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Full text of "Drum"

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BLACK LITERARY EXPERIENCE 

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STAFF 

Co-Editors Paul W, Barrows 

Edward J. Rogers 

Fiscal Imogene Lewis 

Rosa J. Emory 

Lay Out Clement Roach 

Clyde Santana 

Literary Lawrence E. Baugh 

Barry Bishop 
Carolyn Boiling 
Joan Johnson 
Michael Patterson 
Janis Peters 

Image Co-ordinators Clyde Santana 

Clement Roach 
L, Tommy Rocha 
Randell Ramos 

Photography Editor . Eugene Niles 

Jetta C. Eraser 
Steven Texiseira 

Administrative Secretary Lorraine Harvey 

Distribution Lutricia Black 

Steve Monteiro 

Office Staff Charline Abbott 

Leslie Banks 
Marcia Cooper 
Ella Garrison 
Reggie McDonald 
Deborah McFarland 
Rose Roberts 
Greg Triplett 



THE DRUM, SPRING 1974 
Vol.5 No. 3 



Editorial, circulation and advertising 
offices located at 426 New Africa House, 
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 
Mass. 01002. 



Printing; Gazette Printing Co., Inc., Northampton, Mass. 



Copyright by DRUM, 426 New Africa House 
May 14, 1974 




CONTENTS 



Dedication 

5 Editorial 

6 Famine in Ethiopia 

11 African Liberation Movements in South Africa:AComment on 

the Present Anti-Colonial and Anti-Imperialist Movements 
18 An Interview with Chinua Achebe 

25 Noted Black Women ... An Interview 

26 The International Implications of African Liberation Struggles 
34 Africa and the Black Dispora 

42 A Way-Station from Our Past 



Paul W. Barrows 

Paul W. Barrows 

Birku Menkir 

Mfundi M. Vundia 

Lawrence Baugh 

Carolyn Boiling 

Dovi Afesi 

Nana Kobina Nketsia 

Melvin Smith 



Dawn in the Heart of Africa 




Patrice Emery Lumumba 



For a thousand years, you, Africa suffered like a beast. 
Your ashes strewn to the wind that roams the desert. 
Your tyrants built the lustrous, magic temples 
to preserve your soul, preserve your suffering. 
Barbaric right of fist and white right to a whip. 
You had the right to die, you also could weep. 
On your totem they carved endless hunger, endless bonds. 
And even in the cover of the woods a ghastly cruel death 



(continued) 



Was watching, snaky, crawling to you 

Like branches from the holes and heads of trees 

Embraced your body and your ailing soul. 

Then they put a treacherous big viper on your chest: 

On your neck they laid the yoke of fire-water. 

They took your sweet wife for glitter of cheap pearls. 

Your incredible riches that nobody could measure. 

From your hut, the tom-toms sounded into dark of night 

Carrying cruel laments up mighty black rivers 

About abused girls, streams of tears and blood, 

About ships that sailed to countries where the little man 

Wallows in an ant hill and where the dollar is king. 

To that damned land which they called a motherland. 

In a frightful, merciless mill, crushing them in dreadful pain. 

You are men like others. They preach you to believe 

That good white God will reconcile all men at last. 

By fire you grieved and sang the moaning songs 

Of a homeless beggar that sinks at strangers' doors. 

And when a craze possessed you 

And your blood boiled through the night 

You danced, you moaned, obsessed by father's passion. 

Like fury of a storm to lyrics of a manly tune 

From a thousand years of misery a strength burst out of you 

In metallic voice of jazz, in uncovered outcry 

That thunders through the continent like gigantic surf. 

The whole world surprised, wakes up in panic 

to the violent rhythm of blood, to the violent rhythm of jazz. 

The white man turning pallid over this new song 

That carries torch of purple through the dark of night. 

The dawn is here, my brother! Dawn! Look in our faces, 

A new morning breaks in our old Africa. 

Ours alone will now be the land, the water, mighty rivers 

Poor Africa surrendered for a thousand years. 

Hard torches of the sun will shine for us again 

They'll dry the tears on eyes and spittle on your face. 

The moment when you break the chains, the heavy fetters. 

The evil, cruel times will go never to come again. 

A free and gallant Congo will arise from black soil, 

A free and gallant Congo-black blossom from black seed! 

Patrice Emery Lumumba 



EDITORIAL 



An assessment of the status of the political involvement and development of Third 
World students/people on campus and in our communities back home, reveals that there 
leaves much to be desired. Much of our revolutionary spirit has been replaced with apathy, 
indecisiveness and insecurity. As one Brother put it, "it seems as if everything; the economic, 
social and political situation, is getting just as bad as it was back in the fifties, but the only 
difference is that nobody gives a damn. Everyone is just content to let what happens, hap- 
pen." Through observing the situation, this sadly seems to be the case. Brothers and even 
Sisters are again being overtly harrassed and intimidated by the local functionaries. On the 
job scene we have reverted to our familiar position of the last hired, first fired bunch, very 
content to "lay up" on our old lady's welfare check. Even in our "isolated Utopia's" (Am- 
herst, Mt. Holyoke, Hampshire etc.) the number of overt racist-oriented attacks and assaults 
are increasing everyday, while so many of us sit up in our rooms unconcerned, intellectualiz- 
ing over a "J." The significance of African Liberation Day has meant no more than a cheap 
ride to D.C. and back, for the weekend. 

It seems as though the government, the media and elements among ourselves, have all 
collaborated to destroy or re-define our direction. With the endorsement of a welfare check 
(and they come in many forms), a "Superfly" movie, and a big shipment of dope, they have 
proceeded to completely reverse our directives. When we should be about organizing and 
politicizing on all levels, our priorities have returned to full-scale partying, hustling and even 
killing one another. 

What does all this mean, especially to those of us who eke out an existence day to day 
slowly embalming ourselves to a certified death in Am-Hearst? (As our programs get phased 
out more and more everyday). It is simply a cold slap in the face that will (must) awaken us 
(again) to the precarious nature of our existence here. Time is something that we have never 
had and it is vital that we begin at once to use this precious time in search for new directives 
to give needed guidance and inspiration to those of us who so badly need it. Walter Cronkite, 
Harry Reasoner, or any of the traditional accommodationist mentalities that are beamed upon 
us cannot solve these problems for us, rather they will only serve to mis-guide or confuse us 
—even more. Our direction can only come from hard and painstaking analysis, which must 
be done by none other than ourselves. 

For inspiration and guidance, Africa seems to be one of the best of possibilities for us to 
begin (again) to explore. Besides the fact that the various struggles and successes on the con- 
tinent could serve to inspire and to some extent give guidance, these struggles are extremely 
vital for us to begin to understand because their outcome will indirectly or directly effect our 
lives here in Amerika. Most important, there are many, many other concrete ways that we— 
Africans and Afro-Americans— can aid one another. 

It is partially for this reason that the DRUM has decided to donate an entire issue, as well 
as sections of subsequent issues to come, to explore and publicize for your inspirational 
analysis, articles, essays, various accounts and other literature of and about Africa. Thus we 
may be able to draw from these experiences the understanding that the nature of their struggle 
indicates much about the nature of our struggle. Hopefully this will aid us in a necessary 
reversal of our growing negative trend. 

Paul W. Barrows 



FAMINE IN ETHIOPIA 



Paraphrased from 'Combat,' a journal of 
World Wide Federation of Ethiopian Students 

By Birku Menkir 



It has now been almost a year since a rempant 
famine in Ethiopia began to take its heavy tolls. The 
imminence of a drought in West Africa and some 
regions of East Africa has been known for the last five 
years; at least, to the experts and government officials 
of several countries in Africa. 

As if such a problem of this magnitude could be 
wished away, these government officials waited in 
utter silence for the famine to spread unimpeded, 
destroying tens of thousands of people and a corres- 
ponding number of cattle. Even after the famine had 
developed into full swing, disastrously spreading at 
an incredible rate, the problem was minimized and con- 
sidered not serious enough to merit international 
attention. 

In Ethiopia, Haile Selassie's government covered 
up the famine, aware of its political implications in and 
outside Africa. This government was so corrupt and 
unstable that it suppressed any information about the 
famine even to the extent of killing seventeen students 
in Wollo, a province of Ethiopia. 

News of this human devastation in Africa trickled 
into the western press only a few weeks ago. Likewise, 
people in this part of the hemisphere, either comforted 
themselves with the idea that they were far removed 
from the tragedy or proceeded to go about their daily 
business in utter ignorance. 

At any rate, since the famine exists independent 
of peoples awareness, a brief description and analysis 
of the famine in Ethiopia seems long overdue 
particularly for the Third World community which has 
not made any significant effort to have an impact on 
the famine situation in Africa. 

The Ethiopian famine which wrought a human 
tragedy in its wake defies description. Death, despair, 
fear, insecurity and helplessness have gripped a 
reported fifth of Ethiopia's estimated 25-30 million peo- 
ple. According to statistics 250,000 people have 
already perished and are dying at a monstrous rate of 
500 people per day. The pictures from the starvation 
zones depict men, women, and children in the most 
misery-ridden situation conceivable. Children have 
collapsed on their mother's backs. Pregnant women 
have miscarried. The aged have mellowed agonizingly 
to death. The whole northern half of the country reels 
in the grinding teeth of starvation. An entire 
province— Wollo— has been completely devastated. 
The provinces of Tigre, northern Shoa, parts of 
Begemder and Harrar were severely hit by this disas- 
ter. 



Ethiopia's cattle population, which equals the 
total number of people in the country, has made it the 
"ninth largest cattle (producer) in the world." i 
However, here too the catastrophic famine has taken 
its share of cattle toll. A U.N. estimate shows that 80- 
90% of the cattle in north Ethiopia has been 
decimated.2 Consequently the price of cattle per head 
has also been reported to have shot down to $3.00 as 
against the national average of $8.00. A grave irony of 
this grim tragedy is the news that, for the first time, 
Ethiopian exported meat reached the super markets of 
Europe. The famine has indeed brought windfall 
profits for the capitalists and greedy speculators. 
Surely, this is "a famine that left the rich richer and 
the poor dead."^ 

Agricultural experts have continued to dub the 
country as the "granary of Africa and the Middle 
East.""* Despite the realities of famine in the period of 
1965-66, there was an impressive 30% grain and 
agricultural surplus for the decennium of 1956-69. 
Unlike most subsistence economies, Ethiopia shows a 
rate of agricultural growth which continues to exceed 
the demographic rate.^ The total agricultural surplus 
was accumulated from a 15% land area although half 
the total land area in Ethiopia is arable land. This 
means Ethiopia's vast rural population works on a 
small portion of land, thus this situation militates 
against production and the accumulation of surplus. 
To this can be added, the neglect that the agricultural 
sector of the economv "enjovs" from the government. 
The state budget in 1972-73 reveals an expenditure of 
$191,797,669 for defense, internal law and order and 
information purposes as against $14,983,749 for 
agricultural production. This is an incredible 1280% 
rise over the agricultural sector. It does not demand a 
terrific imagination to see a chronic government 
misdirection in both surplus appropriation and 
utilization. 

It therefore does not come as surprising to realize 
that even under normal circumstances the Ethiopian 
people live under the constant threat of death. Article 
2991 of the 1960 Code stipulates that tenants can 
surrender as much as 75% of their labor produce. 
Actually the rate is sometimes higher for the tenant is 
subjected to a host of parasites: clergymen, local 
gentry, government revenue collectors, and his land- 
lord. That the peasant survives despite these odds is 
proof of his subtle creativity and wisdom. A 
"nutrition survey" taken in 1965 at 52 sites reported 
that "there (exists) an average caloric deficit of up to 
400 per person per day."* Malnutrition has remained 



a salient feature of the feudal order for ages. This 
makes the famine case severe in Ethiopia. The 
rampancy of famine waves is exemplified by the 
failure of one or two provinces from escaping under- 
going famine conditions every one or two years. 
Furthermore, in Ethiopia, a hospital is a rarity, a 
doctor an exception (ratio 1: 75,000) and state health 
expenditure a pittance 0.50 cents per person per year. 
The mortality rate (60%) is one of the highest in the 
world, and half the country (although undeclared) is a 
perpetual malaria disaster area. 

