African Liberation Day – variously referred to as African Freedom Day… African Unity Day… Africa 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 & parasitic foreign interests. To that end, this special 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 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 against the chronic socio-political consequences of slavery, colonialism, & apartheid. Although the OAU disbanded in 2002 and has since been replaced by the African Union (AU), May 25th is increasingly observed throughout the Motherland & Her Diaspora as African Liberation Day.
May 25, 2023 now also sadly marks the 3-year anniversary of George Floyd’s brutal killing which outraged the world and elicited outpourings in urgent, resurgent, & ever-expanding communal conversations from several African thought-leaders [see the sampling of links below]. A Luta Continua…
- ‘It cannot be right’ – Akufo-Addo condemns George Floyd’s death
- Mama Africa Dr. Arikana Chihombori Quao Statement Crying for her Son George Floyd
- Statement of Moussa Faki Mahamat [AU] following the murder of George Floyd
- Maponga Joshua III ‘…George Floyd, We Can’t Breathe’
- Prof. PLO Lumumba, Africa WE CAN’T BREATHE, call to AU & Africa… about George Floyd
- Ramaphosa: AU Strongly Condemns George Floyd Murder
- “Former African Presidents Condemn George Floyd Killing”
- “Africa Reacts to George Floyd’s Death & US Protests” [CSIS Africa Reacts series, 6/4/20]
- “Africa’s Literary Community is Lending its Voice to Calls for Justice for George Floyd”
- “In Rare Move, US Embassies in Africa Condemn George Floyd Murder”
- “African Nations Call for Racism Debate at UN Human Rights Council“
- Julius Malema‘s African Liberation Day Address
- President Nana Addo to Deliver Kente to George Floyd’s Family
- ‘Racist’ Statue in Catholic Churchyard in Ghana Provokes Backlash
- Calls for Redesign of Royal Honour Over ‘Offensive’ Image
- Ignorant African Leaders are More Dangerous than any Foreign Agendas
- Jamaica’s Governor-General Suspends Personal Use of Royal Insignia Over ‘Offending Image’
- Former African Slave Trade Center Renamed in Memory of George Floyd
- George Floyd, Four Hundred Years Later
- A year since George Floyd’s death, people are pushing for change that lasts
- African Union & EFF Condemn The US Over George Floyd’s D*ath; Liberians Protest At US Embassy
- DWNews: She was tortured with axes during Kenya’s struggle for independence from British colonial rule.