Our paper examines the place of Pan-Africanism as an educational, political, and cultural movement which had a lasting impact on the on the relationship between liberation and people of African descent, in the continent of Africa and the Diaspora. We also show its evolution, beginning with formerly enslaved Africans in the Americas, to the colonial borders of the 1884 Berlin Conference, and conclude with the independence movements in Africa. For formerly enslaved Africans, Pan-Africanism was an idea that helped them see their commonalities as victims of racism. That is, they realized that they were enslaved because they came from the same continent and shared the same racial heritage. They associated the continent of Africa with freedom. The partitioning of Africa at the Berlin Conference (colonialism) created pseudo-nation states out of what was initially seen as an undivided continent. Pan-Africanism provided an ideology for rallying Africans at home and abroad against colonialism, and the creation of colonial nation-states did not erase the idea of a united Africa. As different African nations gained political independence, they took it upon themselves to support those countries fighting for their independence. The belief, then, was that as long as one African nation was not free, the continent could not be viewed as free. The existence of nation-states did not imply the negation of Pan-Africanism. The political ideas we examine include those of Marcus Garvey, W.E.B. Du Bois, Kwame Nkrumah, Maya Angelou, and Thabo Mbeki. Pan-Africanism, as it were, has shaped how many people understand the history of Africa and of African people.
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