Ndox du fatte yoon am.
Water does not forget its path.
- Wolof Proverb -
AMAZON QUEEN OF MATAMBA WEST AFRICA (1582-1663)
Nzingha, better known as Ann Zinga, renowned warrior queen of Matamba, was born about 1582, when the Portugueuse were establishing trade settlements on the African coast and otherwise encroaching on native territory.
When Ann grew up she did not sit idly by watching the invaders at work. Extremely wroth, she led her army of fierce woman warriors, which she had assiduously trained, into action against them, and won battle after battle. But in the long run she lost since spears were hardly a match for firearms.
In 1662, her brother, the King of Angola, sent her to arrange a peace with Portuguese viceroy at Loanda. A dwelling befitting her royal rank was prepared for her and she and her escort were received with due honors, which pleased her.
But when she entered the viceroy's audience chamber, Ann, who was quite temperamental, was indignant. She noticed that while a magnificent chair of state had been arranged for the viceroy, there was merely a cushion the floor for her. The fact that the cushion was made of gold-embroidered velvet and had been put in the center of a handsome carpet did not placate her.
Though she felt that she had been slighted, she didi not make a scene. Instead, she agave one of her attendats a meaningful look. The woman came over, kenlt down on her hands and knees, and Ann Zinga sat herself down on the woman's back and waited thus for the viceroy to appear. If on his arrival he thought is strange for his honored guest to be seated in this way, he politely refrained from comment and began talking business. As a matter of fact, Ann Zingha did not appear at all ludicrous in her disadvantageous position. She acted with such spirit and dignity that the viceroy was impressed, and negotiations were terminated satisfactorily. Not given to bickering, Ann had refused outright an alliance with Portuguese, on of the terms of which wa the payment of an annual tribute to the King of Portugal. She persuaded the viceroy that this ought to be eliminated, emphazing that the giving up of her Portuguese prisoners was concession enough. (Rogers, pg.248)
A very good military leader who waged war against the savage slave-hunting Europeans. This war lasted for more than thirty years. Nzingha was of Angoloan descent and is known as a symbol of inspiration for people everywhere. Queen Nzingha is also known by some as Jinga by others as Ginga. She was a member of the ethnic Jagas a militant group that formed a human shield against the Portuguese slave traders. As a visionary political leader, competent, and self sacrificing she was completely devoted to the resistance movement. She formed alliances with other foreign powers pitting them against one another to free Angola of European influence. She possessed both masculine hardness and feminine charm and used them both depending on the situation.
She even used religion as a political tool when it suited her. Her death on December 17, 1663 helped open the door for the massive Portuguese slave trade. Yet her struggle helped awaken others that followed her and forced them to mount offensives against the invaders. These include Madame Tinubu of Nigeria; Nandi, the mother of the great Zulu warrior Chaka; Kaipkire of the Herero people of South West Africa; and the female army that followed the Dahomian King, Behanzin Bowelle.
Sister Nanny- Warrior Queen of the Maroons
Queen Nanny of the Windward Maroons has largely been ignored by historians who have restricted their focus to male figures in Maroon history. However, amongst the Maroons themselves she is held in the highest esteem. Biographical information on Queen Nanny is somewhat vague, with her being mentioned only four times in written historical texts and usually in somewhat derogatory terms. However, she is held up as the most important figure in Maroon history. She was the spiritual, cultural and military leader of the Windward Maroons and her importance stems from the fact that she guided the Maroons through the most intense period of their resistance against the British, between 1725 and 1740.
Queen Nanny is presumed to have been born around the 1680s in Africas Gold Coast (now known as Ghana). She was reported to belong to either the Ashanti or Akan tribe and came to Jamaica as a free woman. She was said to be married to a man named Adou, but had no children. She died in the 1730s.
Historical Maroon Identity and Culture
Slaves imported to Jamaica from Africa came from the Gold Coast, the Congo and Madagascar. The dominant group among Maroon communities was from the Gold Coast. In Jamaica this group was referred to as Coromantie or Koromantee. They were fierce and ferocious fighters with a preference for resistance, survival and above all freedom and refused to become slaves. Between 1655 until the 1830â€™s they led most of the slave rebellions in Jamaica.
Spiritual life was of the utmost importance to the Maroons which was incorporated into every aspect of life, from child rearing to military strategies. Almost every slave rebellion involved African spiritual practices. Leaders, such as Queen Nanny usually practiced Obeah and were able to instill confidence in their followers. Spiritual practices such as Obeah (and voodoo in Haiti) evolved from Africa, and during slavery times were of great significance to the black population. However, under colonial rule as Western culture was imposed on the Caribbean, these African practices became â€˜outlawedâ€™ and took on negative connotations.
