nkrumah

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“African blood flows freely through our veins. Many of our ancestors came as slaves from Africa to this land. As slaves they struggled a great deal. They fought as members of the Liberating Army of Cuba. We’re brothers and sisters of the people of Africa and we’re ready to fight on their behalf!” Fidel Castro

violaslayvis submitted:

I would like to submit my friend Shay, a bi black trans scholar & organizer in Chicago. From his website http://decolonizeallthethings.com: “I’m Shay Akil McLean (twitter.com/Hood_Biologist), I’m a Pan Africanist (Nkrumah Toureist/scientific socialist) & anti-colonial community organizer (on & offline). I’m a Transman of African descent on stolen Indigenous land, writer, public intellectual, human skeletal biologist & sociologist.

I’m a sociologist & biological anthropologist studying STS/HASTS, bioethics, medical ethics, philosophy of biology, genomics, health, knowledge production and medicine. As a scholar I study how systemic inequity results in the differential distribution of health, illness, quality of life, and death. I’m currently working on my PhD in Sociology, specializing in STS/HASTS, genomics, & bioinformatics.

My academic work includes studying the impact of social, political, & economic inequality on human skeletal biology. My Master’s work looked at the impact of food insecurity, high poverty, & racial residential segregation on the dental health of poor Blacks in the 4th poorest city in the U.S..  It is through this work that I aim to construct community based grassroots interventions that change the marginalized’s relationships to knowledge and power to strategically gain equitable access to the very resources that heavily impact disease risk & life determinants while also resisting the ever present processes of settlement and displacement.”

He consistently provides invaluable knowledge on both on his website & his twitter so any donations at http://cash.me/ShayAkil would go directly towards a black trans person.

Man Down

We have recently marked 50 years since a great man’s removal from power, as a result of a successful coup enforced by the National Liberation Council (NLC), led by LT General Ankrah. Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah is the man we all know as the father figure of our nation Ghana. We, as Ghanaians, have been taught numerous times in school that he gained independence for the country, as he worked tirelessly up the ranks from Prime Minister of the Gold Coast to the first President of the Republic of Ghana. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah is to Ghana as Mustafa Kemal Ataturk is to the Turks, as both shared similar visions for the good of their people, thus earning their trust. 


“The military had taken over the flagstaff house, which was the official residence of Dr. Nkrumah, and then had gone on to take over the broadcasting station. It was announced over the airwaves that there had been a coup d’état. All the ministers of state, members of parliament, district commissioners, chairmen and secretaries of the ruling political party as well as a long list of other people of interest were requested to report to the nearest police station for “their own safety”. Dad gathered a few things, got in his car and drove to the police station, where he was sent into interrogation and then, much to everyone’s surprise, placed into custody”


In the quote above, incumbent President, John Mahama’s publication “My First Coup D’état - Memories From The Lost Decades Of Africa” details his personal experience during the detainment of his father E.A Mahama (then a minister of state) by the NLC during the chaos of the coup and his resultant journey around the country in an attempt to find his father and other family members through the chaos.

As you can imagine these were trying times for Ghanaian political stability. The euphoria of independence from colonial rule appeared to have worn off, and Kwame Nkrumah’s vibrant image began to fade. Tales of corruption, economic mismanagement and an unrestrained thirst for power, followed Osagyefo and his cabinet. For some, the coup was incited by the fact he had turned Ghana into a one-party state, creating an unchecked dictatorship rule with which the people were fed up. Years later, the rumor that the CIA had a hand to play in this coup started to spread, as some speculated that the capitalist west was threatened by his ambition to unite African states under what they feared to be socialist ideologies.

The colossal figure shining upon us as a beacon of patriotism and pan-Africanism ruled Ghana for 9 years, second only to that of JJ Rawlings, which spanned from 1981, when he gained power, through to 2001. Whatever the catalyst, Kwame Nkrumah’s time at the helm was cut short by the coup of 1966. Since then, governments have come and gone, coups after coups, election after election. A question most Ghanaians still ponder over is: 

What would have come of this great nation if Dr. Nkrumah had been given more time to execute his vision?

Leave your thoughts on twitter @AccraWeDey.