It still remains the central question, why do the 
Ethiopian people go hungry despite the surplus 
agricultural production borne of their toil and sweat? 
Who appropriates, utilizes or consumes this surplus 
and what for? Who stockpiles it in the palace 
granaries and elsewhere? Who hoards grain? Who 
uses grain for price speculation and why especially at a 
time when the people are undergoing harrowing 
famine conditions? Why does famine exist side by side 
with an "impressive 30% total agricultural surplus?" ^ 
What is the root of this dilemma? The root lies in the 
antagonistic class contradiction between the peasant 
masses on the one hand and the landlords, the 
compradors and "blue bloods" on the other. Locked in 
this antagonistic contradiction, the cries, misery and 
woes of the peasant become the happiness of the 
landlord. The back-breaking toil of the tillers is the 
fruit of the wealthy landlord. Consequently, the 
peasant ekes out a dreadful existence. Repressed by 
the feudal state, terrorized by an obscurantist church, 
demobilized by centuries of traditional inertia, 
manipulated by greedy profiteers and exploited by the 
landlord, his is a life of sorrow from dusk to dawn and 
from birth to the grave. 




This famine in 1973 thus brings forth, to a sharp 
focus, a number of central questions. How can 
Ethiopia's rural masses break out of the vicious cycles 
of periodic famine eruptions? How can they root out 
the poverty which has enclosed them within the 
confining perimeters of misery, stagnation, and of 
squalor for thousands of years? How can the tillers, 
tenants and peasants of the vast countryside, bound to 
the soil in space and time, realize their full human 
possibility and enjoy perforce the products of their 
labour free from the life devaluation contexts of 
successive famine flare ups? How can the people lead 
a vibrant and confident life free from the con- 
founding anxieties of starvation and disease? Is it 
really tenable to hold that the famine is only drought- 
induced? Are drought, natural calamities and famine 
assorted attributes of the prevailing stratified 
bourgeofeudal order or are these its consequences, and 
perhaps the very raison de etre of its longevity? It is 
the answers to these questions that determines whether 
or not one stands for the total elimination of famine or 
its postponement. Acknowledging that famine can be 
rooted out never to come again or denying that it can is 
the litmus paper which distinguishes the revolu- 
tionary position from the liberal and Samaritan 
meliorists. 

This present famine in Ethiopia has been preceded 
by famines of the cruelest types. In order to link this 
present famine with its counterparts in the past and to 
establish a continuum whole, we need to examine 
Ethiopia's famine, and misery-ridden historical past. 

A considerable agricultural surplus, sufficient to 
sustain a general subsistence, has co-existed with a 
famine situation. This was even much more true for 
Ethiopia's past where bumper crops on one side of the 
region and famine on the other have always had a 
'unity of opposites' character. Why a situation of 
famine amid a situation of plenty will be elaborated in 
the analysis of Ethiopia's history. 

Three broad conceptualizations roughly 
corresponding to specific mode of productions have 
historically underpinned the attitudes of ruling classes 
in explaining any disaster, much less famine: 

1) In analyzing the famine disaster in West 
Africa certain bourgeois persons carefully avoided the 
political, social and economic environs and presented 
the problem as the regions losing struggle against the 
environment. The encroaching Sahara Desert, at the 
rate of thirty miles per year, was said to prevail over 
the region's fragile ecological balance. Lack of rain, 
drought and ecological imbalance are the starting 
points of the bourgeois explanation of famine. 

2) In societies like Ethiopia where the feudal 
priestly ideology pervades the terrain, the tiniest 
problem, which this ideology cannot explain, is 
associated with the anger of God and/or the evilhood 
of man. This notion associates the origin of famine 
with the anger of God and leads its erstwhile adherents 
to prescribe 'praying' as a necessary cure-all. Those 
whose praying is heard in God's chamber can solicit 
his mercy and placate his anger. Die or live they will 
be saved. To a people gripped in a situation of mass 



starvation, totally lost as to the way out, such a simple 
prescription, will, indeed, be a purposeful solace. 
Their death from hunger by the thousands can thus 
continue for many among the dead might enjoy 
heavenly bliss. 

3) The other view which sharply contrasts and 
criticizes the other two conceptions is the explanation 
which seeks to understand anything, much less 
famine, from the material totality of the internal and 
external situations that precipitated the problem. This 
conception criticizes the bourgeois viewpoint for its 
arbitrary exclusion of the socio-economic and political 
reality and its undue emphasis on the natural factor. 
The moment one begins to abstract the natural factor 
from the socio-economic reality, he succumbs to 
idealism. Adverse natural conditions operate differ- 
endy in feudal, capitalist and socialist socio-economic 
structural frameworks. The same conditions of 
drought tend to be much more severe in a feudal 
society than in a capitalist or socialist society. That is 
because although the drought originates from climatic 
factors, it transforms into a social problem governed 
by the logic and dynamics of class relations in the 
given society it occurs. To put this viewpoint in a 
historical perspective, we need to elaborate the genesis 
of famine from the earliest times. 

There was a long period in history where no 
country could maintain immunity from famine 
flareups. This long historical epoch extends from the 
earliest times until the collapse of feudalism and the 
emergence of capitalism on a world scale. The onset of 
the Industrial Revolution heralded the emergence of 
machinery replacing capitalist manufacture based on 
the division of manual labour. The Industrial 
Revolution, thus, inaugurated a qualitative change in 
the methods of production. The transition from an 
organization of the division of labour based on manual 
manufacture and handicrafts to industrial machinery, 
steam engine, etc. marked an "essentially different 
period' of capitalism. Consequent upon the 
revolutionization of the mode of production in 
industry and agriculture is a corresponding 
revolutionization of the social process of production 
(means of transport and communication, river 
steamers, ocean steamers, telegraphs, saihng vessels 
etc.). Thus with the development of capitalism and the 
industrial revolution, the nature of famine underwent 
a profound transformation. What was famine like 
prior to the Industrial Revolution? During those 
early times, communication and trade were un- 
developed. Then societies were more or less, self- 
contained, self-dependent and self-enclosed entities 
little or no link and access between the same region, 
much less other regions and countries. The natural 
economy that prevailed in these societies had no 
structural connection with the occurrence of drought 
and other adverse geological and climatic turbu- 
lences. To be sure, there was a connection. But the 
dominant tendency was that famine was a natural 
calamity, for the modern safety valves that wipe out 
famine were not to be found then. Thus those who 
had relatively advanced economies suffered from 
natural calamities in as much as those who were rela- 
tively undeveloped. Ancient Rome, Greece, China 



and Axum suffered terrible famine outbursts at a 
time when they had had advanced economies. It was 
equally true for Britain, Gaul, Prussia and European 
Russia who had had a relatively backward economic 
bases. A recorded 450 famines were known in 
Europe from 1000-1850 A.D. 

We now live in a different historical epoch where 
famine due to droughts cannot be allowed to occur in 
a few developed countries, while it is made to exist in 
the rest of the under-developed world. This is the era 
of imperialism and monopoly capitalism which has 
integrated in its undervelopment ring even the 
remotest rural backwater in the Third World. Thus, 
when famine exists during this reign of monopoly 
capitalism, it is because the structural integration of 
these societies to world imperialism has given rise to 
the conditions of immobility and 

'underdevelopingness.' The consequence from this 
imperialist relationship is the artificial superimposition 
on these backward economies of a style of life which 
blindly immitates the metropolitan centres particularly 
by the dominant interests in the periphery. The 
backward ruling classes whose destiny is much more 
dependent on the moods of Washington or Paris than 
their own peoples, can freely mess with the lives of 
their 'subjects.' They indulge in hoarding, grain 
speculation and create artificial scarcities to steal the 
last possession of the starving masses entrapped in a 
famine crises. This, in turn, accelerates the famine 
crises like wild fire to other regions. In the imperialist 
era, famine is not a result of absolute want, rather 
whatever its incidental origin, it develops from the 
policy of throwaway prices which the profiteering 
classes launch against the labouring masses. Only the 
oppressed people in the world are vulnerable to 
famine eruptions at this monopoly stage of capitalism. 
It is against a background of this larger context that 
the history of famine in Ethiopia must be reflected. 

An expose of the eternal inherent irrationality of 
the feudal system, which brought about bloodshed, the 
stagnant convention current of waste, extravagance, 
decadence, misery, disease and famine in Ethiopia is 
quite necessary if only because the essence of these 
features exist in the country to this day. Warlords 
styling themselves as kings with ambitions to be king 
of kings (emperors) organized powerful bases to 
thrust and intrude into territories of other warlords 
with equal, if not more, pretentions. The insuing 
battle saw either the mutual destruction of the con- 
tending warlords or the vanquishing of one at the 
expense of the other. This long drawn feudal epoch 
was characterized, in general, by the grabbing of the 
land of peasants and the subjugation or annihilation 
of whole populations and communities. There was/is 
an arbitrary imposition of various forms of tenure 
whose multiplicity is highly adapted to the 
preservation of the landlord rule of terror and 
obstruction. Forms of rent and taxation were very 
irregular and their frequency and arbitrariness further 
vitiated the production of agriculture. Compulsory 
services and exhortations jumped or fell with the 
incidence or ebb and flow of warlord conquests. Some- 
times, whole communities were often reduced to a 
landless status. The permanent state of agitation 




postponed the need of developing towns. Law, 
n\orality and justice followed the tastes and prejudices 
of the warlords. 

There were instances where the male sector of the 
population was seriously underpopulated and tilling 
was taken up by women and children. Recruited to a 
warlord army which saw killing as a profession 
coupled with this army's strong anti-labor psychol- 
ogy, the peasantry was functioning ironically both as 
the killer and the killed. No doubt these conditions of 
feudalism created the prerequisites for vast famine 
devastations. There were natural, political and 
economic factors for the ravages that warlord 
contentions for power brought about. Each warlord 
styled himself as a king and aspired to be 'king of 
kings.' Since the historic Ethiopian kingdom in the 
feudal epoch was much more a confederal aggregate 
than either a federal or unitary organizational entity, 
there were wide policy differences among the contend- 
ing warlords. Each warlord could enhance his prestige 
bv sending and/or accepting his envoys from Europe. 
He could make diplomatic deals with one European 
power or another and buy much needed firearms from 
Europe. Thus the fight to centralize or decentralize, to 
expand or to secede and to unify or to be independent 
existed, as it suited, the presumed advantage of each 
warlord and his son, who inherited his father's 
pretentions. The resultant vector of this commotion 
was at best a circulatory stagnation and at worst total 
devastation. There could not have been development 
under such kind of chaos and disorder. 

Ethiopia's geographical setup also contributed to 
the disunity of the feudalists into regional centres of 
power. Its mountaineous vastness is still impregna- 
ble creating serious communication bottlenecks. The 
economy, as it is to a large extent today, was self- 
contained, and self-dependent with undeveloped 
exchange (market) relations, low labor productivity 
(despite a considerable agricultural surplus) and with 
no ability for capital accumulation. Technique was 
also at a primitive stage. Industries were local and of 



the cottage and handicrafts variety. The ruling class 
was uncreative, uninterpreneural and used whatever 
surplus, such as existed, for ostentatious consumption. 
Trade was undeveloped, limited only to the import of 
firearms for the export of hides, coffee and slaves. 
Towns, even after they grew up were mere show cases 
of feudal and church pageants. Such a feudal, 
economic, political and technological environment led 
to the unmistakable result of a complete paralysis of 
the productive forces. 

By way of conclusion, it can be suggested that 
under the present conditions, the Ethiopian peasant is 
made to live for one evil purpose alone, that is, in order 
for the feudal barons to exploit him. No other 
conclusion can be a satisfactory outcome from the kin 
of feudal relations that we have come to see prevailing 
in present day Ethiopia. Types of tax payment in the 
present famine stricken province of Tigre alone runs to 
thirteen. In the neighboring Begemder it reaches well 
over twenty-six. A new agricultural income tax has 
been imposed by the government on the already tax 
burdened masses. Forms of rent payment are so 
exploitative, that it leave the peasant with only his 
skin so that he may continue his toil for the landlord. 
With the intervention of imperialist commercial agri- 
culture, even the remaining portion— peasant 
existence itself— has been put under a big question 
mark. Such is the devastating reality of the Ethiopian 
people, a reality so cruel and ugly that it is an every day 
condemnation of those who vegetate in its bosom. 

