that benefit Africans at home and abroad, then you are a Pan-Africanist. Welcome to the Movement!
We interview some of the most important activists, academics, and grassroots political leaders in our community. These interviews will bring clarity to the past, present, and future of Pan-Africanism.
Ras Marvin is President of the Universal Negro Improvement Association Division 421 and founder of the Collective Black People Movement.
Dr. Gerald Horne is a graduate of Princeton University and holds the Moores Professorship of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston.
Dr. Samori Camara Camara holds a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Texas. He is the founder of the Kamali Academy African-centered school.
Our Ancestors did not stand by while Africa fell to colonialism. Instead, Pan African leaders assembled the best minds for a series of strategy meetings called Pan African Congresses.
These meetings were critical for establishing a Pan African agenda based on tangible outcomes. Here is a timeline of the last 115 years of resolutions.
In direct response to the Berlin Conference, Henry Sylvester Williams and Anna Cooper assembled the best Black minds in the Diaspora to devise a counter strategy.
Organized by WEB DuBois as a followup to the work done by Williams and Cooper. Present were delegates from the Universal Negro Improvement Association.
Manifesto To the League of Nations issued by WEB DuBois after conscripting resolutions from various bodies. The resolution was the first revolutionary declaration for African sovereignty.
These two gatherings were so disorganized that they can hardly be counted. However, resolutions were adopted and the failure of these Congresses formed the foundation of future successes.
By far the most impactful Congress of the series. Presided over by Ghanaian President and Pan African Kwame Nkrumah, the 5th Congress would lead to the formation of the OAU.
This was the first Congress actually held on the African continent, and was truly Pan African in its scope. Women were called into ever more important roles within the movement, and Caribbean nations were recognized.
This congress brought together over 800 delegates representing Pan African organizations from Brazil to Botswana. In total there were over 2,000 participants in all of the events.
The 8th Pan African Congress was a call to the youth of Africa to demonstrate their commitment to African unity, and to build a grassroots Pan African Movement for modern times.
The Pan African Movement would not exist were it not for a few courageous and dedicated leaders.
The work that these women and men produced laid the ideological foundation of the Pan African Alliance.
It is their leadership by example, their willingness to risk their lives, and their commitment to their people over decades that have earned them a place among the Mothers and Fathers of Pan Africanism.
Led former slaves during the American Civil War and heavily influenced the philosophies and opinions of Marcus Garvey.
Co-organized the first Pan African Conference with Henry Sylvester Williams in 1900 aimed at countering the Partition of Africa.
Co-organized the first Pan African Conference and precursor to the Pan African Congress in 1900 along with Anna Cooper.
Wrote The Philosophies and Opinions of Marcus Garvey and was a founding member of the largest mass movement in Black History.
Founding Member and Leader of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) – the largest Pan African Movement in history.
First elected Leader of Ghana, Founding member of the OAU and the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party.
Pan-Africanism is a worldwide movement that aims to encourage and strengthen bonds of solidarity between all indigenous and Diaspora ethnic groups of African descent.
Although the ideas of Delany, Du Bois, and Blyden are important, the true father of modern Pan-Africanism is the organizer Henry Sylvester Williams. Throughout his long career, Williams was a consistent advocate for African liberation and political power. He co-organized the first Pan African organization, and since Pan Africanism is first and foremost a political ideology, we consider Williams its founding Father.
By 1963, there were 31 independent African nations. Some were agitating for immediate Continental political union while others favoured slower steps towards unity. Emerging from the exchanges between the two camps, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was formed in May, 1963. Today, the entire African Diaspora from Canada to the Carribean and from the Congo to California hosts Pan African organizations.
In a historical context, Pan-Africanism served as both a cultural and political ideology for the solidarity of peoples of African descent. Most notably championed and pioneered by Marcus Garvey, Jomo Kenyatta, and Kwame Nkrumah, Pan-Africanism aims to connect and understand the universal injustices within the Diaspora.
Although the contributions of many women across many decades are important, Anna Cooper was the first woman to organize a political response to colonialism and white supremacy. In 1900 Anna Cooper assembled the Pan African Conference in London and wrote important works that laid the foundation for Black Women's equality.