On May 25, 1963, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at the summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the great Kwame Nkrumah declared this day “Africa Freedom Day,” which later became African Liberation Day.
It has since been celebrated on the African continent and all across the African world, wherever African people are located.
What Nkrumah envisioned as African Liberation Day was radically different from that of the then emerging “neocolonial elite” within the OAU and by extension, the present day African Union (AU).
The founding of the OAU, as the name suggests, was not to bring about African unity but rather to maintain the elusivesovereignty of the colonial borders which alloweach president or prime minister to do as they please under the false consciousness of “independence.”
After six decades of “flag independence,” the disbanding of the OAU on July 9, 2002and the adoption of African Union, an outright imitation to the European Union, all of Nkrumah’s predictions clearly inform us that neocolonialism at the service of imperialism, is at its last stag and only the African Revolution can liberate Africa and African people from economic and political humiliation.
African Liberation Day 2019 marked the 47th anniversary of celebrations in the U.S and most importantly the founding of the African People’s Socialist Party in 1972 by the indefatigable Chairman Omali Yeshitela at a critical juncture of the black liberation struggle in the U.S as the Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO) was mopping up the blood of the Black Panther Party, Malcolm, King and the imprisonment of many of our comrades.
During this same period, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was on the rampage in Africa with attempts to erase from our memories the revolutionary resistance to liberate Africa from colonial and imperialist exploitation.
In the U.S., the APSP survived that catastrophe but most significantly developed the theory and practice of African Internationalism, which consistently uphold the call to “complete the revolution of the sixties.”
It is on that same trajectory that we take leadership of African Liberation Day, not only as an event we celebrate yearly but as a day we reaffirm our unwavering commitment to complete the revolution.
ALD 2019 was a two day event, May 25 and 26 under the theme: “Take Africa for Africans at home and abroad: Death to Imperialist white power!”
Day one took place in the heart of the African community at the historic Union Temple Baptist Church, the last bastion from gentrification.
The Party’s organizations and local community vendors including brother Oko, who came all the way from Ohio, presented an African marketplace atmosphere.
We assembled at the Anacostia Metro station to parade the neighborhood with our banners, RBG flags and militant chants, which caught the attention of Africans hanging around store fronts, passerby’sand motorists honking in unity with the chants and the theme on the banners.
Parades of this nature are not common in the community nor are chants like:
“Fists up, fight back!”, “Black people united, will never be defeated!”, “Pigs in your hood ain’t no good!” and “Africa for Africans!”
The responses and reactions were spectacular.
Africans came out of their homes and stores taking pictures and videos while pumping their fists in unity with the chants.
The outdoor rally opened with DJ Shaki (Pa Sheikh Jeng) welcoming the marchers with songs of African liberation such as “Africa is for me” by reggae artist Pablo Moses.
MC Kalambayi Andenet, President of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movementand Comrade Jah SunKine welcomed the crowdand introduced our guests.
Luci Murphy and her choir opened the program with protest songs against gentrification and mass unemployment in the community.
Luwezi Kinshasa, the Secretary General of African Socialist International (ASI) set the stage onday onewith a powerful presentation for the urgency of making the African Revolution led by the African working class, the most reliable force to carry the revolution to its victorious conclusion.
Michael Africa Jr., a child of the MOVE organization in Philadelphia that was bombed by the Philadelphia police in 1985 attended the event and spoke, uniting with the statement that revolution is the only solution.
Brother Ra, a spoken word artist, rocked the crowd with his conscious relics and pulsating rhythms.
Krown Deon, a rap artist based in St. Petersburg, Florida, traveled to D.C. to share his talents of African Internationalist influenced spoken word.
Betty Davis, with the New Abolitionist Movement and Black Is Back Coalition (BiBC), did her thing again by exposing the colonial mis-education system as part of the repressive apparatus against African people.
Ralph Poynter, the chair of the political prisoners working group of the BiBCexposes the prison system as barbaric. Ralph took to the platform to demand: “Free ‘em all.”
Belinda Parker Brown, with the Louisiana United International “Unanimous Is Not Enough” Campaign, gave a powerful presentation in defense of the comrades held in captivity in the Angola State Penitentiary.
Chairman Omali Yeshitela delivered a fiery speech on “Take Africa for Africans at Home and Abroad: Death to Imperialist White Power.”
He linked the Africa question to the destruction of world capitalism.
He clarified the class and colonial questionand the role white people can play in genuine solidarity with Black Power.
Day two of the conference took place at the Stuart Center.
The program of day two showcased to the attendees where theory and practice of African Internationalism meet.
All the economic development projects of the APSP were displayed to reinforceour understanding that “politics is concentrated economics”.
Comrade Luwezi Kinshasa, the Secretary General of ASI opened the conference with a powerful presentation on the economic and political state of Africa and how our resources are being stolen and hoarded into imperialist countries.
Access to these resources for the benefit of the sons and daughters of Africa will only be achievedthrough revolution.
Comrade Ticharwa Masimba from St. Louis, MO presented on the Party’s Black Power Blueprint and “Buy Black Power”programs—out of the Office of the Deputy Chair—not only in the U.S but around the world, in our quest to build “dual and contending power” against the humiliating dependency on the colonial economy.
Dr. Aisha Fields, Director of the All African People’s Development and Empowerment Project (AAPDEP), challenged all Africans that the skills they have acquired in the capitalist system doesn’t belong to them individually and should be turned over to Africa for the development of our whole people.
Kalambayi Andenet of InPDUM gave an upbeat presentation about the struggle on the ground in St. Louis, Missouri, the most recent liberated territory following the uprising in Ferguson, Missouri after the murder of the 18-year-old African, Mike Brown.
Yejide Orunmila, President of the African National Women Organization (ANWO), the newest mass organization of the Party, gave a compelling presentation on behalf of African women to become a driving force in the African Revolution.
Comrade Yejide lamented on the treatment of African children by the State after being separated from their mothers, further eroding the family ties in the community.
The Chairman delivered yet another cutting-edge analysis of the day punctuated with applause.
His presentation encapsulated all the presentations delivered by comrades before him. Being the organizer and mobilizer that he is, the Chairman has separated himself from the rest of the ’60s veterans by building institutions everywhere he goes—St. Louis being the latest.
Chairman Omali is indeed the last comrade standing from the 60s, unrelenting in his call for revolution.
A special salute to the Northern Region of the African People’s Socialist Party for the hard work that went into building African Liberation Day 2019.
Comrades from D.C., Philadelphia, Newark, NJ, New York City and Boston pulled together the on the ground and social media outreach to make the weekend a success.
Forward to ALD 2020!
Take Back Africa for Africans!
Death to Imperialist White Power!
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