By any standard one cares to adopt, Ethiopia 
remains the crudest autocracy in this century. No 
press. No assembly. No association. Informers 
abound. The secret police are everywhere. People are 
hung in public. The government hangs people, even 
after it has killed them. Public flogging is the 
system's mainstay. Corruption permeates the 
bureaucracy from the palace down to the last centre of 
local authority. It seems that embezzlement, tax 
evasion, exhortations and fraud are the programmes of 
the government. The prime motive is exploitation of 
the people. Everything else is predicated to this goal. 

With famine, death and disease, the cup of misery 
of the common tiller-peasant and tenant has been 
overflowing. War, pillage and drought combined has 
increased the peasant's emiseration with geometric 
progression. It was a cruel past which will never be 
forgotten. It was cruel because a tiny fraction was 
enjoying fully all the luxuries of life while the vast 
masses were enslaved, exchanged, priced, devalued, de- 
humanized and degraded. History is long, but the 
wronged millions will surely rise in a stormy upsurge 
to give the last coup de grace to their despoilers of 
centuries. 



FOOTNOTES 

1 Robert L. Hess, Ethiopia— The Modernization of Auto- 
cracy, Cornell University Press, 1970, p. 87. 

2 FAO-WFP/22 Release, October 26, 1973 

3 Sunday Times, November 25, 1973. 
■• Robert L. Hess, p. 87. 

5 Ibid. 

' Chikonaw Bezabih, Ethiopia-Sfflfus of Public Health 
Challenge (publication of ESUNA), Vol. IX, No. 2, p. 7. 
' Robert L. Hess, p. 86. 



ROOTS TO ROOTS 



when the stormy rains can\e 
They washed away everything 

But the stems and roots. 

And even the stems depended on the roots. 

The roots lay bare 

And all the dirt was washed from their crevices. 

The bare roots were without soil. 

Without the protection of the soil 

They would never bear fruit with their stems. 

For they knew that if they did 
When the rains stopped 
And the sun began to blaze 
And dry the surroundings 

There would be no way to give food to that fruit. 

The fruit would shrivel and die. 

The roots could only lay close to the soil 

And hope for water enough for their own salvation 

And the salvation of the stems. 

fiope that soon they would find a way 
Back to the soil. 

Mungu Kimya Abudu 




African Liberation Movements in Southern Africa: 

A Comment on the Present 

Anti-Colonial and Anti-Imperialist Movements 

By Mf undi M. Vundla 



In the area of Southern Africa the oppressed 
peoples are presently waging a heroic struggle 
against colonialism, imperialism, and apartheid. The 
question of settler regimes in Southern Africa is a 
complicated question. Whilst in the Portuguese colo- 
nies one finds the phenomenon of classical colonial- 
ism, i.e. the colonies being governed from an out- 
side or foreign source with a colonial administra- 
tion to enforce the laws of the metropolitan power. 
The territories of Zimbabwe, Namibia and South 
Africa are altogether a different phenomenon; these 
areas constitute the main bulwark of imperialism on 
the African continent. These white territories after 
years of colonial exploitation have emerged into 
economically advanced industrial states— character- 
ized by the merger of industrial and banking capital. 
We can observe these states as subimperialist in 
character,— states whose main purpose is to protect 
and foster the growth of domestic and foreign 
capitalist ventures. This area, whilst it presently 
constitutes the industrial heartland of the continent 
of Africa, is seen by the present settler regimes as a 
potential beach-head for penetrating independent 
African countries. This time, in order to recolonize 
Africa the white settlers intend to tie in African 
countries as satellite states firmly revolving around 
the capitalist orbit controlled by Pretoria and Salis- 
bury. 

THE PORTUGUESE COLONIES: forty years of 
Salazarist rule, of clericofascist stagnation and 
strangulation, have most definitely mocked the 
"civilizing mission" that was once often advanced by 
apologists of colonialism. Open pillaging and 
plunder have been the order of the day in the Portu- 
guese colonies. If Portugal were taken as represent- 
ing the center and the colonies as the periphery we 
observe a classical colonial relationship at work; the 
periphery serves as the reservoir of natural resources 
and the center as the transformer of raw materials 
which are then flooded to the colonies and the world 
market at the discretion of the center. The peoples of 
the Portuguese colonies experienced a dual oppres- 
sion—as workers and as national groups. We there- 
fore observe the confluence of race and class oppres- 
sion. 

The principal movements in Angola are UNITA 
and MPLA, and in Mozambique it is FRELIMO. 
These movements are nationalist, anti-colonial and 
therefore anti-imperialist. The Portuguese colonies 
are presently involved in the national-democratic 
revolution— forcibly rejecting years of colonial, white 



supremacist ideology. The struggle is also an anti- 
latifundia redistribution of land to the land-thirsty 
peasantry— resting it from the absent landlord class 
of Portugal. 

The Leninist strategy of world revolution in the 
era of imperialism was based on three fundamental 
contradictions; between the proletariat capital, be- 
tween the oppressed nations and imperialism, and 
amongst the imperialists themselves. 

The author would like to take a brief look at 
the territory of Guinea-Bissau, because it presents 
a classic national liberation struggle that has 
borne success. The territory is a former Portuguese 
colony which has recently declared itself an inde- 
pendent sovereign state after a decade of armed 
struggle. The struggle has been successful enough 
to drive the Portuguese colonial army of occupa- 
tion to the urban centers— all that is needed in this 
area is for the Portuguese to discuss surrender terms. 

African people in Southern Africa are a defeat- 
ed people; it takes vision, perseverance and convic- 
tion about final victory to convince a people subju- 
gated for over a century about the national libera- 
tion struggle. An exposition on the difference be- 
tween a worker and a peasant is in order here; by 
worker the author refers to that strata in society 
which faced by the fundamental question of exis- 
tence decides to sell its labor power to an employer. 
A worker is therefore tied to the wage system and 
in the course of the performance of his duties as a 
worker he comes into contact with individuals who 
are also workers. This contact is crucial because the 
worker realizes that labor is a collective effort, and 
he along with other workers constitute a class dis- 
tinct and apart from the people who do the hiring. 
Perhaps the crucial difference between a worker 
and a peasant is the fact that he creates surplus 
value (e.g. he makes fifty pairs of shoes a day; tnese 
shoes are sold for $30.00 a pair, and he is paid $30.00 
a day; the total value he creates in an eight-hour 
day amounts to $1500.00. The employer pockets 
$1470.00; $1470.00 constitutes surplus value.) This 
exploitative relationship between worker and his 
employer heightens the consciousness of the con- 
tradiction that exists between the two. 

A peasant is an individual who makes a living 
by tilling a plot of land usually his own. He pro- 
duces agricultural products only for himself and 
his family, if he has one. Rarely does it occur to the 
peasant to produce for the market as he rarely pro- 
duces a surplus. His production is therefore at sub- 



11 



sistence level. This occupation which is carried 
out by the peasant is highly individualistic in char- 
acter, it lacks the collective ring which one notices in 
labor performed by a worker. Quiet often the tools 
the peasant uses are antiquated and the peasant, 
due to his isolation, harbours great suspicion for the 
new and innovation. 

Given the above, the political attitudes of the 
worker and the peasant cannot be expected to be the 
same. The experiences of revolutionary movements 
is that it is difficult to get the peasant to think in col- 
lective terms. The peasant, due to his isolation and 
his being tied to the soil, is rendered highly individu- 
alistic; his fear of losing his small plot of land often 
leads at best to sluggish support for revolutionary 
movements. A great deal of politicization has to be 
done to heighten the revolutionary commitment of 
the peasant. 

In this respect Amilcar Cabral has this to say: 
"In Guinea it must be said that the peasantry do not 
constitute a revolutionary force. A distinction 
must be made between a physical force and a revolu- 
tionary force; physically the peasantry represent a 
great force, it is almost the majority of the popula- 
tion. They produce agricultural goods and it almost 
controls the nation's wealth, but it has been our ex- 
perience that it has been extremely difficult to con- 
vince the peasant to fight. " Years of degradation, 
being tied to the soil have had a significant effect 
to blunt the revolutionary fervor of the peasantry in 
Africa. When one looks at the other strata of Guin- 
ean society one realizes that the most politically ad- 
vanced elements in the national liberation struggle in 
Guinea-Bissau come in the main from working class 
elements in the society. The reason for this phenome- 
non solely lies in the class question of the national 
liberation struggle, not only in Guinea but in the 
whole of Southern Africa. By class, we mean rela- 
tionship to the means of production— i.e. whether 
one is a worker, selling his labor power to the labor 
market, or whether one actually owns the means of 
production and, for that reason, belongs to the 
bourgeoisie. There are, of course, elements in any 
society that occupy in-between positions in this 
stratification, for example those elements that are 
either self-employed or that are in the liberal profes- 
sions or in the civil service; these could be said to 
comprise the petty-bourgeoisie. While all these 
groups in society are aware of the colonial oppres- 
sion meted against them by the Portuguese, the 
manner and extent of militancy against the status 
quo is tied to the class question. Those elements that 
have moved to the urban areas of Portuguese 
Guinea, withness at first hand the degree of exploita- 
tion directed at them; they see the Portuguese work- 
er being paid fifty-five escudos* and they having 
to make do with ten escudos**. Here the character and 
level of the exploitation is glaring and goes a long 
way to convince the black worker about the need 
for all forms of struggle including armed struggle, 
in order to radically uproot the oppressing colonial 
power. It is from this group that the militants for 
the anti-colonial struggle have come. Most of these 
elements are new arrivals to the urban centers 
and therefore have very strong bonds with the 
countryside. They have been the main force in in- 
culcating progressive thinking among the peasant- 



ry. This group has tirelessly worked to unveil to 
the masses of the people the urgancy of armed con- 
flict against Portugal and its army of occupation 
in the colonies. 

ZIMBABWE (RHODESIA) Zimbabwe represents 
a classic case of British orchestrated duplicity. This 
country, like all British possessions in Africa re- 
ceived at the turn of the century a form of representa- 
tive government— meaning that there was put into 
existence an Administration whose main purpose 
was to administer the country in all areas save for 
finance, foreign affairs and defense, areas to be in 
the hands of the colonial power— in this case Great 
Britian. With the height of the independence to the 
majority of the people in the country— in this case 
African people, Zimbabwe had a large white popula- 
tion of British ancestry. This sector of the popula- 
tion experienced a whole gamut of privileges as com- 
pared to the indigenous peoples. The African people 
virtually had no political power, no economic rights 
worth talking about and were practically landless. 
Political persecution of revolutionary movements 
was rampant throughout the country. Using the 
typical strategy of divide and rule, Britain proceded 
surreptitiously to sabotage the independence move- 
ment in Zimbabwe. Utilizing local reactionaries 
among the indigenous bourgeoisie the British 
government proceeded to break the Zimbabwe Afri- 
can Peoples Union (ZAPU) into two rival organiza- 
tions, leading to the creation of the Zimbabwe Afri- 
can National Union (ZANU) led by missionary pro- 
tege Rev. Ndabaningi Sithole. 

While engineering the split in the independence 
movement the racist White minority proceeded to 
unite their ranks and urged the British government 
to grant complete political power to them. The Brit- 
ish hedged, and the White minority acted swiftly by 
declaring themselves an independent sovereign 
state. This unilateral declaration of independence, 
constituted an open and flagrant violation of the 
British-created sovereignty over her possessions. 
When the United States declared itself an indepen- 
dent state and shirking the colonial exploitation of 
the British government, the British government 
responded by sending troops to the United States 
to suppress the rebels. In Zimbabwe this was not 
the case. In fact the British have just come short of 
recognizing the fascist and racist regime led by the 
rebel Ian Smith. The British administration, acting 
on the basis of protecting its financial ventures in 
this region, has proceeded not only to ignore the legit- 
imate political organizations of the African people, 
but to further split the remnants of the resistance 
against the British sellout. Again utilizing in- 
digenous reactionary forces the British government 
has strategically placed certain reactionary ele- 
ments as spokespersons for the African majority in 
the country. Bishop Muzorewa has taken the man- 
tle of "leader" of the African people and is prepared 
to accept the Smith regime if it would recognize the 
minute African bourgeoisie as a co-partner in the 
arena of government. Of course all this prostitution 
has not paid off. The reactionary Smith regime is de- 
termined not to compromise an inch, for this would 
bring his illegal goverriment under strong criticism 
from the right-wing elements within his political 
party, hence undermining his own power base. 