Among Maroon culture, their ancestors are revered and their importance to everyday life is recognized. The past is a source of pride which is both taught and shared. Amongst modern day Maroons, the history of their resistance against slavery is an extreme form of pride that forms a large part of Maroon identity. The story of the Maroons endurance and ability to hold off the British troops for almost eighty years is one that has never been repeated in history. What saw the Maroons through to freedom were their unfailing courage and determination. Their resistance to slavery drew on the strength of their memory of Africa and its culture. Their African culture and identity instilled in them great confidence and self esteem. So much so, that this diluted the stigma of inferiority imposed by the plantocracy. Therefore, the resistance against slavery by the Maroons was a defense of their culture and identity, their spiritual and political values and preservation of African civilization. This is why Maroon ancestors are an integral part of their day to day lives. At each annual Maroon celebration of the 1739 Peace Treaties there is a â€˜privateâ€™ element of the festivities at which only Maroons may attend, where the ancestors are said to visit, including Queen Nanny who is honored.
The Significance of Women Maroons
On the plantations women did not escape the brutality of slavery. Marriage and partnerships among slaves were prohibited. For those that managed to form unions in secret, they were forced to endure the removal of their offspring who were separated from their mothers soon after birth and sold into slavery. Many women opted for abortions rather than see their babies endure the same fate (slavery) that had befallen them. Furthermore, women on the plantations were physically exploited by their slave masters by rape and other sexual practices that were often quite sadistic. They too endured hard physical labor within the household doing domestic work and rearing the children of their slave masters. Some occasionally worked on the plantation itself.
By contrast, the Maroon women raised crops and were responsible for most of the agricultural output within their communities. The men hunted wild hogs and raided the plantations for food and supplies and to free slaves. Often, the plantations were â€˜raidedâ€™ to bring back women into the Maroon communities, without which they would be unable to increase their numbers and ensure the survival of the Maroons as a race. There are legends of great women Maroon warriors who raided the plantations and freed slaves, wielding huge knives that they used to cut off the heads of the British. The strength of women in Maroon communities stemmed from their position within traditional Ashanti or Akan culture. The Ashanti culture was based on a tradition of warrior nations and a history of proud and respected women. Many Ashanti elements were retained in Maroon language and culture.
The Legend of Queen Nanny
Queen Nanny is credited with being the military leader of the Windward Maroons who employed clever strategies which led to their repeated success in battles with the British. She was a master of guerilla warfare and trained Maroon troops in the art of camouflage. Oral history recounts that Nanny herself would cover her soldiers with branches and leaves, instructing them to stand as still as possible so that they would resemble trees. As the British soldiers approached completely unaware that they were surrounded they would swiftly be picked off by the Maroons.
Maroon settlements were sited high up in the mountains with only a narrow path leading to their town. In this way, the British soldiers could clearly be seen on approach as they advanced in single file, allowing them to be picked off one by one. This method was particularly successful with large numbers of British soldiers being killed by a comparatively small number of Maroons.
A famous legend about Queen Nanny is that during 1737 at the height of the Maroon resistance against the British, Nanny and her people were near starvation and she was on the brink of surrender, when she heard voices from her ancestors telling her not to give up. When she awoke she found pumpkins seeds in her pocket which she planted on the hillside. Within a week the seeds grew into large plants laden with pumpkins that provided much needed food for the starving community. To this day, one of the hills near Nanny Town is known as Pumpkin Hill.
There are two versions of the story of Nanny catching bullets. The first is that Queen Nanny was able to catch bullets with her hands, which was a highly developed art form in some parts of Africa. The other story is that Nanny was able to catch bullets with her buttocks and fart them out again. Renowned historian Edward Braithwaite suggests that the original story took a vulgar twist on account of British colonialists who were known to detest Nanny and were being deliberately offensive about her when they relayed this tale.
The last legend about Queen Nanny is that she placed a large cauldron on the corner of a narrow mountain path near the edge. The pot was said to be boiling even though there was no fire beneath it. British soldiers approaching would curiously look inside, fall in and die. Some were said to collapse and fall over the hill. There have been suggestions that the pot contained special herbs with anaesthetic properties, as Nanny was said to be an herbalist. Contemporary historians maintain that the pot was in fact a circular basin formed by the hollowed out rocks of the Nanny River, joined by the waters of the Stony River. The continuously flowing river kept the water constantly frothy, giving it the appearance of a boiling pot.
The Legacy of Queen Nanny
Queen Nanny is credited with being the single figure who united the Maroons across Jamaica and played a major role the preservation of African culture and knowledge. She was hated by the British. Early historians wrote in derogatory terms about the Maroons, trying to present them as savages no better than animals. Queen Nanny was often portrayed as being bloodthirsty. Thicknessâ€™ journal published in 1788 described an encounter with a woman presumed to have been Nanny herself, wearing bracelets and anklets made from the teeth of British soldiers. "The old hag had a girdle around her waist with nine or ten different knives hanging in sheaths to it, many of which I have no doubt have been plunged in human flesh and blood".
Much of the work compiled by Edward Braithwaite was instrumental in seeing Queen Nanny made a National Hero of Jamaica in 1976.This brought about a national recognition of the contribution made by the Maroons in securing liberty from slavery from the British.
The Windward Maroons with Queen Nanny as their leader are a role model for resistance, rebellion and survival. Queen Nanny herself is a symbolic figure for all those who suffer from oppression. Whilst Queen Elizabeth 1 dispatched the pirate John Hawkins on her own ship, the SS Jesus of Lubeck to Africa with orders to transport Africans to Jamaica, Nanny of the Windward Maroons was empowering her people to resist slavery at all costs. Therefore, Queen Nanny is the true Queen of Jamaica.