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“60 years ago Nkrumah told an audience of tens of thousands of Ghanaians that “your beloved country is free forever”. This weekend, in the very same spot where Nkrumah made the declaration, local artist Kwame Akoto-Bamfo unveiled an installation of 1,200 concrete heads representing Ghana’s enslaved ancestors. The piece is called Faux-Reedom and is meant, in the context of the hegemony of western oil companies, foreign aid and IMF loans, to question if the first African colony to gain independence from European colonial rule is indeed free from the legacies of slavery and colonisation.”
📝 The guardian

I love this so much!❤️👏🏾

#fauxreedom @ancestorproject 
by @osramba_media
Repost via: @ntjamrosie

Africa Must Unite by Kwame Nkrumah

There are those who maintain that Africa cannot unite because we lack the three necessary ingredients for unity; a common race, culture and language. It is true that we have for centuries been divided. The territorial boundaries dividing us were fixed long ago, often quite arbitrarily, by the colonial powers. Some of us are Moslems, some Christians; many believe in traditional, tribal gods. Some of us speak French, some English, and some Portuguese, not to mention the millions who speak only one of the hundreds of different African languages. We have acquired cultural differences, which affect our outlook and condition our political development. 



All this is inevitable, due to our historical background. Yet in spite of this I am convinced that the forces making for unity far outweigh those, which divide us. In meeting fellow Africans from all parts of the continent I am constantly impressed by how much we have in common. It is not just our colonial past, or the fact that we have aims in common, it is something, which goes far deeper. I can best describe it as a sense of one-ness in that we are Africans. 



In practical terms, this deep-rooted unity has shown itself in the development of Pan-Africanism, and, more recently, in the projection of what has been called the African Personality in world affairs. 



THE FIRST step towards African political union was taken on 23 November 1958, when Ghana and the Republic of Guinea united to form a nucleus for a Union of African States. …


The following year, in July 1959, the Presidents of Liberia and Guinea, and I, met … to discuss the whole question of African emancipation and unity. At the end of our talks we issued a Declaration of Principles, in which we stated that the name of our organization would be the Community of Independent African States… . The general policy of the Community would be to build up a free and prosperous African Community for the benefit of its peoples, and the peoples of the world… .

One of its main objectives would be to help African territories not yet free to gain their independence. 

Membership of the Community was declared open to all independent African states and federations, and any non-independent country of Africa was given the right to join the Community on attainment of independence.

… 

[Later] I met President Sekou Touré of Guinea and President Modibo Keita of Mali at Conakry, … to formulate proposals for a Ghana-Guinea-Mali Union. The three of us had a further series of meetings, … and agreed upon a Charter. 

Our Union was named The Union of African States (U.A.S.) and was to form the nucleus of the United States of Africa. It was declared open to every state or federation of African states, which accepted its aims and objectives. 

The aims of the Union of African States are:

  • To strengthen and develop ties of friendship and fraternal cooperation between the Member States politically, diplomatically, economically and culturally;  
  • To pool their resources in order to consolidate their independence and safeguard their territorial integrity; to work jointly to achieve the complete liquidation of imperalism, colonialism and neo-colonialism in Africa and the building up of African Unity; 
  • To harmonize the domestic and foreign policy of its Members, so that their activities may prove more effective and contribute more worthily to safeguarding the peace of the world.

The Charter also provides for regular conferences between the Heads of State of the Union. In fact the supreme executive organ of the Union is the Conference, which meets once a quarter, … and is presided over by the Head of State of the host country. At these conferences we exchange views on African and world problems, and see how we can best strengthen and widen our Union. 



I know that when we speak of political union, our critics are quick to observe an attempt to impose leadership and to abrogate sovereignty. But we have seen from the many examples of union put forward [such as in the U.S. & USSR], that equality of the states is jealously guarded in every single constitution and that sovereignty is maintained. There are differences in the powers allotted to the central government and those retained by the states, as well as in the functions of the executive, legislature and judiciary. All of them have a common trade and economic policy. All of them are secular, in order that religion might not be dragged across the many problems involved in maintaining unity and securing the greatest possible development. 



