Once again, much of the world has its attention on Black America and the ongoing movement for police reform that, along with the coronavirus pandemic, has dominated the news cycle and social platforms in the ensuing weeks since George Floyd drew his last breath.
With several overtures made by corporations and the passage of laws defunding and dismantling police forces at the local level, many people on the frontlines of what’s been characterized as the Black Lives Matter movement anticipate a significant changing of the tide – or at least a shift in the national consciousness.
However, given the complexity and global reach of systemic racism, that couldn’t be further from the truth, especially for Black Americans, a group trapped in a colonizer nation without self-determination, what’s defined as the total control of one’s social, political and economic affairs.
That’s why Black Americans, who Martin Delaney defined as a “nation within a nation” in the 19th century, deserve the opportunity for self-governance.
Part of realizing that goal requires solidarity with the African continent and Black America’s unequivocal support of its political unification and that of other majority-Black nations under a United African States.
Once in existence, a United African States could exert an untold amount of diplomatic pressure on the U.S. to facilitate systemic change that truly benefits Black Americans and results in the acquisition of power – not platitudes and sympathy.
In the 1960s, Malcolm X attempted to execute such a plan when he, acting as a diplomat for Black America, met with several African leaders and spoke before the newly-formed Organization of African Unity. At the time of his death, at least six African countries had signed on to a campaign to bring the U.S. before the United Nations for its crimes against humanity.
As Brother Malcolm said, what Black Americans are experiencing is not a matter of civil rights but human rights – what one could argue includes self-determination.
Despite what has been conveyed in one often cited documentary about Malcolm X’s assassination, that fateful event in the Audubon Ballroom happened as a result of collusion between intelligence agencies in the U.S., France and other anti-Black colonizer governments that had followed a newly-Africanized Malcolm X on his travels abroad.
The global assault against African unity continued with the opposition to Kwame Nkrumah’s vision of a politically unified Africa. In that situation, the U.S. exerted pressure on President William Tubman of Liberia to promote the gradual development of individual nations. Ultimately, other African leaders would embrace Tubman’s philosophy to the extent that each newly-freed nation has been unable to prevent its former colonizers’ intrusion in their local affairs, similar to the situation faced by Black Americans today.
Had the African continent fashioned itself as a strong political unit, much like what the European Union has accomplished today, that body would not only be able to determine its collective fate but better protect Black Americans experiencing police brutality, housing and food insecurity, health disparities and exploitation by foreign forces, i.e. the U.S. government.
In June, more than a dozen African countries recognized the importance of this concept firsthand when they called for a debate on U.S. racism before the UN’s Human Rights Council. The governing body, in response to the group’s petition, said global racism must be tackled as opposed to abuses suffered exclusively by Black Americans.
Even as the powers that be discourage unity among the oppressed, they have weaponized that strategy to protect one of its own.
That’s why Black people in the U.S. must adopt an internationalist, Pan-Africanist philosophy. That starts with identifying with Africa, more so than this nation’s colonizer society. Such a mindset change, as Malcolm so clearly articulated, would no longer make Black Americans a “minority” but part of a global majority supported by a politically unified African world.
Trust and believe there’s nothing more that the American establishment would fear. Those who still haven’t been convinced need to look no further than at Malcolm X, Kwame Nkrumah, Marcus Garvey and others who paid the ultimate price for espousing global African solidarity.
Sam P.K. Collins is a Washington Informer contributing writer and local organizer of the Pan-African Federalist Movement, a global effort to politically unify the African states in less than a generation. He will be speaking more about this concept during “online reasonings” every Thursday leading up to August 13. Visit his Facebook page for more information.