Timothy Thomas Fortune , ESQ.
The National Afro-American League (1887-1908)
From "Plural But Equal" (pg.8) , Harold Cruse says, " A critical reason why such an examination of the real origins of the twentieth-century civil rights movement is not simplistic is because the NAACP was not, as is commonly believed, the first effort on the part of historic black leadership to establish a civil rights organization.
He goes on to say...
Why the NAACP was not the first, became a major determinant in what it became as the major twentieth-century, both black and whites had attempted a number of short - lived conferences to deal with the "problems peculiar to the Negro." The most significant attempt, and the one that gained a degree of national attention and critical response, was the National Afro American League (1887 - 1908).
It was not generally understood during the heyday of the Sixties that the modern civil rights movement had an important history that had interacted with practically every major American reform, radical, labor, or progressive movement of the Twentieth century: that is was not a fortuitious aberration inspired or plotted by "subversive" elements bent on promoting anti-American domestic unrest. But the ahistorical character or our mind-set affects even historians when dealing with the racial factor in American developments. Truths are evaded aand consequences ignored. Thus, it was not acceidental that in the first comprehensive black history, From Slavery to Freedom (1947) , written seven years before the historic Brown decision, the National Afro-American League was not even mentioned.
The National Afro- American League was founded on the initiative of T. Thomas Fortune, a will-known journalist and newspaper editor who in 1887 called for the creation of an organization led by blacks "to fight for the rights denied them." After three years of intense effort and lively debate on the pros and cons of such a enture, the National Afro Amercian League wa formally organized at its first convention in Chicago in 1890. The convention agreed on a six-point program:
1. The securing of voting rights
2. The combating of lynch laws
3. The abolition of inequities in state funding of public school education for blacks and whites
4. reforming the southern penitentiary system --- its chain gang and convict lease practices
5. combating discrimination in railroad and public travel conveyances;
6. and discrimination in public places, hotels, and theaters.
Let's stop and reflect. The National Afro-Amercian League struggled to establish itself as a legitimate civil rights protest organization by and for, and supported by, black themselves.
What accomplishments emerged from the 6 point program?
Can you see the historical civil rights, African-centered leadership ideals, and philophies of the 1890's represented in these accomplishments listed below?
- The National Voting Rights Act of 1965
- Civil Rights Act of 1871, also known as the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871
- * Blair Education Bill, The Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, an d the the "No child Left Behind Act".
- Plessy v. Ferguson
- and at last the Civil Rights Act of 1964
With the exception of the last item (listed in the 6 point program), all the racial issues in the leagues's platform were either peculiar to the southern states or else more stringently enforced in that region than in the North. This was especially true because the league was established just ten years after the demise of Reconstruction, when practically all the advances blacks had won as a consequence of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments and the Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1875 were rapidly being eroded in the South.
The launching of the National Afro-American League coicided with South's concerted move to disfranchise and completely remove southern blacks from participation in the political life of the region.
Beginning with Mississippi In 1890, every southern state had by 1910 rewritten its stae constitution to establish white supremacy and to impose legal segregation based on race and color in all areas of social and institutuional life.
Hence, the 1890s offered an unfavorable social climate for a civil rights organization as bold and pioneering as the National Afro-American League.
Thus, it was not surprising that not a single issue in the league's six-point platform ever recieved public or federal support on a local, regional, or national basis except for item number three: racial inequities in funding public school education for blacks and whites.
And even here, federal and regional interest was not prompted by the platform of the National Afro Amercian League, but by the Blair Education Bill, which had been introduced in the national legislature in 1881, nine years befor the league was established.
Yet the Blair Bill was the one public issue around which the newly formed league could meaningully agitate until the bill was killed in the Senate in 1890.
The split the National Afro-American League
From 1890 to 1908, the national Afro- American League struggled to establish itself as al egitimate civil rights protest organization; organized by and for, and supported by, black themselves.
In 1898 the league changed its name to the Afro-American Council.
This change was one of the onsequences of the extended controversy that plagued the organizatiojn from it inception.
The league became "the battleground" for conflicting black leadership philosophies that emerged in the 1890's.
The question of leadership ideals centered mainly around "the personality" of Booker T. Washington, who emerged in 1895 as the most prominent black leader "acceptable" to whites, both liberal and conservative, in the North and South.
Thus, in the historical arena of black civil rights, the league provided a debating platform for the seminal leadership ideals of not only T. Thomas Fortune himself, but of W.E.B. Du Bois, William Monroe Trotter, Booker T. Washington, Bishop Alexander Walters, Ida B. Wells, and serval others not so well remembered today.
The programmatic approaches to civil rights argued out among black leadership factions within the league were carried over in the NAACP in 1909, and never ceased to be fundamental conflicts from 1909 to the 1980's.