 

We in Africa who are pressing now for unity are deeply conscious of the validity of our purpose. We need the strength of our combined numbers and resources to protect ourselves from the very positive dangers of returning colonialism in disguised forms. We need it to combat the entrenched forces dividing our continent and still holding back millions of our brothers. We need it to secure total African liberation. We need it to carry forward our construction of a socio-economic system that will support the great mass of our steadily rising population at levels of life, which will compare with those in the most advanced countries. 



 

But we cannot mobilize our present and potential resources without concerted effort. If we developed our potentialities in men and natural resources in separate isolated groups, our energies would soon be dissipated in the struggle to outbid one another. Economic friction among us would certainly lead to bitter political rivalry, such as for many years hampered the pace of growth and development in Europe. 



 

At present most of the independent African States are moving in directions, which expose us to the dangers of imperialism and neo-colonialism. We therefore need a common political basis for the integration of our policies in economic planning, defense, foreign and diplomatic relations. That basis for political action need not infringe the essential sovereignty of the separate African States. These States would continue to exercise independent authority, except in the fields defined and reserved for common action in the interests of the security and orderly development of the whole continent. 



 

In my view, therefore, a united Africa — that is, the political and economic unification of the African Continent — should seek three objectives: 



 

Firstly, we should have an over-all economic planning on a continental basis. This would increase the industrial and economic power of Africa. So long as we remain balkanized, regionally or territorially, we shall be at the mercy of colonialism and imperialism… . An overall economic plan, covering an Africa united on a continental basis, would increase our total industrial and economic power. We should therefore be thinking seriously now of ways and means of building up a Common Market of a United Africa and not allow ourselves to be lured by the dubious advantages of association with the so-called European Common Market.

Secondly, we should aim at the establishment of a unified military and defense strategy. I do not see much virtue or wisdom in our separate efforts to build up or maintain vast military forces for self-defence which, in any case, would be ineffective in any major attack upon our separate States. If we examine this problem realistically, we should be able to ask ourselves this pertinent question: which single State in Africa today can protect its sovereignty against an imperialist aggressor? 

If we do not unite and combine our military resources for common defense, the individual States, out of a sense of insecurity, may be drawn into making defense pacts with foreign powers which may endanger the security of us all. 



 

There is also the expenditure aspect of this problem. The maintenance of large military forces imposes a heavy financial burden on even the most wealthy States. For young African States, who are in great need of capital for internal development, it is ridiculous — indeed suicidal — for each State separately and individually to assume such a heavy burden of self-defense, when the weight of this burden could be easily lightened by sharing it among themselves. 



 

The third objective which we should have in Africa stems from the first two which I have just described. If we in Africa set up a unified economic planning organization and a unified military and defence strategy, it will be necessary for us to adopt a unified foreign policy and diplomacy to give political direction to our joint efforts for the protection and economic development of our continent. 



 

The survival of free Africa, the extending independence of this continent, and the development towards that bright future on which our hopes and endeavors are pinned, depend upon political unity. 

Under a major political union of Africa there could emerge a United Africa, great and powerful, in which the territorial boundaries which are the relics of colonialism will become obsolete and superfluous, working for the complete and total mobilization of the economic planning organization under a unified political direction.

 

The forces that unite us are far greater than the difficulties that divide us at present, and our goal must be the establishment of Africa’s dignity, progress and prosperity. 




 

 

 

Kwame NkrumahAfrica Must Unite.

Kwame Nkrumah, president of Ghana, dances with Queen Elizabeth II of England in 1962. Ghana became independent in 1957, the first sub-Saharan nation to gain its independence. The Queen was technically the monarch of Ghana after its independence until 1960, after which Ghana remained a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. 

“In order to halt foreign interference in the affairs of developing countries it is necessary to study, understand, expose and actively combat neo-colonialism in whatever guise it may appear. For the methods of neo-colonialists are subtle and varied. They operate not only in the economic field, but also in the political, religious, ideological and cultural spheres.

Faced with the militant peoples of the ex-colonial territories in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America, imperialism simply switches tactics. Without a qualm it dispenses with its flags, and even with certain of its more hated expatriate officials. This means, so it claims, that it is ‘giving’ independence to its former subjects, to be followed by ‘aid’ for their development. Under cover of such phrases, however, it devises innumerable ways to accomplish objectives formerly achieved by naked colonialism. It is this sum total of these modern attempts to perpetuate colonialism while at the same time talking about ‘freedom’, which has come to be known as neo-colonialism.”

