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Writers in a common cause

Across the continent of Africa, a web of laws silenced African speech. On the eve of World War II, a small, impoverished group of Africans and West Indians in London dared to imagine the end of British rule in Africa. Printing gave oppositions a voice, initially through broadsheets, tracts, pamphlets, later through books and articles. The group launched an anti-colonial campaign that used publishing as a pathway to liberation. These writers included West Indians George Padmore, C. L. R. James, and Ras Makonnen, Kenya's Jomo Kenyatta and Sierra Leone's I. T. A. Wallace Johnson. They formed a part of International African Service Bureau (IASB), and the communists saw them as "generals without an army, they have no base and must depend on their pens". Padmore saw 'trusteeship' as a concept invoked as far back as the late nineteenth-century conferences that divided up Africa. Pan-Africa, a monthly periodical T. Ras Makonnen put out, reported that Richard Wright urged his listeners to form an international network of 'cultured progressives'. Labour-powered nationalism was to Padmore more than a drive for self-government. With the Gold Coast political ground so unsettled, neither Nkrumah nor the Convention People's Party (CPP) made Wright privy to their operations. Inspired by the movement for self-government in British West African colonies, French radicals like Leopold Senghor were rebelling against French political control. In 1969, when a small American publisher reissued A History of Pan-African Revolt , James added to it an epilogue explaining the 'rapid decline of African nationalism'.

Carol Polsgrove

, they challenged the status quo and their low place in it. Across the continent of Africa, a web of laws silenced African speech. ‘“Dangerous thought” is as much a bogey to the Nigerian officials as it is to those in India’, Padmore wrote in his new manuscript. ‘The country is ruled by a criminal code that makes for intellectual terrorism unsurpassed anywhere else in West Africa. The Press, one of the

in Ending British rule in Africa
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The Regeneration of Africa
Bongani Ngqulunga

formulation, but also the depth of vision for, and pride in, the African continent and the black race. Alongside the creation of the African National Congress in 1912, “The Regeneration of Africaspeech is often regarded as one of Seme’s enduring legacies. “The Regeneration of Africa” is therefore critical in assessing Seme’s contributions to Pan-Africanism. I begin this chapter by analysing the content of the speech, focusing on its key arguments as well as the context that had shaped it, before discussing Seme’s public life after his return

in The Pan-African Pantheon
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The Pan-African Philosopher-King
Adekeye Adebajo

our young generation.” 10 In Mbeki’s famous 1996 “I am an Africanspeech, he set out an inclusive definition of what it is to be an African that represented a stirring attempt to encourage his compatriots to embrace and celebrate the African identity they had long been denied by white rulers. As he lyrically noted: I am an African. I owe my being to the hills and the valleys, the mountains and the glades, the rivers, the deserts, the trees, the flowers, the seas and the ever-changing seasons that define the face of our native land … I

in The Pan-African Pantheon
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African Identity and the African Condition
Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni

common people as they were moulded from different racial and cultural “clays” – to borrow a term from Malawian scholar Paul Tiyambe Zeleza. 8 Appiah’s critique thus challenged narratives of nationalism and Pan-Africanism that later became important resources in the formulation of an “African idea”, as opposed to Mudimbe’s “idea of Africa”. On the Concept “We Are All Africans” Even former South African president Thabo Mbeki’s widely quoted 1996 “I am an Africanspeech spoke to the complexity and contingent

in The Pan-African Pantheon
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Revolutionary Prophet of African Unity
Clinton Hutton

continent, and globalised it to include the African diaspora. And so, the words, “We Africans will fight, if necessary” in Selassie’s continental Pan-African speech, became a rousing call for liberation by Africans on the continent and in the diaspora in “War”. The song became a clarion call for new generations of freedom fighters like those I had met in Havana during the 1978 Youth Conference for whom diaspora support had meant so much. The category of songs represented on the Survival album such as “Africa Unite”, “Zimbabwe” and “War” on

in The Pan-African Pantheon
The 2008 Italy–Libya Friendship Treaty and thereassembling of Fortress Europe
Chiara De Cesari

– obscures the fact that the British government has never really apologized for its colonial crimes. What is also striking is that Brown’s remarks about the history of the British Empire resonate with the French conservative Nicolas Sarkozy’s key African speech of 2007, in spite of the two men’s differing political ideologies.7 The latter emphasized the ‘pastness’ of the colonial era, drawing on a strain of right-wing nationalist discourse that despises repentance and so-called ‘black armband views of history’. Again, the suggestion is that ‘we’ have already repented more

in The political materialities of borders
Open Access (free)
Mary Chamberlain

writing – ‘analogous imagery, metaphor… the method par excellence of Negro-African speech’ 23 – has to be seen as part of this larger collective moment. Jean-Paul Sartre’s 1948 essay, ‘ Orphée Noir ’, argued that négritude was the antithesis to the white colonial thesis; the synthesis would be ‘the realisation of the human in a society without races’. 24

in West Indian intellectuals in Britain
(Pre)colonial memory
Tim Woods

inflection in English, although in his imaginative use of Yoruba folklore many have criticised Tutuola for writing ‘wrong’ English, making him out to be ‘quaint’ or ‘semi-literate’ in the process, ignoring the fact that Tutuola’s language is partly the palm-wine drinker’s language and also reflective of the pidgin English spoken in West African speech (Dathorne 1971 : 72). Emmanuel Obiechina has sought

in African pasts
John McLeod

the innovative uses of English in Caribbean poetry. Brathwaite celebrates Anglophone Caribbean poets who are attempting to articulate their unique historical and cultural situation through their deployment of ‘nation language’. Brathwaite shows how various poets are inflecting the English language with different kinds of rhythms, sounds, syntax and forms of expression which can be traced to African speech patterns. This is ‘nation language’, and one of its main functions is the articulation of an appropriate register, or ‘voice’ in which Caribbean experiences can be

in Beginning postcolonialism (second edition)