Henry Sylvester Williams
Organized First Pan African Conference
"That Trinidad has produced a disproportionate number of unusual men is a truism; that so many of them have been forgotten is a scandal." So writes Professor James R. Hooker in his biography of Henry Sylvester Williams, the Trinidadian who organised the first Pan-African Conference in 1900.
For Williams was indeed a remarkable man. He was a black man of humble birth, but sound education who passionately believed that African people and people of African descent had the right to be looking after their own affairs, forging their own destiny. This at a time when in the history of Trinidad and indeed the world, to be a very dark-skinned black man was to find oneself at the lowest rung of the social ladder. Yet he climbed up and out. He became a barrister and like Mahatma Gandhi practised as a lawyer in South Africa from 1903 to 1905. On his return to London he became involved in municipal politics and won a seat on the Marylebone Borough Council. He probably became the first black man to be elected to such a public office in that country.
Very little is found about him in the Pan-African literature of today. Williams was born of African descent in 1869 in Arouca. As a young man he went to North America in search of higher education, and also to Canada.
His experiences stimulated an interest in Pan-Africanism to such an extent that it became his major preoccupation when he later settled in London.
He wrote to newspapers and journals on matters touching on Pan-African interests and lectured publicly on related topics - a series of activities, which led to his organizing the first Pan-African Conference in 1900 and becoming its first General Secretary. By organizing this on a purely African basis Williams set out to prove that the African wanted to shift his problems from the white man's shoulders to his own.
Organizing the first Pan-African conference was a unique achievement for which Williams is given little credit today. When he formed the African Association, as it was first called, one of its aims was to "promote and protect the interests of all subjects claiming African descent, wholly or in part, in British colonies and other places especially Africa, by circulating accurate information on all subjects affecting their rights and privileges as subjects of the British Empire, by direct appeals to the Imperial and local Governments."
Williams influenced "WEB Du Bois", who participated in the 1900 conference and who has come to be known as the father of modern Pan-Africanism. In fact in his writings Du Bois claims he originated the Pan-African idea. His famous Address to the Nations with its prophetic statement "the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the colour line" came to be regarded as the defining statement of the conference. George Padmore, Kwame Nkrumah, CLR James and Du Bois subsequently became the more famous flag bearers but the idea for the conference and the association came from Williams.
Born in 1869, his father, Bishop Williams, was a wheelwright from Barbados. His mother's name was Elizabeth. Williams attended the Arouca School, which at the time was run by a Chinese Trinidadian Known as Stony Smith.
When Williams was 17 he became a teacher with a Class III Certification, and in 1887 was posted to the government school in San Fernando. This was significant, because according to the records he was one of only three teachers with certificates in that year. A year later he was the only certified teacher at the school in Canaan, just south of San Fernando; and the following year he was transferred to San Juan, where he remained until he left Trinidad in 1891. A cultured man, he was also qualified to teach singing and played the piano regularly.
Even at that time there was in Trinidad a highly educated, articulate and race-conscious group of black men, among them JJ Thomas, Maresse-Smith, Mzumbo Lazare, CE Petioni, the Reverend Phillip Henry Douglin. Thomas particularly was famous for his books Froudacity and A Creole Grammar.
Williams wanted to get ahead. Teaching did not pay well (the salary was Ł83 per annum). So he went first to New York, but that city in 1891 was, for a black man, a poor prospect. He could only get work shining shoes. He moved in 1893 to Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Again his experience there was not happy and he did not graduate. In 1895 he went to London and entered King's College of London University, although there is no record of his enrolment at that time.
It was therefore not until 1897 he enrolled as a student of Gray's Inn to read for the bar. There he satisfied the entrance requirements by passing a preliminary examination in Latin, English and History.
During this time Williams earned some money through lecturing for the Church of England Temperance Society. This took him to all parts of the British Isles speaking under the auspices of parish churches. He also lectured on thrift for the National Thrift Society whose chairman, Dr. Greville Walpole, wrote that Williams' "heroic struggle to make ends meet won his admiration because the little he was able to earn by his lectures simply defrayed the cost of living."
Things had begun to move in the then 29-year-old Williams' life. He was friendly with 32-year-old Agnes Powell who worked as a secretary with the Temperance Society. They married in 1898 in the face of the strongest opposition of her father who refused to give his consent and thereafter refused to receive him. They had five children, the first Henry Francis Sylvester was born the following year.
Sometime after June 1897 Williams formed what he first called the African Association, and later the Pan-African Association. While on one of his Temperance speaking engagements in the UK he'd met a most unlikely person for that time, a black South African woman, a Mrs. EV Kinloch. She'd come to England with her Scottish husband who was a diamond-mining engineer. Mixed race marriages were not yet outlawed but black workers were already being treated like beasts. So moved was Williams that he allowed her to speak on his platform.
"I was pleased to see a woman of our own race coming forward from the centre of southern Africa telling the people in England things they knew not, or at least professed to know not."
Williams' good friend Trinidad attorney Muzumbo Lazare, who at the time was in London taking part in Queen Victoria's 60th anniversary celebrations as an officer of Trinidad Light Infantry Volunteers also met Kinloch and was appalled at the horrible treatment the Africans were receiving.