12 




This fortress of Elmina Castle was one ot many such castles used by the Europeans to protect their "treasures in Black gold" as v\ell as 
stations for the replenishment of supplies to facilitate the successful completion of "the triangle of trade." 



Given the above, the political parties ZAPU 
and ZANU have come to the realization that a na- 
tional liberation struggle which is part of the world- 
wide anti-imperialist struggle cannot be negotiated 
in an atmosphere replete with chandeliers and Scotch 
whiskey but must thoroughly prepare the masses 
of the people for armed struggle against the opres- 
sive White minority regime. 

The world progressive forces have responded 
positively to the struggle of the Zimbabwean 
peoples. These countries continue to provide all ma- 
jor materials needed in physically destroying the 
might of the enemy in the field of combat. The social- 
ist countries have lived up to the Leninist doctrine 
of proletarian internationalism recognizing that the 
struggle against imperialism, and U.S. imperialism 
in particular, has many fronts. 

The extent of the physical confrontation against 
the enemy, whilst not indicating overnight victory 
for the revolutionary forces, has led amongst other 
things, to the creation of an Axis Powers in this re- 
gion—an alliance leading to a joint command of 
troops by Portuguese, South African and Rhodesian 
regimes. This in turn has prompted the revolution- 
ary movements in the region to unite their forces in 
recognition of the national liberation struggle in the 
whole of Southern African. Initial results of the joint 
ZAPU and ANC military command have been very 
encouraging. The level of political maturity of the 



revolutionary movements in Southern Africa is en- 
couraging, given the colossal difficulty of their 
struggle. Le Duan, the First Secretary of the Workers 
Partv of Vietnam maintains in his book The Vietna- 
mese Revolution: Problems and Essential Tasks, that 
an anti-colonial, national liberation struggle has to 
heighten at all costs the promotion of dissent among 
enemy forces; once this task of splitting the ranks of 
the imperialists is achieved it is only a matter of deci- 
sive battles that are needed to break the back of the 
enemy. The African Liberation Movements, like all 
progressive anti-imperialist movements, aware of 
contradictions among the ranks of the enemy are 
seriously heightening these contradictions. It seems, 
therefore, that the struggle in Southern Africa has 
to grow, and it will grow given the fact that it is 
only in the constant application of theory to prac- 
tice that improvements are made in any worthy en- 
deavour and especially that which involves the 
liberation of a people subjected to years of colonial 
enslavement. 

SOUTH AFRICA The fascist state of South Africa 
is run not by a crowd of conservative, backward ra- 
cists as it is made to appear in Western capitalist 
countries. South Africa is a settler-colonial and a 
sub-imperialist state. 

In the seventeenth century Dutch settlers colo- 
nized what today is called South Africa with a view 
towards creating an artery of expanding European 
commerce. Half-way stations along the route were 



13 



to serve as points where the vast and expanding 
merchant fleets would undergo repairs and obtain 
fresh provisions for the long trips to the Far East. 
With the discovery of mineral resources in South 
Africa the indigenous populations were subjected 
to the loss of land and brutal exploitation. Of course 
the indigenous elements waged heroic battles against 
the aggressors but the sheer superiority of the vast 
arsenal of modern military equipment possessed by 
the settlers rendered any further resistance by the 
African masses futile. Quite clearly the emergent 
capitalist powers of the time were not going to allow 
their vast investments in South Africa to be 
threatened by the militant indigenous peoples. South 
Africa also represents a unique political situation; 
the country presently cannot be said to be a colony 
at least in the classical sense. South Africa repre- 
sents a special type of colonialism. Whilst South 
Africa is not governed by a metropolitan power, 
the country— by virtue of its very strong traditional 
links with the advanced capitalist countries of 
western Europe, and lately the U.S.— is considered 
to be a crucial country within the sphere of influence 
dominated by the capitalist countries. It produces 
more than two-thirds of the world's gold output 
(excluding the Soviet Union); it is the world's 
largest producer of diamonds and chrome ore. It is 
situated in the southern seas, an area strategic to 
capitalist commerce. It has come to be regarded in 
Western imperialist circles as the 'guardian' of the 
Indian Ocean. In this respect South Africa can be 
classified as an imperialist country. Along with Great 
Britain, South Africa mans the notorious Simons- 
town Naval base whose sole reason to existence is 
the policing of the southern tip of Africa against pro- 
gressive thought and revolution. South Africa is in 
essence a sub-imperialist country in that it carries 
out imperialist acts with the massive infusement of 
military aid from the dominant imperialist powers of 
the day— namely those of Western Europe and the 
United States. 

Internally South Africa exhibits one of the most 
vicious forms of racism in human history. "Apart- 
heid " an African word meaning separation is the 
basic philosophy of the ruling class in South Africa. 
It has its basis in the protestant/calvinist doctrine of 
predestination: the belief that peoples of African 
descent are to be regarded as people not capable of 
conducting the affairs of life without the guardian- 
ship of the White race by the will of the creator. 
Frederick Engels, writing about slavery, maintains 
that the emergent merchant bourgeoisie of Western 
Europe had to postulate the doctrine of racial in- 
feriority to justify the enslavement of African 
peoples. 

NATIONAL LIBERATION MOVEMENTS IN 
SOUTH AFRICA: the struggle in South Africa 
is taking place within the international context of 
transition to the socialist system, of the breakdown 
of the colonial system as a result of national libera- 
tion and socialist revolutions, and the fight for 
social and economic progress by the peoples of the 
whole world. 

We in South Africa are a part of the zone in 
which national liberation is the chief content of 
our struggle. The African people and other non- 
white groups within the South African population 



experience the most brutal form of racial oppression; 
they are not allowed by law to vote, have labor 
unions, strike, or own land. 

It has been the experience of the revolutionary 
movements in our country that the rural masses 
possess revolutionary potential. It is only under 
conditions of armed struggle that it becomes pos- 
sible to organize those on European farms. The 
urban proletariat is destined to be the vanguard of 
the struggle in our country, not only by reason of 
its advanced social and organizational role but al- 
so because of its numerical strength. The revolu- 
tion in our country cannot succeed unless the work- 
ing class is mobilized and exercises hegemony over 
the revolution in practice and in fact no other class 
exists in our country that can exercise the role of 
leader and organizer of the revolution. The middle 
classes and the petite bourgeoisie elements among 
the oppressed people are too weak to play the role of 
vanguard. In our country the vanguard role of the 
working class is not a question of preference, it is 
an actual necessity. Since the seventeenth century 
the Afrikaner/Dutch section of the white population 
has looked at the English part of the settler popu- 
lation rivals; this was justified since the British 
have continously regarded the Afrikaner as an in- 
ferior in cultural terms. This manifestation of 
English chauvinism was one of the pillars of the 
birth of the reactionary idealogy of Afrikaner na- 
tionalism. The Afrikaner bourgeoisie, spreading all 
manner of myths about the "Black Danger" and 
the "danger" of the Anglicization of the Afrikaner/ 
Dutch element of the white population, propagated 
the idealogy of Afrikaner exclusiveness which was 
the cornerstone of the present idealogy of Apartheid. 

The emergence of South Africa into an indus- 
trial state has resulted in the English and Afrikaner 
elements making common cause against the African 
people who constitute the major part of the popula- 
tion of South Africa. The growing militancy of the 
African peoples has forced the once hostile fac- 
tions amongst the white population to unite against 
the African population, who constitute the main 
threat to white privilege and political domination. 

No where in Africa does one observe such a 
thorough laying of an industrial base as in South 
Africa. Whilst the main area of economic investment 
was in the area of the extraction of raw materials like 
the mining industry, we now observe a new phe- 
nomenon of foreign financial penetration particu- 
larly in the area of the manufacturing sector of the 
economy. In any society the manufacturing sector 
of the economy is the main area where economic 
growth critical to a country's balance of payments 
occurs. The main beneficiary in the manufacturing 
sector of the South African economy has been 
foreign corporations from the U.S., West Germany, 
Japan and the United Kingdom. 

The Leninist analysis reveals that although com- 
modity production in a capitalist society is at higher 
levels than, for example, in a feudal society, the 
owners of the means of production (bourgeoisie) 
proceed to thoroughly capture the domestic market 
and through the growth of monopolies, proceed to 
export capital with a view towards expoliting work- 
ers of other countries. This in brief is a description 
of the phenomenon of imperialism. 



14 



ILLUSIONS 

i can only dream 

of brown thatched huts 

beneath palm trees 

with roofs defying 

the sky's beginning; 

of cajoling cackling birds 

telling sleepers of a new dawn; 

of muted feet across 

earthen floors 

humming a lullaby 

that soothes 

the baby on her back. 




i can only dream 

of rising 

and lazily sipping coconut milk 

beneath the warmth of noon. 

clang, clang, clanging 

erupts my sleep 

in a volcano of noise: 

sounds of the rushing el. 

and i lie still 

ready to sleep 

and dream again of home. 

Irma McClaurin 
from Song in the Night 



15 




16 



ANOTHER MAN'S LAND 

as I awaken from a dream 
unconsciously thinking this 
plot, this farm, this country, 
this world and universe is 
another man's land 

In conscious dreams this 
land is mine to be 
shared in life and 

death so 
man can share the wealth 
of dreams to live 

and be buried 
there 

Reality wills 
no dream, no land to rest 
my head for this is another 
man's land 

I feed on dreams 
beyond life only 

time will tell this 
land is mine 

Perhaps my head should be 
my soul and it will have 
a place for me and "all God's children" 

Kenneth Ralph Cuffee 



//////?????///// 

in silent nights 

made holy by the sacrifices of body and blood 
of knownless brothers and sisters 
I rest, unsafe that I may 
at any time 

now contribute to that holiness of a 
silent night 
waiting, not to be any longer 

a death wish/or/the reality 
which so claims 
our mission 
Tell me . . . come back to me 

from your graves this night 
whisper no longer the chants of, life/death has 
decomposed .... 
Come up from the mounds of earth dressing your bones 
Unlock Your lone coffins and arise from the bottoms 

in which you were placed 
Come with your dreams and crown us here with them now. 
Come with the forces that so made you fall back onto the 
mud an bleed 

My blood no longer runs red and free as yours did 
it runs thick and colorless 
along a trail taken by cowards who sit with me 
robed in the guise or rhetoric and many-fingered-hand-shakes. 
Come to me in the way those before have comeback 
in the cries of babes unborn 

tears that evaporate into bullets 
in boyhood faded into manhood 
come to me from the depths you have been placed 
and bring life to this body that moves in 
the spirit of true agony 

come to me me me 



tenajol cormier 

17 




An Interview With Chinua Achebe 

By Lawrence E. Baugh 

his home, but the feeljngs expressed could 
be applied not only in Nigeria, but wher- 
ever Third World peoples are struggling 
against the burden of European oppres- 
sion. We could not cover this topic as in 
depth as we would have liked. Basically 
it is the gist of three long conversations 
that I had with him. 



18 



Words are strange personalities. They 
have many faces, depending upon the 
user and often to whom they apply. People 
don't take the time to analyze all the mean- 
ings of words so their horizons unfortu- 
nately become very limited in scope and 
consequently the realities of certain situa- 
tions are distorted. Take the topic "African 
Liberation Struggles." To many this topic 
means the struggles of African peoples in 
Mozambique, Angola and the racist 
regimes of Rhodesia and South Africa. 
But the topic upon analysis lends itself to 
a much larger definition. It is also the 
famine in the Sahel, Ugandan struggles 
for autonomy and frankly, the battles that 
all Third World peoples have in the wake 
of a newly found freedom to identify with 
themselves, rather than with concepts 
transported to them from afar. 

The struggle then shall be wide and 
varied. It will occupy many levels and be 
structured in such that the previous stage 
is firm before action is begun on another. 
One might free oneself from the physical 
presence of an oppressor, but his mental 
indentation shall probably exist after he is 
dead. To paraphase a famous saying, "The 
sun shall never set upon the British 
Empire." 

This is an interview with Chinua 
Achebe, a great African writer. We talked of 
many things, but primarily of African mo- 
tions towards liberation. He spoke of this 
liberation as coming in stages understand- 
ing that this motion does not stop once "in- 
dependence" is achieved. Often his perspec- 
tive was in the cont-ext of Nigeria, which is 



Baugh: Mr. Achebe, what was your child- 
hood like? 

