African Liberation Day ~ 5/25

On May 25th (“5/25”) 2020, two recorded events made headlines in the African Diaspora. Both were horrific in the degree to which they were racially-charged and played out from the standpoint of white privilege and callousness against black lives. One was a blatant attempt to provoke a potentially dangerous police-confrontation against an innocent bird-watcher (Christian Cooper) in New York’s Central Park; and the other which demonstrated that potential when George Floyd lived his final 8m:46s under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer. Unfortunately, such occurences as these are not uncommon, and the long list of African victims goes back to the era of slavery whose evils live on and play out in toxic ways from that unexorcised and overly-policed space which nonetheless claims to be the land and home of the free and brave. Officially commemorated as Memorial Day, May 25th – the date of these occurences and America’s unofficial start of summer – is, perhaps ironically, also observed as African Liberation Day

African Liberation Day is the term that came into use on May 25th, 1963 to commemorate the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). On May 25th, 1963, Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie hosted representatives from 30 African nations in Addis Ababa where they met with the intention of advancing decolonization gains, particularly in Angola, Mozambique, South Africa, and Southern Rhodesia. Most of the continent had achieved Independence by the time of this meeting. The charter they drew up in support of Africa’s remaining freedom fighters and to improve Africa’s living standards, was signed on May 26th, 1963 by all attendees except Morocco.

Morocco was a holdout from a preexisting 1960s collective – Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, Libya, Mali, Morocco, and Tanzania aka the ‘Casablanca Group’ – whose radical vision of Pan-Africanism and Africa’s future contrasted from that of the moderate ‘Monrovia Group’ (Liberia, Nigeria, and most of Francophone Africa including Cameroon and Senegal). Both factions had emerged out of the First Congress of Independent African States, which was convened in Accra on April 15th, 1958 by  Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah to showcase the progress of African liberation movements for the first time on indigenous soil.

The 1958 Congress thus symbolically advanced the lead of the Pan-African Congress which had been working since its 1900 founding on behalf of African self-determination and liberation from predatory and parasitic outsider interests. To that end, this Congress became a model for subsequent meetings between African heads of state leading up to the 1963 formation of the OAU where the Casablanca and Monrovia factions reached a compromise. African Freedom Day, an annual precursor to OAU’s African Liberation Day (aka Africa Day) was also established from the 1958 Ghana Congress as a day to be set-aside for the recognition of progress made in Africa’s liberation struggles. Though the OAU disbanded in 2002 and has since been replaced by the African Union (AU), 5/25 (May 25th) continues to be observed throughout the Diaspora as African Liberation Day. A Luta Continua… 

LINKS BELOW TO AFRICAN LEADERS SPEAKING OUT AGAINST GEORGE FLOYD’S MURDER:

 

 

  1. ‘It cannot be right’ – Akufo-Addo condemns George Floyd’s death
  2. Ambassador Dr Arikana Chihombori-Quao statement on George Floyd
  3. Statement of Moussa Faki Mahamat [AU] following the murder of George Floyd
  4. Maponga Joshua III ‘…George Floyd, We Can’t Breathe’ 
  5. Prof. PLO Lumumba, Africa WE CAN’T BREATHE, call to AU & Africa… about George Floyd
  6. Ramaphosa: AU Strongly Condemns George Floyd Murder
  7. “Former African Presidents Condemn George Floyd Killing”
  8. “Africa Reacts to George Floyd’s Death & US Protests” [CSIS Africa Reacts series, 6/4/20]
  9. “Africa’s Literary Community is Lending its Voice to Calls for Justice for George Floyd”
  10. “In Rare Move, US Embassies in Africa Condemn George Floyd Murder”
  11. African Nations Call for Racism Debate at UN Human Rights Council
  12. Julius Malema’s African Liberation Day Address
  13. President Nana Addo to Deliver Kente to George Floyd’s Family
  14. ‘Racist’ Statue in Catholic Churchyard in Ghana Provokes Backlash
  15. Calls for Redesign of Royal Honour Over ‘Offensive’ Image
  16. Ignorant African Leaders are More Dangerous than any Foreign Agendas
  17. Former Slave Island Goree Renames Square Against Racism
  18. 2 B Continued…

2 Comments on “African Liberation Day ~ 5/25

  1. Thank you so much! The U.S. mainstream media rarely reports on commentary from the African continent. This post is enlightening and informative!

    • My pleasure, sis 🙂 On a metaphysical level I’m also fascinated by the revolution of consciousness that’s transpiring around the world in the wake of George Floyd’s murder on African Liberation Day [5/25]. I appreciate your point about MSM and its biased reporting, kind of like those statues that are coming down because of which narratives they represent… Be well! ❤ M

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