The meeting of these minds resulted in the formation of the Association and Williams gave his first address as honorary secretary in the common room at Gray's Inn.
Some English people felt the Association would not last three months but by 1900 Williams was ready to hold the first Pan African Conference (subsequent gatherings were known as Congresses). The three-day conference took place on July 23, 24 and 25 with delegates comprising "men and women of African blood and descent" from West and South Africa, the West Indies, the United States and Liberia.
After this Williams set about spreading the word and he embarked on lecture tours to set up branches in Jamaica, Trinidad and the United States. On June 28, 1901 the Trinidad branch of the Pan African Association was formed with branches in Naparima, Sangre Grande, Arima, Manzanilla, Tunapuna, Arouca and Chaguanas. He spent two months here and after his departure for the US even more local branches were formed.
But after this the profile of the Association suffered because he was not able to give it his full attention. On his return to London he finished his bar exams and went to practise in South Africa where he stayed from 1903 to 1905. He knew that non-whites were badly treated, but still he took this bold step. He was soon agitating for the rights of blacks. He also presided over the opening of a coloured preparatory school staffed by West Indians. He was eventually boycotted by the Cape Law Society for it was felt he was "preaching seditious doctrines to the natives against the white man."
On his return to London he decided to run for public office as he felt there should be an African spokesman in Parliament and his South African experience had given him the knowledge he needed to speak competently on these affairs. The blacks and coloureds were "my people" and on his arrival he gave the Colonial Office his views.
"We should not be deprived of equal justice because of the colour of our skins," he said.
He did not make it to Parliament but was elected to the Marylebone Borough Council in 1906. he became taken up with Liberian affairs and in fact went there in 1908 at the invitation of President Barclay. He seemed to have intended to stay for he took a 15-year lease on a piece of land. He was spied on by the British Consul who reported him in the worst way to the British government. He also spent time in Guinea and Sierra Leone before severe illness forced his return to London.
In August 1908 he came back to Trinidad with his family. Mathurin writes "Williams seemed to have suddenly abandoned his two major alternatives; to continue to be a black spokesperson in England or to settle and work in Liberia."
"He opted instead to return to his native Trinidad. Of the three alternatives this was the most unlikely from a Pan-African perspective because Trinidad was a small, white-dominated colony on the periphery of the British Empire. There are no clues that explain his decision."
Two days after returning to Trinidad he was admitted to the bar and welcomed by Chief Justice A Van W Lucie-Smith. Things were going well for Williams, his family comfortable. They lived at 71 Richmond Street and had a horse and carriage and two sloops for weekend sailing. He was asked to speak at public gatherings; he kept an extensive library (1,500 volumes).
But the end came swiftly when in 1911 he was struck down by a severe kidney ailment. He was buried at Lapeyrouse Cemetery. The aftermath was unpleasant for his family, writes Hooker. "There were four children and his widow was pregnant. The medical bills were high and very few of those who buried him seemed inclined to help. The library was sold for a ruinously small amount to Mr. Lucie-Smith. Young Henry dropped from school. The house, the boats, the horse and equipage all went.
Mrs. Williams moved her family to the corner of Sackville and Edward Streets and sold marmalade preserves which she hawked to such places as the Queen's Park Hotel."
Marcus Mosiah Garvey
Founder of Universal Negro Improvement Association
A publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, Black Nationalist, Pan-Africanist, and orator. Marcus Garvey was founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL)
Prior to the twentieth century, leaders such as Prince Hall, Martin Delany, Edward Wilmot Blyden, and Henry Highland Garnet advocated the involvement of the African diaspora in African affairs. Garvey was unique in advancing a Pan-African philosophy to inspire a global mass movement focusing on Africa known as Garveyism. Promoted by the UNIA as a movement of African Redemption, Garveyism would eventually inspire others, ranging from the Nation of Islam, to the Rastafari movement (which proclaims Garvey as a prophet). The intention of the movement was for those of African ancestry to "redeem" Africa and for the European colonial powers to leave it. His essential ideas about Africa were stated in an editorial in the Negro World titled “African Fundamentalism” where he wrote:
"Our union must know no clime, boundary, or nationality… let us hold together under all climes and in every country…"
Universal Negro Improvement Association
The Pan-African flag
Show me the race or the nation without a flag, and I will show you a race of people without any pride. Aye! In song and mimicry they have said, "Every race has a flag but the coon." How true! Aye! But that was said of us four years ago. They can't say it now....
Noble Drew Ali
Prophet and Founder of The Moorish Science Temple of America
Noble Drew Ali was born in North Carolina on January 8, 1886. In 1913, Prophet Noble Drew Ali founded the Canaanite Temple in Newark, New Jersey. The Canaanite Temple was an early indication that the so-called Negroes were of Asiatic origin from the Holy Land of Canaan. The Movement spread across the country during the 1920's as the Moorish Holy Temple of Science, as Prophet Noble Drew Ali pioneered in attempts to instill racial pride. Before he came to Chicago in 1925, the movement proliferated to Detroit, New York, Philadelphia, and some southern cities. During his lifetime, membership may have risen as high as thirty thousand members.