Achebe: My upbringing was in a village, 
a small village, and I say that because I 
think it is significant. My father was a 
teacher in the Anglican church, but when 
I was a child he had retired from active 
teaching and we lived in the village. About 
half the village was christian, so there were 
two sides— the Christian community and 
the traditional part that was always there. 
So in my childhood I looked at the world 
from the Christian home at what might be 
called the "heathen." I was fascinated by 
what was going on, a sort of division of 
the world into two. I just had a natural 
curiosity to find out what it was like on the 
other side. This other side was supposed 
to be bad, uncivilized, heathenish but I 
did not believe this, I wanted to know. Al- 
so, the village was not divided in a very 
rigid way. My father was very devout 
Christian but this did not prevent him from 
having brothers, cousins, and friends who 
where not Christians. There was an inbuilt 
sense of accommodation in this system. You 
thought the other people were misguided 
but you did not really express it in a harsh 
way. 

You thought of Christianity as some- 



thing that was "in" for the future. It was 
where you got your education, good job, 
etc. Therefore you might become Chris- 
tian simply on that score. Not always, but 
sometimes. This was a way in which the 
traditional religion was undermined. You 
saw that the things of Christianity were 
the necessities of the future, or so you as- 
sumed. 

This is how things were for me as a 
child. I was very curious about the rituals, 
festivals and so forth, but I was only near 
enough to see, not to participate. 

Baugh: What type of formal education did 
you receive? 

Achebe: Well, the missionary education 
which was widespread in Africa at the 
time, was spearheaded by the church. The 
colonization of Africa was undertaken by 
three groups; the missionaries who led the 
way, the traders, and the administration 
or government. These were the three arms, 
the church, commerce, and the colonial 
government. Of these three, the church 
took the greatest interest in education. 
They set up schools and established a 
pattern. Chances were, that if you wanted 
an education, you had to get it through 
a missionary school. 

The norm was the kind of education 
you would expect of Victorian England, on 
a heavy base of evangelical Christianity. 
A rigid training in reading, writing and 
arithmetic slanted toward Europe and 
not Africa. When you were studying 
geography, it was more likely to be that of 
Europe rather than that of Nigeria. If it was 
history, that history would be Europe's 
not Africa's. 

There were a number of reasons for 
this. One was the attitude that there was 
nothing in Africa, no history, no culture 
that was worth studying. Another attitude 
was that if there was something, it was not 
recorded. This would come later, when there 
were African scholars "to uncover" African 
history. As they did so it began to be inte- 
grated into the curriculum. When I was 
growing up, there was no African literature. 
You read Shakespeare, you read Dickens 
but that was all. The few African writers 
who existed were not widely known. This 
is an area that has changed. In the last 
twenty years "African Literature" has 
grown enormously and become well known. 

What I am trying to say is that there 
were two reasons why my education de- 



veloped the way it did. First, there was the 
prevailing attitude that Africa had nothing 
to offer and second, the material on Africa 
was not available. The availability was to 
come later. 

Baugh: How big a part did oral tradition 
play in your education? 

Achebe: In formal education, not very 
much. But traditionally, in the village, the 
oral tradition was a major part of your edu- 
cation. The good thing about my situation 
was in living in the village, I was exposed 
to both oral and formal education, although 
oral was not comsidered as education at 
this time. You saw the festivals, you heard 
the stories and the old men talking. You 
were exposed to the brilliance of their con- 
versation which is an art among non-literate 
peoples. You see dancing and hear the 
music. All this was done outside the school 
and the church, because both places dis- 
couraged these types of activities. 

Baugh: What do you remember about 
colonial rule? 

Achebe: That is a very big question, and it 
is hard to determine where to begin. As a 
child, you are born into a situation and when 
you realize what is happening, you are 
no longer a child. To begin, as long as I 
can remember, there was the presence of 
Europe. It was not a situation to be under- 
stood but rather accepted. You actually 
saw very few white people, but those you 
saw were very powerful. There was the in- 
spector of schools who might come once in 
six months or once in a year. There was 
the district officer who came once a 
year and took the salute of all the school 
children and conducted "Empire Day" 
celebrations to commemorate Queen Vic- 
toria. This is what you saw and so you as- 
sumed this the way things were ordered. 

There was really no way of growing up 
thinking of an alternative or even a chal- 
lenge. It was not until the forties that a 
questioning of the system became audible— 
the beginnings of African Nationalism. 
However, I will use Nigeria as an example 
because that is what I know best. 

From the end of the second world war 
there was a group of people who said, "Wait 
a minute. What is this arrangement by which 
we are servants in our own country? The 
war that was just fought was for democracy 
and equality. This is what we were told. How 
do we fit into that?" 

When Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin 



19 



20 



had their conference at MaUa in 1944 or 
thereabouts before the United Nations was 
formed, a message was set from Nigeria, 
asking where we colonial peoples came in, 
in all of this. This was spearheaded pri- 
marily by Dr. Azikiwe, who had been edu- 
cated in America. There were stirrings be- 
fore him, but when he returned to Nigeria 
in 1937 things began to change. He worked 
mostly in journalism, and created a string 
of newspapers around the country which 
for the first time could really get down to 
the ordinary people who could read and 
write or listen to others. Slowly the mes- 
sage got through even to peasants who 
were illiterate. For the first time clerks and 
teachers and humble workers became ex- 
posed to the argument for nationalism. 
Once planted, it spread farther and farther 
away from the small professional elite 
throughout Nigeria and to the rest of West 
Africa. It touched Kwame Nkrumah and 
he went off to America under the inspira- 
tion of Dr. Azikiwe. From that moment till 
independence, it was a question of momen- 
tum, of forming and refining weapons of 
political action. By 1960, the colonial pow- 
ers were ready to leave. It was in these times 
of political ferment that I went to primary 
and secondary schools and the university. 
It was a period of great excitement, be- 
tween the second world war and 1960. 

Baugh: How was the transition between 
colonialist rule and independence made in 
Nigeria? Was it a bloody war or a transfer- 
ence of the reins of power by declaration? 

Achebe: Well, in Nigeria it was a fairly 
bloodless handover. There was some vio- 
lence, such as miners going on strike and 
being shot down, but on the whole the 
British, after a long period of turmoil, 
seemed to lack the resolution to hang on. 
After hundreds of years of holding India 
down and a changing attitude around the 
world towards colonialism, the British were 
ready to acquiesce. It also had something 
to do with the Labor Party coming to power 
in Great Britain. They had a different at- 
titude towards colonialism. Somebody like 
Churchill could never understand the idea 
of colonial freedom. He said he was not 
made prime minister to preside over the 
liquidation of Her Majesty's Empire. When 
parties changed and Churchill lost power, 
the Labor Party looked differently at coloni- 
al independence and India gained her free- 
dom. Once that was done the idea was 
created of independence for non-white parts 



of the empire, was always an accepted idea, 
ever since the American Revolution, 
Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South 
Africa. For non-white parts of the empire, 
India's independence was crucial, although 
it did not mean automatic acceptance of 
the notion of African independence. 

I remember when I was a student 
hearing a British resident say "There's 
nothing wrong with the Nationalist 
Movement, it reminds me of what happened 
in England at the time of King John." Now 
that was the twelfth century or thereabouts, 
which was the frame of mind and time 
scheme that people like him had. Perhaps 
in five hundred years we could be like 
them! 

Kwame Nkrumah came back from 
America with a genius for organization. 
He organized the Gold Coast very quickly, 
very effectively. The Nationalist Movement 
proceeded very rapidly throughout the rest 
of West Africa. 

Baugh: Were there any particular groups 
which acted as a vanguard and did they 
assume power after the revolution? 

Achebe: The vanguard was usually the 
worker. Certainly, in Nigeria and Ghana the 
worker's movements organized into politi- 
cal units which made the situation very dif- 
ficult for the colonial regime. But there was 
still a certain amount of struggles and dis- 
pute. The colonial power did not say, "be- 
cause you are challenging our position, we 
will hand over to you." They devised sys- 
tems to ensure that wherever it was pos- 
sible, this power was handed to those of 
their choice. This naturally did not mean 
the most radical or militant or articulate 
people around, but the most conservative. 




whenever the colonials departed, they pre- 
ferred to hand over to the person who was 
the "friendliest" towards them and their 
interests. 

But they were not always successful. 
In Ghana for instance, Nkrumah's organi- 
zation was just too effective for them to get 
a foothold. What happened there was a 
colonialist rear-guard action after inde- 
pendence, to topple the new regime. 

Baugh: How did these new systems lend 
themselves to economic sanctions? 

Achebe: In Nigeria and other places where 
the colonials were successful in putting 
their people in, there was no problem at all 
for them in the economic sphere. In some 
places where there were large white-owned 
plantations, modern farms and industry, 
there was only nominal change. Only a 
handful of Africans were affected, and the 
system continued more or less like before. 

It is necessary however, to say that 
this was not true of all of Africa. There were 
countries which adopted a radical approach 
to their economies from the beginning or 
soon after. Sekou Toure's Guinea and 
Nyerere's Tanzania are good examples. 
The situation is thus complex, whenever 
you talk about bringing Africa together, 
you cannot ignore the structural differences 
that exist between such countries and the 
others. How do you marry radiculism to 
reaction? 

Baugh: How have traditional nation- 
boundaries such as for Hausa or Ibo peoples 
come to light in these developments? 

Achebe: This is a crucial question for Africa. 
The boundaries that were made in 1884 at 
the Conference of Berlin when Europe par- 
celed up Africa had no relationship to the 
natural or geographic facts of the continent. 
They were not concerned with who spoke 
what or did what; they were quite arbitrary. 
Kinship and family structures were ignored. 

In Nigeria where there were three major 
ethnic groups— Hausa, Ibo and Yoruba— 
and many minor ones the British were fully 
aware of the cultural differences which ex- 
isted and often used these differences to 
their own advantage. For example, in Ni- 
geria the British were more content with the 
Moslem north than with the peoples of the 
south, who were talking about nationalism. 
For years under the colonial system, people 
who migrated from the south to the north 
were forced to live outside the city proper in 
what was called "the village of strangers." 



This type of activity was encouraged by the 
British and consequently created problems 
after they left. 

Baugh: How did these "created boundaries 
affect tribal structure? 

Achebe: The first thing I would like to say 
is about the word "tribe," which has often 
been used to obscure many African insti- 
tutions and place their validity in question. 
An example would be the Biafran War. The 
word tribe— because of its negative and 
pejorative connotations— tends to distort 
the picture of what happened. Tribesmen 
would always fight, it is part of their pre- 
logical nature. No need then to attempt to 
analyze the political and economic causes. 

When the colonials came to Africa they 
found nations; not of a few people, but 
millions. These nations had cultures, politi- 
cal and economic structures already. They 
had all the things that a nation would need: 
political institutions, religion arts and 
crafts, ways to deal with their environment. 
They were not the tribes rushing around 
throwing spears. However, let me address 
your question. 

Africans were not taken into account 
when these boundaries were drawn up. The 
man simply went with the ground on which 
he stood. The nations that lived in Nigeria 
prior to that had long ago worked out sys- 
tems of living side by side. They had policies 
and even markets that satisfied their mutual 
needs. The new European boundaries served 
European, not African, necessities. Afri- 
cans were just incidental. 

Baugh: Were traditional hierarchies affect- 
ed? 

Achebe: Yes. When the British came, the 
first thing they did was to discover who 
the leaders were. They found out who were 
the kings, chiefs, sultans, and emirs. Once 
these people were identified, they were 
either co-opted or eliminated. I must men- 
tion that this was only in places where you 
had this structure. Some places in Africa 
don't have kings or monarchial forms of 
government ana it was, as a result, harder 
to deal with these people. 

For instance, in Eastern Nigeria where 
there are Ibo people, the colonialist's had 
a great many problems. The Ibo had a 
republican form of government, they had 
no kings or centralized forms of authority. 
Therefore, the British could not pinpoint 
any one source to deal with. Unfortunately 
what they eventually did was to create 



21 



22 



"kings," give them the powers of authority 
and rule through them. The policy failed 
totally and had to be abandoned after wide- 
spread riots in 1929. 

