Afrika Speaks with Alkebu-Lan: Feat Mama Marimba Ani & Pres. Gen. Senghor Baye | 31.08.31
With this year’s global observance of Mosiah drawing to a close we can look back at a range of community and on air Garvey-focused events in the UK around subjects like women in the Garvey Movement, the impact of Garveyism in the Caribbean, the legacy of Booker T Washington, the importance of Gaveyite scholars like John Henrik Clarke and Tony Martin, the Black Arts Revolution and identifying the next generation of Garveyites.
In the USA from Mosiah 19th – 23rd the UNIA-ACL Parent Body organised its 58th International Convention at the Jacob H. Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies in Chicago. The current President General Baba Senghor Jawara Heru Baye updated the Afrikan updated the Afrikan world with elements of the current programme:
“The UNIA-ACL government continues in our 121st year of existence to call for global unification and organisation to gain Afrikan power, economic power, political power, social power, educational power, spiritual power and territorial power. We believe we only get justice in the USA and around the world when we obtain global Afrikan power under universal Afrikan nationalism. The government of the UNIA-ACL is growing today with new divisions being chartered in Afrika, the UK, in the USA and even in prison, in Tennessee. We are reaching out to collaborate with other progressives and build on what we all have in common. The right excellent honourable Marcus Mosiah Garvey warned us of extermination if we don’t get organised to protect ourselves. We maintain the same goals and objectives our many Garveyite Ancestors over the years have worked to accomplish. Certainly our very first convention of 1920 held in Harlem, New York, charted the course and made the blackprint we must, can and will follow towards the upliftment of Afrikans – those at home and abroad.”
The convention also saw the appointment of renowned warrior scholar/activist MaMa Marimba Ani (author of Yuruguand Let The Circle Be Unbroken) as the UNIA-ACL Ambassador of Race First Sovereign Development, joining the ambassadorial ranks of the likes of Runoko Rashidi, Anthony T Browder and Bro. Ldr. Mbandaka.
As indicated above the first UNIA-ACL International Convention was held in 1920 with 25,000 in attendance from around the world and where the Declaration of Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World was adopted and Marcus Mosiah Garvey was elected provisional president of Afrika. Subsequent conventions have served as important landmarks in the development of Pan-Afrikan thought and activism. Yet history generally confers this status on the Pan-Afrikan Congresses (i.e. 1-5), organised by WEB Du Bois and others between 1919 and 1945. In fact, although he was in attendance at the one truly influential PAC (the 5th) in 1945, Du Bois was present as an invited guest with organising duties undertaken by the Pan-African Federation with George Padmore and Kwame Nkrumah at the helm. The first 4 PACs are now seen as nothing more than bitter attempts to undermine the Garvey Movement at its height between 1919 and 1927. They were poorly attended and included a notorious array of European colonialists and adventurers (e.g. Sir Harry Johnstone, Sir Sydney Oliver and HG Wells) on the platform. Furthermore, Du Bois himself made clear the purpose of the PACs:
“The Pan-Afrikan Congress is for conference, acquaintanceship and general organisation. It has nothing to do with the so-called Garvey Movement and contemplates neither force nor revolution in its programme.”
As academia has largely left this work undone, presumably Garveyites will need place the UNIA-ACL its programmes and declarations within the proper historical context of our liberation history.
So we ask the question,
Does Garveyism really provide solutions to the challenges we face as a race?
What is Garveyism, is it synonymous with Pan-Afrikanism?
How can we attain “universal Afrikan nationalism”?
Are there any alternative strategies or ideologies we can try?
Why are the UNIA international conventions not lauded as much as the PACs?