In 1925, Noble Drew Ali began wearing a flaming red fez appeared on the streets of Chicago, proclaiming to the people of the colored race that they were not Negroes, Colored Folks, Black People or Ethiopians. People began to gather to hear this young man speak. He stated that the fallen sons and daughters of the Asiatic Nation of North America need to learn to love instead of hate, and know of their higher self. His words were impressive because it wasn't long before he established himself in a sizeable meeting hall on Clayborne Avenue on the north side of Chicago.
By 1928, The Moorish Science Temple of America, Inc. was an established fact. It is believed that this procedure of elevating the movement to the Moorish Science Temple of America, Inc. from the Canaanite Temple in phases was to prepare the people for this great "new thought" movement; entirely different from the churches they had been used to. With the incorporation came a new charter, Divine Constitution and By Laws consisting of seven acts. There also follows seven additional laws to strengthen the guidelines for better cohesion in the organization.
The object of The Moorish Science Temple of America is to help in the great program of uplifting fallen humanity and teach those things necessary to make membership better citizens.
The Moorish Movement is still alive today.
There are many small temples all over America still following the great teachings of Prophet Nobel Drew Ali. The star and crescent, fezzes, turban, membership card, button, Moorish Flag, and the correction of "El" or "Bey" to the surname signify Moorish identity.
Master Wallace Fard Muhammad
Founder of Nation of Islam
In 1930, Master Fard Muhammad taught and preached to the Nation of Islam the science of Actual Facts.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad
Messenger of The Nation of Islam
Thirty-four years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was born on or about Oct. 7, 1897 in Sandersville, Georgia. The exact date of his birth remains unknown because record keeping in rural Georgia for the descendants of slaves was not kept current, according to historians and family members. Nevertheless, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said his birth took place some time in the first or second week of October in 1897 and set forth Oct. 7th as the anniversary date of his birth.
In 1931, after hearing his first lecture by Master Fard Muhammed at the Temple of Islam, Elijah Poole was overwhelmed by the message of Islam.
The Founder of the Nation of Islam gave Elijah Poole the name "Karriem" and made him a minister. Later he was promoted to the position of "Supreme Minister" and his name was changed to Muhammad. "The name 'Poole' was never my name," he would later write, "nor was it my father's name. It was the name the white slave-master of my grandfather after the so-called freedom of my fathers."
Mr. Muhammad quickly became an integral part of the Temple of Islam. In addition to establishing religious centers of worship, and schools, Elijah Muhammed began to start businesses under the aegis of economic development that focuses on buying and selling between and among Black companies.
Currently there are 6 to 8 million Muslims in the United States, and nearly 30 percent of them are African-American (nearly all converts from mainstream Christian denominations). During his lifetime, Muhammad saw Islam become an important presence in the black community and saw his organization grow to tens, if not hundreds of thousands of members. The Nation of Islam grew to become an enterprise with assets reportedly worth $75 million.
Leonard Percival Howell
Founder of the Rastafari Movement
Leonard Percival Howell was born in the Parish of Clarendon, Jamaica. W.I. On June 16th, 1898. He died in Kingston, Jamaica. W.I. In 1981. He was born a hero, a scholar and beyond the shadow of a doubt died a hero defending his race. His parents Thomas and Clementina Howell, who were independent farmers and business owners, motivated their son Leonard to travel. In the 1920’s he left Jamaica on a ship to the United States of America, where he advanced his intellect and academic skills.
During the 1920’s, black men and women were living in an era of racial discrimination, bigotry, oppression, segregation and encountered brutality and endless violence. It was not easy for Howell who had fallen victim to hated, bigotry and oppression to stand aside and look. He was convinced it was his responsibility that he committed his life by taking a personal stand against the forces of hated, oppression and injustice. He traveled to many cities and countries, preached among all groups of people to help raise the conscience of the public. He encouraged Black Leaders so that every individual would work and create a world in which genocide will not occur again. He had the support of many African Leaders and Head of states like Kwame Nkrumah, Dr. W.E. Dubois, Bishop Johnson of Lagos, Benito Sylvain of Ethiopia and Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya and black revolutionaries like Marcus Garvey and his UNIA, added to his political and spiritual development in the United States.
Howell became a member and participant of the Pan African movement. After the death of Howell’s father, Charles Howell, he returned to Jamaica in 1932. It was an emotional and demanding experience but it was also critical for anyone who believes in the dignity and value of human lives to understand that Howell was a messenger sent from the Divine Creator to deliver the messages and no time could be set aside for mourning.
Relentlessly, he traveled throughout the City of Kingston, St Thomas and other parts of Jamaica preaching. He performed the role of catalytic agent in teaching the radical millenarian consciousness that based itself on the doctrine of the divine kingship of Ethiopia’s Ras Tafari. He preached the Ivinity of Haile Selassie 1 as a MAN- GOD ( the concept of God being in a man or human form was very prevalent during ancient times, especially in Africa and Eastern spiritual practices) In the Rastafarian philosophy, the re-incarnation of Haile Selassie as God transformed in the flesh is the pillar of the belief systems and doctrine.