In places where there were traditional 
kings the British used them as long as they 
were obedient. No matter how powerful 
they were traditionally, they became sub- 
servient to the lowest British district officer. 

Baugh: I see a story developing. First, there 
are nations of traditional peoples, Ibos 
and Yorubas, who had well developed cul- 
tural systems. Next comes the colonialist 
who, with the aid of power and religion, 
divide up and try to eliminate that culture 
from existence, for in that culture they see 
no validity. And finally, in the present, we 
have a kind of independence tempered with 
neo-colonialism. My question is what is 
the shape of African future? 
Achebe: The complexity of the face of 
Africa does not lend itself to these types of 
generalized questions or definitions. 
Realistically, unless you cleanse yourself of 
all taints of colonialism, you still have to 
have your revolution. You might have a 
flag, a president and a national anthem, 
but that is not independence. Perhaps 
only a first stage. The second is when you 
discover your real strength and use it to 
establish social order and equality. Some 
countries will proceed more slowly than 
others, but all must proceed some day. 
There are still those who fight these no- 
tions, those that do not want this discovery, 
but it shall come. 

To address a question of a United 
States of Africa, again I shall say that 
Africa is a very complex continent. Western 
forms of unification might not be applicable 
owing to this complexity. There are many 
things which have to be worked out. The 
whole of the United States of America can 
be fitted nicely into the Sahara. India can be 
fitted into the Congo. Africa is very large. 

Baugh: What is the role of the writer and 
the intellectual in the future of Africa? 
Achebe: I think it is a very central position. 
The writer has a very special, very sensi- 
tive position. He must be all over, every- 
where so that he can see, feel, sense and 
speak out. Some of us are doing this. Some- 
times we might be critical, but it is our func- 
tion to be critical, to question easy and slick 
solutions, expose hypocracy and cant, to 
take a harsh look at things. Writers as a rule 



are not involved in the political squabbling 
that takes place, so they can have the dis- 
tance and the flexibility of comment. But 
that does not mean standing apart. We 
are involved directly in the ferment. We 
must be close enough to the center to see 
and understand. My upbringing was in 
the period of initial ferment, it is part of 
my life. I am, as a writer, an African writer, 
involved, but because of my temperament, 
also somewhat detached. 

An Egyptian journalist said at the 
funeral of President Nasser: "An African 
writer must be near enough to see what is 
going on and far enough away so that he 
can write about what he has seen." 

If one seriously looks at America, and 
the plight of the African-Americans, one 
discovers many parallels with other Third 
World struggles around this planet. We to 
struggle in the mist of an educational 
system which constantly tell us things that 
simply are not true about ourselves and 
other people. There is an economics which 
controls current futures and also political 
structures which are oppressive. But every- 
body presumably knows this, and it is even 
more widely mouthed, although an overview 
would see that our progression is coming in 
stages. The sad fact that I fear is that these 
motions are going into the grain of Ameri- 
ca, with possible irreversibility, and this 
could never be construed as freedom. It 
might be assimilation, but not freedom. 

Mr. Achebe spoke of a "second stage" 
to African liberation struggles. It would be 
after the initial fight, it would be to adjust 
yourself to your environment. To examine 
your past, before slavery, and see how this 
fits in 1974 and beyond. We too in America 
must examine our past and see how we 
might "fit" in American society. We might 
discover that we do not fit at all. We might 
discover that we do. This must not be done 
solely on a collective level but also on an 
individual level. You must know your 
mind; who and what you are, and then 
decide whether or not you will make it in 
America. George Jackson spoke of the 
reality of your past in the shaping of you, 
of the question 'how might a man reconcile 
his future if he has not reconciled his 
past?' 

African liberation. Black liberation on 
the planet Earth will come in stages, not 
all of it coming in the first week. We shall 
see it in ourselves and the world around. 
Unite with yourselves. Peace. 



"^iMI 



v-K 



A B]k/Woman/Speaks 



^Sdeep/blk/soil 
they have tried to pollute me 
with a poison called America, 
they have tried to 

scorch my roots 
with dope 

they have tried to 
drown my dreams with alcohol 
with too many men who spit 
their foam on top of my fruit 
till it drops 

rotten in America's 
parks. 

but i am deeeeeEEEp 
blue/blk/soil 

and you can hear the 
sound of my walken 
as i bring forth green songs 
from a seasoned breast 
as i burn on our evening bed 
of revolution 

i, being blk 
I woooOOOMAN 

know only the way of the womb 
for i am deep/red/soil 

for our emergen Blk Nation. 

Sonia Sanchez 



HAIKU 

your love was a port 

of call where many ships docked 

until mornrng came. 

1971 
Sonia Sanchez 




Noted 

Black 

Women 



AN INTERVIEW WITH 
MALAIKA HAKIM 

By Carolyn Boiling 

Q. As a black woman and native of South Africa, what is 
the woman's role in the struggle for African Liberation? 

A. The South African Woman, like the black woman in 
America, has never been at the tail of the Liberation Struggle. 
Side by side in 1912, when the first Nationalist Congress on 
the Continent was formed, the black woman was the 
organizer of the community. In 1960, the Sharpeville 
Massacre took place, where black men and scores of women 
and children were gunned down. This is demonstrated today 
in 1974, bv the presence of South African women in exile 
along with their men. Therefore, the role of the black woman 
is always in existence. Also, in South Africa, the white man 
wanted the manpower of good "Basskap" (good servant), so 
he educates men first because they are a necessary source of 
energy. As a result, the black woman's potential is never 
developed nor recognized at the same pace as her man. 
Hence, the black man is not accountable for my being 
projected in a negative sense, by the world community. 
Furthermore, we can travel back to the history of the Zulu 
nation where Nandi's role of a mother, helped to develop and 
build her son Shaka, to be the early Pan-Africanist Warrior 
in thelSOOs. 

Q. Apartheid is a system of government based on racial 
discrimination, oppression and exploitation of black South 
African peoples. Giving your own personal experiences, 
what is Apartheid in reality? 

A. Apartheid is a systematic form of government which is 
designed to divide and rule the black people internally, in 
South Africa. This government has not only divided us as a 
nation and people, but has defined us as a scum of the world 
community, The South African Government is very 
contradictory. It is one of the founding members of the 
United Nations. Yet, the government of South Africa does 
exactly the opposite of what the United Nations represents 
and completely ignores the Declaration of the Bill of Rights. 
As a result, still in 1974, the voices of the Third World 
Community remain unheard, upon the deaf ear of the 
oppressor. I am not impressed by the slow^ painful pace of so- 
called change in South Africa. Increased wages, 
desegregation of some public facilities, and additional 
employment are but pacifers to keep me and my people silent 
for a few davs. We have no power where its needed the most, 
in our economy. I want the change in the system in totality!! 

The Bantu Stands that have been created are no 
different from the American Indian reservations that exist 
here in the United States. There are no natural resources on 
this land, land space is very limited, therefore they are 
colonies within a colony, with no economic power for self- 
determination and future planning. .-Apartheid is perpetuated 
through endless laws that bar the African from meeting with 
more than ten people. Freedom of movement is restricted 
from one area to another. Laws separate a man from his wife 
and family. All political prisoners are sent to an island, and 
laws bar an African from obtaining an education within his 




V^ 



M 



i 



own land. An African cannot enter an urban setting unless 
he has a pass. He cannot stay there more than 72 hours with- 
out a work permit. He cannot establish his residence in an 
urban area unless he has lived there since time of birth or has 
worked there for an employer continuously for ten vears. 

Q. Realizing that a great number of United States corpora- 
tions are making substantial profit returns, how does this 
affect your attitude towards supporters of the Apartheid 
system of government? 

A. Money speaks and the capitalists will do anything in their 
power to protect their interests over and above all humanity. 
There are no limitations and there is little I can do because I 
am not in the bargaining arena. The role of the capitalist has 
no principles and accountability to the human race. 

Q. Should the black woman in South Africa in this time 
and history fight for Liberation and engage herself in the 
forefront of the Women's Movement? 

A. I feel that maintaining black unity within the family 
structure and inside the usurper's structure is crucial for the 
black family to keep an unshakeable unity in the struggle of 
oppression. The reason being, as a black family unit we have 
too many enemies and we cannot combat all of them at the 
same time, less we lose our major goal. In South Africa, the 
black man is oppressed, the black child is oppressed, the 
black nation is oppressed, the black continent is oppressed, 
hence the BLACK WORLD IS OPPRESSED!! We cannot 
afford the luxury of exposing our internal conflicts. If we 
have a goal of self-liberation of the whole black world, let's 
get liberation and build a new society. A society where vou 
will not find any black child, black woman or black man 
oppressed because our goal will be one; and that will be the 
goal of serving man with his basic needs in life. 

Q. Is there a relationship between the struggle of black 
people here in the United States and that of South Africa? 
A. ^ es. The Black people in the United States and those of 
South Africa must learn from their mistakes. Black people 
must interpret the game of the man with accountabilih," to 
promote the liberation of South Africa, so our struggle is the 
same. The downfall of black people in South .Africa will 
mean the downfall of the black man woman here in Amerika. 



25 



k 




Dovi Afesi is an Assistant Professor of 
African History and Political Science in 
the W. E. B. DuBois department of Afro- 
American studies at the University of 
Mass. Amherst, campus. Afesi, who is 
from Ghana, did his graduate work at 
Michigan State University where he 
specialized in international economic 
relations, political science and African 
history. He teaches courses related to 
these fields, and has offered a two 
semester course on "Liberation Struggles 
in Africa." Dovi is currently researching 
the historical relationship between 
Africans in America and Afro- 
Americans, using Dr. Aggrey as the 
central focus. 



THE INTERNATIONAL IMPLICATIONS OF 
AFRICAN LIBERATION STRUGGLES 

By Dovi Afesi 



Were it not for its ultimate importance, we need 
not be reminded that the present political subdivisions 
of Africa were the direct result of European avarice for 
economic abundance and dominance. Mainly in order 
to satisfy their needs and egos, Europeans scrambled 
for, and partitioned Africa by arbitrarily dividing the 
continent into colonies, and thereafter imposed foreign 
legal, linguistic, political and cultural domination on 
the African people. Thus within the colonial context 
we take cognition of the fact that it was Europeans 
primarily, who established current national 
boundaries, propagated alien although supposedly 
universal ideals, and in the process imposed physical, 
cultural and ideological imperialism. The 
consolidation of colonialism meant not only that 
Africans were politically ruled by others, but also that 
their world view had to be defined through, and in 
congruence with European sensibilities and 
peculiarities. In essence, colonialism involved more 
than the physical, economic and political control of 
Africans, it involved the attempt by Europe to recreate 
Africa after its own image. 

Here-in lies a crucial dimension to the significance 



and thrust of liberation struggles as currently evident 
on the continent. African liberation aims at the liber- 
ation of the land, the emancipation of the people from 
physical-external control and above all, it aims at 
wiping out the vestiges of all negative cultural and 
ideological impositions. In Africa, furthermore, a 
liberation struggle is not total or genuine unless it aims 
at the expurgation of all incongrous and incompatible 
ideologies and values, foreign or otherwise, and 
creating a society which is the embodiment and 
reflection of the indigenous value systems of the 
African people. 

In other words, since colonization involved 
physical as well as spiritual/mental bondage, so by 
force of logic, decolonization (liberation) must mean 
not only the exercise of self-determination by Afri- 
cans but also the exorcising out of Africa all elements 
of the "colonial mentality," all exploitative and op- 
pressive systems and mechanisms of domination. As 
the revolutionary Chinese have demonstrated, genu- 
ine liberation requires the translation of political 
power and freedom into economic, cultural as well 
as ideological power. A people alone must control 



26 



the totality of their destiny through a substantial 
control of their politics, materials and human re- 
sources; the people, (and not foreign powers) alone 
must determine the direction and content of their 
socio- "spirimental" (spirit/mental) life. 

