So its Independence Day here in the United States of America.
I am surprised to see a number of so-called Pan-Africans repping the holiday with gusto. When I confront these men and women and hold them accountable for what it means to be a Pan-African there is tension. If you seek to honestly call yourself a Pan-African, you must be honest in your actions and intentions (and not be afraid to call out those who are not). I can always tell who is and isn’t truly a Pan-African by the following:
1. You Have No Interest in a United States of Africa
You are not a Pan-African if you don’t understand the fact that a United States of Africa is the principal objective of Pan-African thought. With the establishment of a unified continent, Africans both at home and abroad will be able to effectively play a role on the world stage. We can build, rise, do business, inherit and pass on legacies, and raise our progeny within the security of our own borders and our own original culture. This website, and the organization that I represent – United Black America – is only a stepping stone to a United States of Africa.
2. You Would Rather Remain in Western Countries
America, and most other Western Nations, were built by the sweat and blood of the 300 million Black men and women who were brought to them as slaves. These systems continue to run on the exploitation of the Black man and woman. You might think that you have a part to play in these Western societies, but ultimately, these are white societies, governed by white interests .Yes, even with a Black President. You have been duped into believing that your role in white countries is participatory – its not. Black men and women are pawns. If you would rather remain in America, Britain, Sweden, Canada, The Netherlands, then do so. Just don’t try to call yourself a Pan-African.
3. You Give Other Races Preference Over Your Own
Although Pan-Africanism is an economic and political philosophy, understand that nations and economies are owned and operated by people. If you would rather work with whites, if you would rather do business with whites, if you would rather date white women, if you greet whites more readily than you greet your own blood family, then how can you claim a Pan-African mindset?
4. You Dont Seek To Know African History
Our people suffer from a lack of knowledge, and you cannot effectively address that problem if you have no knowledge of your own to address it with. In order to be a Pan-Africanist one must study. Let me say that again, In order to be a Pan-Africanist one must study! Study source documents. Dont read what I write about Kwame Nkrumah, READ WHAT HE WROTE HIMSELF! Thats a source document! Dont read what I write about Malcolm X, READ HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY! Learn to read the medu neter! Study the words and the ways of Kwame Ture. Study the histories of Axum, Timbuctoo, Alexandria, Ghana, Songhai, Zulu, Mali, and Zanzibar. Studying the massive accomplishments of your people will automatically build within you pride and self-esteem, and combat white ignorance when they or their societies tell you that you havent built anything.
Most of these books cost less than the door fee at a night club, and yet the knowledge that they impart can build and destroy civilizations.
I have a list of 100 greatest African History books and DVDs on this site, and yet ONLY 5 out of 12,000 OF YOU BUY ONE OF THOSE BOOKS PER MONTH!
To call yourself a Pan-Africanist and not know African history is both a disgrace and a falsehood. Your life must be spent studying African history, because even if you lived to be 200, you still wont know all there is to know about African history.
The more you know about your history, the better prepared in the present to influence your future. (Tweet that!)
5. You Adopt Western Ways of Life
You would rather be a Christian than return to your original spiritual systems. You would rather appreciate French art than Nok sculpture. You are afraid of dreadlocks since the men in your office might give you crazy looks. You would rather strengthen your ties to Western nations than strengthen your ties to Africa.
When Neo left the Matrix, he couldnt go back in to get some stuff he left behind. He understood that the world he left was phony and detrimental to his perception of reality, and therefore, he was happy to leave that way of life behind in favor of the truth.
6. You Are Politically Impotent
Even if your right to participate in direct democracy has been taken away due to a felony, as a Pan-African, you must remain politically influential. This could mean registering other voters, participating in political rallies, or educating others in Pan-African and political thought.
Politics has always been, and will always be, a part of human culture. By refusing to participate because you have a felony, or you think the game is rigged, you are rendering yourself politically impotent. And thats exactly what those in power want – for you to sit down in defeat.
Imagine, discuss, and research different political ways of doing things, and from your discoveries, discover ways to become increasingly more political.
7. You See Yourself as Separate From Africa
This one kills me. Some Black folk think they are separate from Africa.
Even after 400 years of separation, Africa has left her mark on your skin. You cant confuse your skin color with that of any other race. And the ONLY place where our skin color is indigenous is AFRICA. You are not an African-American, you are an African living in America. If the political entity of America dissolved today, you would still be African.
You are not separate from Africa, nor is Africa separate from you. If Africa continues to be destroyed and exploited, so too will African people across the world.
If you continue to inflict suffering on yourself or your people, you ultimately inflict suffering upon Africa herself. Meditate on that.
You cannot be a Pan-African if you still see yourself and your destiny as being separate from Africa.
8. You Live According to White Values
Individualism, ownership, conflict and control, manipulation, and consumerism are all hallmarks of the white values system that we presently live in. These values have been directly responsible for the destruction of our culture, and have brought the world to the brink of ecological destruction. Read more about white values versus original values here and here.
If you would call yourself a Pan-African, you must abandon these negative cultural practices and return to the original values that made Africa a success prior to European intervention.
9. You Destroy Your Own
Again, you are not separate from Africa, nor are you separate from other African peoples. If you actively or passively inflict harm on your people through exploitation, violence, or manipulation, you should be shot in the head for crimes against a people that have already been subjected to more misery than anyone else in the history of the human race.
When I am determining who to lend my ear and my hand and my heart to, I first ask this question – is this man or woman helping or hurting our people with their actions. There is an organization in my city that claims to be a Pan-African organization, and yet, its members call themselves slaves, the founder owns a liquor store, calls himself Mr. Silk, and has attempted to cut deals with major fast food restaurants in order to receive funding. This man also started a church just to spread his destructive practices. Such is an example of so-called Pan-Africanists that are actually doing more harm than good.
10. Your Only Ambitions Are Money, Power, Sex, or Fame
There is nothing wrong with the desire for money, and the nice things that having money brings. However, if you so thoroughly choose to integrate into Western Capitalist mindsets, then understand that you are playing right into your own self-hatred. Malcolm X said that “The tragedy of the american capitalist system is that it will teach a people to hate themselves for no other reason than to continue their exploitation.”
If you are to call yourself a Pan-African, your motivation must be more enlightened than the pursuit of money, power, sex, or fame. You must tame the insatiable greed for material wealth, and instead increase the wealth of your character, integrity, spirit of service, and work ethic.
If you claim Black Power as an extension of your ego, then you may build an immense amount of personal power, but will you use that power for the salvation of the Black People? If not, then you dont deserve to wield the sword of power.
If you frequent natural hair conventions and poetry sets just to get some ass, or if you become a Hebrew Israelite just to have permission to have multiple
wives sex-partners, then you are in this Pan-African thing for the wrong reasons. We dont need any more loose cocks or coochies producing ignorant children and spreading disease irresponsibly. In fucking your way into oblivion, you are destroying your own people.
If any of the above describes you, be honest. Confront the darkest aspects of your psyche. You will find that by shedding the light of observation on your dishonesty, it is naturally diminished. Only then will you begin to grow in responsibility and integrity.
If you are in my company, I will demand nothing less from you.