” We as Negroes have found a new ideal, whilst our god has no color yet it is human to see everything through one’s own spectacles. And since the whites people have seen their god through white spectacles we have only now started out late thought it be, to see our god through our spectacles….We shall worship Him through the Spectacles of Ethiopia” (The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey. page 41)
Howell became the most successful teacher of Rastafari doctrine. He enjoined black people to be PROUD of heritage and culture, to have their own “Money” Banks, be self-motivated, strong self-sufficient, where black economies would triumph and to hold high the value of education. Furthermore, he preached to show respect, love and honor. He said, “The white mans doctrine has forced the black man to forsake silver and gold and seek heaven after death. It has brought us to live in disgrace and die in dishonor”
King Ras Tafari of Ethiopia was sent as the Messiah, to free the minds of Africans who have been enslaved mentally and physically. King Ras Tafari taught us to go beyond the height of consciousness and accept that the black man too have a GOD that is made in the image of a BLACK man, same as the White GOD is made in the image of a white man, an Indian GOD is made in the image of Indian man, an Oriental GOD made in the image of a Oriental man etc.
Howell’s favorite song:
“ We are not divided all one family
One in hope and justice
One in charity
We are going to a land where milk and honey flow
We are not divided - All one family.”
Despite the fact that Howell became the most persecuted man in the history of Jamaica, he must be credited for purchasing over 500 acres of Land at Sligoville, in St. Catherine became known as PINNACLE. It was the center of the Rastafarian Movement, the first free slave, self sufficient and economically empowered African village in Jamaica (an historical move) Many generation of African slaves , in the thousand , came from rural and urban Jamaica settled on the land and made their vision a reality. They lived a natural way of life, in harmony with the universe, showed love and peace to all race and color, lived in unity worked collectively , uphold culture, heritage, freedom and justice, Many who were farmers planted organic food ,other who were skilled in arts and craft made household items. In addition, herbal medicine, roots, tonics and other produces were supplies and sold to the local government, private and public sectors.
Howell was a man of great vision, and mystic spirituality. He created codes and principles based on the teaching of His Imperial Majesty, Haile Selassie 1 and developed the Nyahbinghi Order (a mystical religious order) that defined “death” by the Divine Creator to the blacks and white oppressors. Years later Howell formed “The Ethiopian Salvation Society”
Before his death in 1981 Howell once said:
" I am convinced that the children we are teaching today, will become vanguards and guardians to our freedom tomorrow and better citizens to defend our democracy and to ensure that generations to come will learn from the Holocaust of slavery, and keep the flame of remembrance burning. Help them to understand more about the past, that our history NEVER repeats itself so that we can create a better future for all human race.”
Pan Africanism And The King Atabua of Lado
1945 - The Pan Africanism Association was formed
Agofe / King Atabua of Lado became the Chairman of the African Chiefs / Heads in the Conference which was held in Manchester in 1945 , and Kwame Nkrumah ( His first name was Francis ) became the secretary and Jomo Kenyatta ( His real name was Johnston Kamau) he became assistant secretary. But the Agofe / King will be Assassinated because He asked USSR to raise the question of Lado at the UN in 1947 for Independence . Why did the British Kill the Chairman and this King is not even recorded in the African History even yet as a founder member of the Pan Africanism ?
Lets find more about this Man - King of Lado then
A British Imperial Army ( King's African Rifles ) was established in 1891 under the Kavalli Agreement of 17 September 1891. The Agreement was signed by the English Captain Frederick D. Lugard who later became the Governor- General of Nigeria and Major Selim Matera , a Citizen of Lado
It was him Governor - .General. Lugard who developed the British Colonial Doctrine called The Dual Mandate ( Indirect Rule ), which is still in force through the Commonwealth Pyramid Divide-and-Rule System with the Queen / King on top, and under the Sovereign Head are the British Administrators, and below them the Local African Chiefs. The only difference today is that the British Administrators are replaced by the African Presidents who are operating as Governor -Generals dancing to the tune of Remote Control .
These British Commonwealth African Kings, Presidents and Prime Ministers rule in the firm belief that they are the True Sovereign Heads of their Countries. But in actual fact they have been reduced to mere Governor - Generals / Administrators ( International Public Law ). In Reality then this explains why the many different Indiginous Peoples of Africa, consisting of four Main Social Entities - " Races " ( Bantus, Hamitics, Sudanics and Nilotics ) believe they are Independent . That is also the reason behind the Conflict between the Tutsis ( Hamitics ) and the Hutus ( Bantus ) in Rwanda and Burundi. However, few people realise that the Real Owners of Rwanda and Burundi are the Indigenous People, the Twa People ( Batua ) , who are close counsins of the Pygmies. Rwanda and Burundi ( formerly Urundi ) used to be one Country, along with Tanganyika, before the First World War. The Territory belonged to Germany and was known as German East Africa.
