Edward Wilmot Blyden (1832-1912)
I have been a Blyden fan for years, I picked up on him after reading on Garvey, I am particularly fond of his, "The Call of Providence to the Descendants of Africa in America". In this brilliant work he called for Africans in the Americas to connect to Africa itself and Africans throughout the Diaspora. Blyden was in my humble opinion one of the true Fathers of True Pan-Africanism. I disagree with his position on Islam but I think he was looking for a centralizing force for us. I now think that what I refer to as Pan-Afrikan Spirituality is that force (I can explain my theory later). Rather than I go through the usual Biographical info that is given women and men like this, let his words suffice to summons up in you the evidence of his genius!
The words of Edward Wilmot Blyden, any thing in parenthesis are my added text;
"I venture to predict that, within a very brief period, that down-trodden land (Afrika) instead of being regarded with prejudice and distaste will largely attract the attention and engage the warmest interest of every man of color."
Of African Americans:
"It is theirs to betake themselves to injured Africa, and bless those outraged shores,"
"It ought to be clear to every thinking and important mind, that there can never occur in this country an equality, social or political, between whites and blacks."
Some powerful statements as evidence of his Pan-Africanist thought patterns!!!
"We need some African power, some great center of the race where our physical, pecuniary and intellectual strength may be collected."
"Among the free portion of the descendants of Africa, numbering about four or five millions, there is enough talent, wealth, and enterprise, to form a respectable nationality on the continent of Africa."
"We need to collect the scattered forces of the race, and there is no rallying ground more favourable than Africa."
"For, supposing that, it were possible for black men to rise to the greatest eminence in this country, in wealth and political distinction, so long as the resources and capabilities of Africa remained undeveloped- so long as there was no negro power of respectability in Africa, and that continent remained in her present degradation- she would reflect unfavourably upon them. Africa is the appropriate home of the black man, and he cannot rise above her."
Lastly It was Blyden that first coined this powerful term!!!
"Africa for the Africans".
I urge that true students of Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism study Blyden, fervently!!!