~ Kwame Nkrumah , Neo-Colonialism, the Last Stage of Imperialism 1965

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After the nuclear pollution of the great war, the atmosphere decayed to a point where life could no longer be sustained outdoors. We moved into concrete buildings and planted in our living spaces the few seeds that had survived. However, through technological meditation, images and dreams from the depths of our subconscious can be downloaded directly from our brains and manifested as physical projections of light on the surface of our concrete walls. We have believed the visitors from space will arrive at any time, ever since the voyageur transmitted evidence of extraterrestrial life in 2096.

when we grew tired of the strategic elimination of black youth by the police state, we cried to the heavens, and then she appeared from the sky, strong. Dressed in Gold and Ankara electrifying the sea, cradling the sparkling waters sprouting from the wisdom of our leaders who were assassinated, imprisoned and exiled. when we asked her who we were, she pointed us in the direction of the stars. we are stars emitting energy and light , rebuilding a civilization of love in our minds. 

Chauvinism in the Left and the Maoist Rupture

Chauvinism is a serious problem in the left that’s been plaguing it for decades. There’s a common trend of communism being seen as a “white person” thing, started by the “immortal gods” of revolution, Marx and Engels (i.e., white men). The truth is that these figures weren’t perfect, they were human beings, and because of their identities were sometimes guilty of making rightist eurocentric and masculinist errors. The contributions of non-white revolutionaries like Frantz Fanon, Kwame Nkrumah, Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, Fred Hampton, Gonzalo, Angela Davis, Huey P. Newton, Malcolm X, Leila Khaled, Ajith, Anuradha Ghandy, Jiang Qing, and others are constantly overlooked. There’s a good reason for this sentiment of suspicion, too, it didn’t just come out of nowhere; betrayal after betrayal have led the oppressed masses, especially those of oppressed nationalities, to distrust revolutionaries because of their history of chauvinist behavior.

Hopefully, the communist movement would have realized its chauvinist errors and come up with a solution by now, right? Marxism-Leninism-Maoism gives us a scientific way of handling this contradiction, and there are tests you can apply to Maoist organizations to see if they’re really interested in helping the people and not just phony petty-bourgeois impostors. I also want to point out that identity politics are not completely in contradiction with communism, that instead they should be extended via revolutionary theory and fully incorporated into that theory. Maoism has a method of handling these contradictions that Marxism-Leninism doesn’t, and if Maoists are doing their work right, any chauvinist or rightist petty-bourgeois errors will be corrected if the science of MLM is being followed correctly.

Here’s a quote from J. Moufawad-Paul’s “Continuity and Rupture,” a philosophical work that outlines the terrain of Maoism (which only crystallized as a coherent ideology between 1988 and 1993) in an attempt to provide clarity to this new theoretical tendency that is often poorly understood:

Mass-line, criticism and self-criticism, cultural revolution: these interlinked aspects of Maoism’s claim to be the next stage of science are necessary for building a movement that is capable of addressing the problems facing any revolutionary organization today. Here are some questions worth asking: is an organization building itself according to the will of the revolutionary masses while, at the same time, organizing this will and providing theoretical guidance; is this organization critical of itself and willing to accept that it is wrong; are the movement’s cadre serving the people and capable of self-criticism in a way that parallels the "checking of privilege” common in identity politics circles but, unlike these circles, tied to a coherent political line; does this movement see itself as capable of transcending the ruling ideas of the ruling class, grasping how certain ideological moments distort and over/under-determine the economic base (as Mao pointed out in On Contradiction), and constantly reforming itself through the long march of cultural revolution? Failure to answer these questions might in fact be a failure to concretely apply those theoretical insights that are supposed to make the name of Maoism into a concept.

How do we correct rightist errors and prevent chauvinism in a revolutionary collective? By understanding the dialectic between communists and proletarians, submitting ourselves to the people, accepting their unyielding criticism without thinking of ourselves, acting from the needs they express instead of our own subjective desires, and rectifying our errors without bringing our fragile egos into the mix.