Defined in such a way, it becomes obvious that 
Africa as a whole remains fundamentally a non- 
liberated continent. For, basically not even the so- 
called independent states (much less the non-inde- 
pendent ones) have muscled the capacity to control and 
direct their destinies. While we recognize that the 
independent nations achieved the laudable feat of 
booting colonialism in the derriere, it is also true they 
merely succeeded in mid-wifing the birth of neo- 
colonialism. Therefore, although nominally 
independent, the wealth of these nations continue to 
grease the avaricious machinary of western cap- 
italism. The basic fact of the situation then is that 
despite independence, the economic relationships 
between the African nations and their former colonial 
masters— a relationship which was based on ex- 
ploitation—economic as well as ideological— remains 
shockingly unchanged. If the colonial relationship was 
based on a calculated and massive transfer of African 
resources to sustain western economies and fatten 
European stomachs, and if in spite of independence 
the same relationship prevails, then it follows that 
Africans, under the anaesthetic effects of national 
anthems and national flags, continue to feed the 
glutinous mouths of western society, while they 
themselves eat less that what comes out of you and I 
after a good meal! 

In reality then, independent Africa has just about 
failed to redress the control factor responsible for the 
continents servitude: the unbridled exploitation of 
her resources for the benefit of others; made possible 
by among other things, control of our minds. Thus 
despite tremendous amounts of resources, Africa 
continues to be relatively poor, for like a Jonah, the 
resources have been "full-stomachly" swallowed by 
corporate and capitalist industrialism and neo- 
colonialism (It is intriguing to wonder how Jonah, 
while in the whale's stomach, convinced the monster to 
eject him . . . did he pinch it, tickle it, or perhaps 
something as drastic as pissing in it?!!). 

While these conditions are bad enough, it gets 
worse in Southern Africa, an area almost the size of 
U.S. Here we cannot even speak of nominal 
independence, for these countries are still in the jaws of 
rank colonialism and setder white minority rule. In 
these countries (Angola, Mozambique, South Africa, 
South West Africa and Rhodesia) where Africans are 
faced with unyielding colonialism, white supremacist 
minority rule, genocidal policies and practices, they 
have no alternative but to engage in armed 



revolutionary struggle. It is appropriate that it is these 
countries that we most often associate with liberation 
struggles, but it is apparent that while not involved in 
actual armed struggle, the rest of the continent is also 
faced with the necessity to forge revolutionary 
doctrines by which to transform psuedo-independence 
into genuine liberation and freedom. From this point of 
view we are arguing that the concept of liberation is 
pertinent to the whole continent. The difference 
between the non-independent and independent 
sectors is a matter of degree, not kind: revolutionary 
armed struggle in one and revolutionary ideological 
struggle in the other. The desired goal of course, being 
the ultimate liberation of the whole continent from all 
forms of oppression, suppression and exploitation. 

But liberation in Africa faces formidable oppo- 
sition from the forces and vested interests of western 
monopoly capitalism, imperialism and neo-colonial- 
ism. The most salient feature of this western opposi- 
tion is the fact that it is international in nature. In 1885, 
the countries of Western Europe, with the stroke of an 
international conference, agreed among themselves to 
take over and rule Africa. In the 1960's these same 
European nations, plus the U.S. have tacitly agreed 
that by any means necessary, they must keep Africa 
servile, so she can continue to be the source of cheap 
material and human resources. The primary motive 
factor behind this unholy alliance is economic, for 
Europe particularly and the U.S. to a lesser extent, 
directly depend on Africa for the survival of their 
economic and thus political systems. 

Every Tom, Dick and Harry assumes that Africa 
is "poor." Yet the industrial, financial and political 
elites know that's only half the truth, and that Africa is 
"poor" only because her multiple resources have been 
and continue to be used for the development of Europe 
and U.S. In fact the Presidents of Chase Manhattan, 
IBM, GM, Gulf, BP, Firestone etc. etc.; the Kaisers, the 
Rockerfellers, the Fords etc. etc. know, they know the 
truth— that Africa is super rich. The governments and 
corporate giants of Europe and the U.S. (but not the 
Tom, Dick and Harry's) know the actual and po- 
tential wealth of Africa. They know that agricultural- 
ly, Nigeria is the largest producer of palm oil, that 
Ghana ranks first in the world in cocoa production, 
that coffee, tea etc. grow abundantly in both East and 
West Africa. They know that Senegal and Nigeria 
together produce more peanuts than any other 
country, that Malagasy provides the western world 
with half the worlds supply of vanilla. Firestone and 
Goodyear certainly know the value of their rubber 
plantations in Liberia. The textile industries in Brit- 
ain know that their wool comes from South Africa, 
that Egypt and the Sudan are major suppliers of 
cotton. Team Ghana with Gabon and Chad and you 



27 



have a veritable source of tropical hard woods. From 
the Portuguese controlled colonies of Mozambique 
and Angola flow sugar cane, more coffee, cashew 
nuts and you name it. 

And how about below the African soil? Is Africa 
really poor, when it contains as much as twice the iron 
reserves of the U.S. Is Africa poor when its coal 
reserves have been estimated to be enough to last 
another three hundred years. And does Africa not 
have 40 per cent of the world's potential hydroelectric 
power? Our colonizers and neo-colonizers know that 
despite hundreds of years of being exploited, Africa's 
mineral deposits remain so huge that the continent is a 
virtual store house for decades and even centuries to 
come. Africa is currently the world's leading source of 
uranium and other fissionable raw materials. Just this 
year new deposits estimated at 25 billion dollars have 
been discovered in tiny Burundi. Africa produces 
more than 90 percent of all the diamonds in the world. 
{You don't have a wedding ring on your finger do 
you?). South Africa, Ghana and Rhodesia produce al- 
most two-thirds of all the gold in the world (but don't 
ask whether Fort Knox is in Africa!). The African 
"copper belt" accounts for one quarter of the world's 
copper. Manganese and Bauxite are abundant in 
Ghana and Guinea. Chromium, cobalt, zinc, tin and 
asbestos, to name just a few, are also found in large 
quantities. Africa, South of the Sahara, used to be 
thought to be dificient in oil. But ask Gulf about what 
it is doing with its 150 million dollar investment in 
Angola! And within the last ten years, has Nigeria not 
become one of the top ten countries in oil production? 

And what has all these got to do with liberation 
struggles? Everything! To test this, read the resources 
over again and ask; but why isn't Africa "developed" 
rich, powerful? Ask yourself who eats all of Ghana's 
cocoa, who eats and drinks Africa's coffee, tea, 
peanuts and cashew nuts? Who uses all that rubber 
which is produced with so much cheap labor in 
Liberia? How about all that gold and diamonds and 
copper and what not . . . isn't that a whole lot of 
money, wealth? To this last question we say certainly, 
the resources represent a lot of wealth, but it is wealth 
for those who control and not those who are 
controlled. 

Who depends on these resources and therefore 
has need to, and interest in control and manipulation? 
Certainly the Peoples Republic of China has not 
depended on nor controls African resources. Eastern 
European countries and the Soviet Union have not 
been in the habit of feasting on them either. That 
leaves Western Europe and the United States. But it is 
Western Europe, the former colonial master who is 
particularly dependent on Africa, and thus has the 
greatest reasons for maintaining control. Clearly, while 



their major industries may not grind to a halt, there's 
no doubt that without African resources, European 
industries will resemble a replay of a sports action in 
s-l-o-w m-o-t-i-o-n! This is clearly evident from the 
following data, which suggests the extent of Western 
Europe's dependence on African raw material 
resources: 

Britain 

30% (of all her) iron ore 

45% (of all her) copper 

45% (of all her) bauxite 

50% (of all her) chrome ore 

70% (of all her) asbestos 

80% (of all her) cobalt 

80% (of all her) manganese 

90% (of all her) antimony 

France 

30% (of all her) cotton 

40% (of all her) iron ore 

50% (of all her) zinc 

85% (of all her) lead 

100% (of all her) phosphates 

Germany 

10% (of all her) iron ore 

20% (of all her) manganese 

25% (of all her) chrome 

71% (of all her) phosphates 
That these countries heavily depend on and exploit 
Africa is self evident. The case of Portugal is even more 
blatant. This, the most backward and anachronistic 
European power is completely depended on Angola, 
Mozambique and Guinea Bissau for the daily survival 
of her people. Is it any wonder that her fascist leaders 
would rather commit murder and genocide on Africans 
than risk stravation by giving independence? 

While the United States has not been a colonial 
power in Africa, she did reap economic benefits— 
initially in the form of African manpower. (Ed. note: 
Hence, the Afro- American slave experience) Today the 
American expansion into Africa is more elaborate. For 
a rapidly increasing number of American industries, 
Africa has become an investors heaven. In the 
independent nations, but primarily in the non- 
independent states, Hilton hotels and Holiday Inns 
rise up faster than spring flowers. American giant 
corporations; Ford, GM, Boeing, Gulf, Mobil, Texaco, 
IBM, Kodak, Polaroid, Du Pont and 390 others are 
breaking profit records as fast as they set them by 
doing business in Angola, Mozambique, Rhodesia 
and South Africa. 

From the continent as a whole, America exploits 
numerous important raw materials for industry and 
the consumer table. Millions of American kids have 
made the chocolate bar into an American institution, 
yet hardly anybody knows that it is the African farmer 



28 



who toils and sweats to produce the cocoa. "The real 
thing" and the "Pepsi generation" soft drinks may 
use cola extracted from West African cola nuts. The 
"don't you wish you use . . . type soaps" may come 
from African coconut oils. Coffee, another American 
institution, partially comes from Africa. 

Certainly American industry and technology have 
produced some of the fastest and best jets, missiles 
and the lunar modules that went to the moon. But 
jet engines and missiles and lunar modules cannot be 
built without high grade chrome— from Africa! 
Housewifes as well as bachelors cook with pots and 
pans made from West African aluminum. The list 
goes on, but (to mention a not so pleasant one) the 
first atomic bombs made by the U.S. could not have 
been manufactured except for the rich uranium 
from the Congo. 
Collective Imperialism 

The essential objective of colonialism and neo- 
colonialism is exploitation. But such exploitation 
cannot exist when a people are liberated; that is in 
control of their destinies. With regards to Africa, this 
explains why western capitalist economies are united 
in their opposition to liberation, and why they support 
the racist 5 million whites who suppress 40 million 
Africans in Southern Africa. It is clear why the 
governments of the U.K. and U.S.A. consistently 
protect and defend South Africa in the U.N. It is clear 
why "corporate- America" is encouraged by 
"government-America" to invest one billion dollars in 
South Africa annually. 

The unholy alliance of Western Europe, America 
and white settler colonialists cannot afford to allow 
liberation movements to succeed anywhere on the 
continent. It believes in the domino theory. Thus, 
although it is Portugal which is fighting in Angola, 
Mozambique and Guinea, the 120,000 Portuguese 
soldiers on the African soil are supported by these 
practitioners of collective imperialism. The bombs and 
the planes which carry them, the naplam that burns 
Africans, the machine guns and hand grenades which 
suddenly explode an African life into bloody 
death— these and all the war machinery come from the 
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) which 
the U.S. dominates. 

After America had learned how to fight guerilla 
war in Vietnam, American soldiers transferred their 
"know how" to the Portuguese, who in turn killed 
Africans. Unable to shoulder the cost of the expensive 
war, fascist Portugal turned to Law and Order Nixon, 
who by executive act in 1972 made more than 400 
million dollars available to the Portuguese. When Ian 
Smith and his racist followers defied Britain, the 
British failed to flex their military muscle against kin 
and kith, but did not hesitate to send the royal navy 
into action against Blacks on a tiny Carribean island 



that wanted independence. Despite all the 
moralization, British pounds and American dollars— in 
the billions— constitute the backbone of the South 
African economy, a country whose political leader 
declares that "Africans can NEVER claim political 
rights." To further emphasize he added, "Not now, 
not in the future, under no circumstances can we grant 
them those political rights— neither now nor ever!" 
Finally is it not ironic and revealing, that while the U.S. 
is sending her Peace Corps to our villages, her bombs 
and guns and planes give war and death to our people. 

It is clear that those who covet our resources could 
not have our best interests at heart. This simply 
implies that Africans must recognize the international 
nature of the enemy and act accordingly. The fact is 
that Angola is not fighting Portugal, Angola is fighting 
a system. It is not just the South African white who is 
responsible for the dehumanization of the African— he 
is only part of a larger system. In reality, when that 
African guerilla fighter faces the Portuguese soldier's 
gun and sees death, he is in fact facing the collective 
spirit of the West. Africans then must also begin to 
respond to oppression and exploitation on a collec- 
tive level. In other words for the liberation struggle 
to be successful, it must be Pan-Africanized. Since 
neo-colonialist control depends on the use of balkan- 
izing intriques to create numerous but weak political 
states; liberation, organized on a Pan-African basis, 
must possess vital ingredients— unity and self-reli- 
ance—which are the most potent antidotes to imperi- 
alist aggression and exploitation. 