In Colonial Legacy -
When the First World War ended, Rwanda - Urundi ( Burundi ) was given to Belgium, and Tanganyika to the British under the Versailles Treaty of 28 June 1919. To this , today's Conflict between the Tutsis and the Hutus is a direct result of the Division of the former German Colonies into two parts, one for Britain (Tanganyika) and one for Belgium ( Rwanda -Urundi ). . But for the Deliberate Discrimination , the Belgians chose to rule by appointing the Minority Tutsis " Most Favored Ethnic Group ", which carried them forward as the African Intelligentsia Class or the Ruling Elite, who as the new Slave Masters were used to suppress all the other Ethnic Groups. This is the Root of the Problem, and unless that is recognised and a Political Solution is found, there will be no end to the Bloodshed and Genocide in Central Africa ( which the Western / Europeans see it best lying within for their interest ) .
This similar situation is what actually the British / Belgium ( 1947 ) long stated over Lado Kingdom in Africa but they still have not succeded ----- The Displaced Persons, the Stateless Persons and the Internal Refugee Problem, among them the so called Nubians ( the Lado Muslim Community ) who are being held mainly in Uganda and Kenya as Prisoners in Reservations, the so called Restricted Settlements ( Bombo, Soroti and Gulu in Uganda and Kibira near Nairobi in Kenya ) was started by the British since 1897 . These People are always referred to simply as " The Nubians " though they are Muslims of Lado origin ( Luu and Lui People ) who were removed by the British Colonial Authority because of their Mutiny the same year 1897 when they were ordered to go and fight against their own People in Lado .The leaders were executed in Uganda including their Military Commander, Bilal Amin, the Grandfather of Idi Amin ( The Sudanese Mutiny of 1897 ) .
The British have never forgotten nor forgiven the Lado Muslims for this Breach of Discipline, which explains why these displaced People referred to as " The Nubians in East Africa ", and are still being punished now as " Unwanted Persons." Apart from being held in the Special Settlements as Prisoners, the Lado Muslims ( Nubians ) are being heavily discriminated against, very much like the American Indians were treated by the European Invaders one hundred years ago .
When Lado the leader Agofe Atabua reached the military rank of Colonel, serving in the Kings African Rifles ( KAR ) 4th Regiment which was British, with headquaters in Bombo, Uganda , He went to fight for the British in Burma in 2° World War ( WWII ) with the 4th Regiment of the Kings Africans Rifles, which later was stationed in Jinja, Uganda. The Lado leader resigned to carry out the Independence of Lado in 1947. He was replaced by a British Colonel called Alan Knight, a man with humane feelings He was a sort of friendly to Africans : an Englishman, a rare case anyway. The Lado leader was assassinated on 14th April 1948, because he asked USSR to raise the question of Lado at the UN in 1947, and the British found that was not the right thing to do.
They said He was opening the eyes of many Africans and African countries , and above all his Role as the First Chairman known to be of the Pan Africanism Association was a deadly Snake poison to the global Western Anglo - American Political Interests in Africa . With the death of the King Atabua was actually the end of Pan Africanism with its founded Head Quarters at Arua - Arua in the Independent Kingdom State of Lado as Lado is Rightly situated in the Heart of Africa . All Members present in the meeting of 1945 agreed to that . The British had to do something quick inorder to cover up this most important History part of Africa in a most meditated way to draw the African Minds to establish a new system of a giving Independence to the African People by encouraging the Secretary of the King Atabua to take over to work on this issue of Indepedences but without Sovereignty issue at hand to the African people .
This Agreement with Nkuruma led to the initiatives of the formation of Organisation of African Unit in the African Independence Conference held in Accra in 1958 .
In 1961, the OAU Charter was drawn up by three African blocs : one called the Casablanca Group, another called the Monrovia Group, and the third called the Brazzaville Group. So the three Groups formed the Organisation of African Unity. The only concerned Organisation in Africa yet , therefore still , till todate is OAU
In conclusion OAU charter was concluded on 25th May 1963, in Addis Ababa, starting on 25th May, 1947 but picked up later by - because the leader John Anacleto Atobua Agami from Lado Kingdom was killed in 1948 on April . It was Francis Kwame Nkrumah later, was the one who organised the African Independence Conference in Accra in 1958 as He was the Secretary to the King John Anacleta Atabua Agami of the Pan Africanism . OAU took its roots from Pan Africanism .
Lado advocated and will continue to do so for Pan Africanism to live with one flag for the Unity of Africa . It is high time that be put in Existence .
The name Pan Africanism sounds good and in its History philosophy as was formed for the first time and the philosophy goes to generations and generations of Africa . Pan Africanism has been given to us Black people by our Grand forefathers to ensure and contnue to Safe Guard the Basic interests and Rights to the Existence of all Blacks on this planet and in this Universe as a whole . This is the Biggest Gift to us Blacks we can be proud of and therefore it is our due Rights to defend it with no Jokes . Many of our Forefathers have already been slaughtered by the enemies of Blacks for the purpose of Pan Africanism .
What the Hell is all about with such strage denominations like African Union ( AU ) and again now changing to another name United States of Africa ( USA) . I hope this is not the Madness of some of the Africa puppet Leaders ( Western Anglo - American controlled ) mentors thinking for Africa and all the Blacks , once again .
Peace be upon you
World's Great Men of Color Volume 1 J.A. Rogers pg. 248
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