Finally, outside of the African continent, the 
Black diaspora must realize that we suffer similar fates 
of oppression primarily because we are an African 
people. Except for differences in time, Cabral, 
Mondlane and Lumumba suffered identical fates as 
Hampton, King and Malcolm X. Though thousands of 
miles apart, each of these people died in the struggle 
for the liberation of the Black man. But we do more 
than just suffer together. We have a natural duty to 
struggle together, to emote together, to demonstrate 
strong mutual concern. Certainly men like Garvey and 
Du Bois have contributed far more to Africa than 
many of her own sons and daughters. In return men 
like Malcolm X, and emotions like Black pride— afro's 
and all— drew some of their inspiration from the 
Mother Land. 

In response to the international nature of the op- 
pressor system— African's, no matter where, must 
adopt a united and collective stand. Africans and Afro- 
Americans especially, must strive to achieve that kind 
of political— cultural bond that will enhance our 
capacity to concretize mutually collaborative 
supportive programs and ideas— towards the final 
liberation of our people. ■.-,. ■, -,1 ,. 

Ujamaa na Uhuru!! 



29 




NOISES 

anticipating the arrival of noises 

of clashing sounds, 
which describing themselves 
of us - 
to sit in suppression 

and forces them to look into our eyes 
once again-beating 
beating our only issues 

too death-early grave, 
the only clean and decent burial, 

excepting itself-while presenting us 
the mess-that bus intervenes; 
transporting our means 

subverting our extremes - 
sitting preaching to us the snakes, 
moving within the westerly direction 

baking out deaths with infection, 
to contaminate our only issues - 

too blown dead tissues, 
anticipating the arrival of noises 
of clashing- 

the screams, 
the nightmares of lost blackened dreams, 
i hope the deaf, dumb, and blind 
will not seize the time 
the nile 

is long overdue, overdue 

overdue-due-due-due 
to 
drown 
our blues. 



30 



Clyde Santana 




OBSERVATION 

and what of the old bearded man collecting bottles 

who pulls a burlap bag behind? 

if we speak of love, 

what of his black body arched over the city 

opening the scales of strangers 

carrying the dirt of corners to his hunched corner? 

if we know of love 

we rest; 

while the world moves wrenched by collection. 

Sonia Sanchez 
1968 



31 




N -. 







--.-'^ 



W"^^ 



.t^^^. 



CAN YOU HEAR DISTANT DRUMS 

Can you hear distant drun\s 

talking drums 

connin' fast 

saying the new world 

is 

a rebirth of the past 

talking drums 

comin' fast 

comin' strong 
comin' on. 

But where are the new idols 

Fashioned of recycled clay 

reconstituted Negroes 

leftovers from our sit in days. 

Where lie the humble dwellings 

In high rise coops or tenement slums 

Where polluted city haze 

Greet each successive rebirth of the sun. 

Summer days in the park 

partyin' from noon to dark 

Drinkin' Bali Hai Wine 

Smoking that dope 

and runnin' some jive. 

Dancing in the street 

to sultry beats 

tappin' feet on the street 
summer heat and concrete 
tappin' feet on the street 
summer heat, congas beat 
summer heat, congas beat. 

Can you hear distant drums 

talking drums 

coming fast 

saying the new world 

is a rebirth of the past 

talking drums 

coming strong 

coming fast 

coming on. 

Makeda 



33 



Africa and the Black Diaspora 

By Nana Kobina Nketsia IV 

Nana Kobina Nketsia IV is a chief of the Essikadu, from Ghana. He was chairman of the board of directors 
of the Ghanaian Film corporation. During the regime of Kwame Nkrumah, he served as Director of the 
Ghanaian Institute of Art and Culture, and as Ambassador-at-Large for dealing with questions concerning 
African unity. He has academic degrees from Oxford University. He is currently a Professor of African studies 
and Anthropology at Hampshire College, and an adjunct professor of African culture in the W.E.B. Du Bois De- 
partment of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 

The following thesis: AFRICA AND THE BLACK DIASPORA, gives us some of Chief Nana's views on 
the history and present fate of Africa and the Black Diaspora.* Michael Patterson 



In my last paper of the Third Annual Du Bois 
Lecture Series I called attention very briefly to the 
ideas of the Ghanaian Pan-Africanist leader Casely- 
Hayford concerning the nature of the inevitable and 
necessary cooperation between Blacks of the diaspora 
and those at home in Africa for the future of the 
race. These ideas were set out especially in his book 
called Ethiopia Un-bound. The overall title of the 
Series was "Europe in Africa: the Ghanaian Experi- 
ence" and I dealt particularly with the very long and 
disastrous period of slavery and the relatively short 
one of Colonialism during which the British Govern- 
ment and European Christian missionaries actively 
superimposed European life and ideas and espe- 
cially their "peculiar conception" of God which 
still remains and continues to plague us. 

The point of this paper, however, is to give you 
some idea what Africans have, since the 18th cen- 
tury, thought and done about their Brothers and Sis- 
ters in the New World. In 1787 the Ghanaian, 
Ottobah Cugoano pubhshed his "THOUGHTS 
AND SENTIMENTS ON THE WICKED TRAFFIC 
OF THE SLAVERY AND COMMERCE OF THE 
HUMAN SPECIES," in London, in which he con- 
demned outright the hypocrisy and wickedness and 
insensibility of Christian Europe and offered some 
suggestions for the abolition of slavery and slave 
trade and the education and rehabilitation of the 
black bondage. And he believed and trusted in God 
to bring about these reforms, for as he said, 

"And whereas we consider our case before God 
of the whole universe, the Gracious Father and 
Savior of men; we will look unto him for help and 
deliverance. The cry of our affliction is already 
gone up before him, and he will hearken to the 
voice of our distress; for he hears the cries and 
groans of the oppressed, and professes that if they 
cry at all unto him, he will hearken unto them, and 
deliver them." 
Cugoanu was a great Christian and very truly be- 
lieved in God, and had no doubts that Slavery was 
transgression against the laws of God and for which 
the white Christian world should regret and sincerely 
repent and for which he said, "every one that dwelleth 
in the land ought to mourn and sigh for all the abom- 
inations done therein, and for the great wickedness 
carried on thereby." But furthermore and more im-' 
portantly, he believed that there was purpose in 
whatever God did, and could therefore perceive 



34 



*"Black diaspora" refers to the dispersion of a people from their 
homeland. The word was originally used in referring to the 
bondage forced upon the Children of Israel. The Black diaspora 
refers to the dispersion of the Children of Africa during slavery, 
to various parts of the western hemisphere. 



blessings coming out of the curse of slavery, "and 
that many beneficent purposes might speedily arise 
and flow from it, and be more readily promoted "but 
this was impossible until and unless Europe went 
into sack-cloth and ashes and sought divine guid- 
ance; and as a first step he opined: 

"I would propose, that there ought to be days of 
mourning and fasting appointed, to make enquiry 
into that great and pre-eminent evil for many 
years past carried on against the Heathen nations 
(and here he included the Indians in this country) 
and the horrible iniquity of making merchandise of 
us, and cruelly enslaving the poor Africans: and 
that you might seek grace and repentance, and find 
mercy and forgiveness before God Omnipotent; 
and that he may give you wisdom and understand- 
ing to devise what ought to be done." 

Secondly he would propose that a total aboli- 
tion of slavery should be made and proclaimed; and 
that universal emancipation of slaves should begin 
from the date thereof and in the following manner in 
his own words, 

"And if such a proclamation be found advisable 
by the British legislature, let them publish it, and 
cause it to be published, throughout all the British 
Empire, to hinder and prohibit all men under their 
government to traffic either in buying or selling 
men; and to prevent it, a penalty might be made 
against it of one thousand pounds, for every man 
either to buy or sell another man. And that it 
should require all slave-holders, upon the imme- 
diate information thereof, to mitigate the labour of 
their slaves to that of lawful servitude, without 
torture or oppression; and that they should not 
hinder but cause and procure some suitable means 
of instruction for them in the knowledge of the 
Christian religion." 
But beyond the acquisition of the knowledge of the 
Christian religion the slaves should be taught agri- 
culture and technology to equip them for their future 
life in the colonies and also, 

"it might be another duty for Christians, if in the 
course of that time, to make inquiry concerning 
some of their friends and relations in Africa: and if 
they found any intelligent persons amongst them, 
to give them as good education as they could; and 
find out a way of recourse to their friends; and as 
soon as they had made any progress in useful 
learning and the knowledge of the Christian reli- 
gion, they might be sent back to Africa, to be made 
useful there as soon, and as many of them as could 
be made fit for instructing others." 
Now turning to Africa itself, Cugoano proposed that 
a fleet of war ships be sent especially to the slave coast 



to prevent further transportation of slaves to the 
New World. Britain should set an example in this for 
all other Christian countries to follow. And he 
particularly emphasized that "The Dutch have some 
crocodile settlers at the Cape, that should be called to 
a particular account for their murders and inhuman 
barbarities." Instead of enslaving the African, 
Britons should educate them to develop themselves 
and their land, for if 

"they would take compassion on the inhabitants 
of the coast of Guinea, and to make use of means 
as would be needful to enlighten their minds in the 
knowledge of Christianity, their virtue, in this 
respect, would have its own reward. And as the 
Africans became refined and established in light 
and knowledge, they would imitate their noble 
British friends, to improve their lands, and make 
use of that industry as the nature of their country 
might require, and to supply those that would 
trade with them, with such productions as the na- 
ture of their climate would produce. 

I must point out that Cugoano insisted on Chris- 
tianity and Civilization only as a means of fulfilling 
and not destroying the African Personality. He had 
lived in Europe and particularly in London too long 
to appreciate the baneful effect of a wholesale adop- 
tion of European institutions in Africa. He appre- 
ciated the values of African family life of coopera- 
tion. He maintained that "Liberty and freedom, 
where people may starve for want, can do them little 
good. We want many rules of civilization in Africa; 
but in many respects, we may boast of more essen- 
tial liberties than any of the civilized nations in 
Europe enjoy; for the poorest amongst us are never 
in distress or want, unless some general and universal 
calamity happens to us." Again it greatly amazed 
and infuriated him to think that with baptism Africans 
in the New World should lose their names, and once 
again he stoutly maintained "no name, whether 
Christian or Pagan, has anything to do with bap- 
tism; if the requisite qualities of knowledge and faith 
be found in a man, he may be baptized let his name be 
what it will. And Christianity does not require that 
we should be deprived of our own personal name, or 
the name of our ancestors." He of course maintained 
the necessity of diffusing Christian knowledge 
among Africans, but this must be done by rational 
methods by wise and pious men the scriptures hav- 
ing been duly and necessarily translated into African 
languages. What by all means should be avoided 
were "the many Anti-christian errors which had 
gone abroad into the world, and all the popish super- 
stition and nonsense, and the very assimilations unto 
it." The Africans should be given the substance and 
not the external trappings. They, the Africans, 

"do not need any unscriptural forms and cere- 
monies to be taught to them; they can devise super- 
stitions enough among themselves, and church 
government too, if ever they need any." 

I have stated these ideas of Cugoano at some 
length because in essence they sum up what all rea- 
sonable and well-meaning people both Black and 
White since then have advocated; that slavery was in- 
human and should be abolished; that steps be taken 
before abolition to educate the slave and make him a 
useful citizen where he was; that emancipated and 
educated in religion and the mechanical arts he 
should be made to share these gains and blessings 
with his benighted people in Africa that he could 



not reunite with his own people if he was christian- 
ized and educated out of his culture, himself and an- 
cestral roots; that as a Christian he should still bear 
his own name and not classical names such as Cassius 
and Ptolomy and Alexis. 

Ottobah wrote nearly two centuries ago but he 
has since been very closely followed by a number of 
his countrymen in these ideas. Early this century 
Chief Sam from the Gold Coast thought out and 
boldly attempted a plan to send back to Africa several 
hundreds of Black Americans which was foiled by 
the British Colonial Government of the Gold Coast, 
and the first batch consequently suffered great priva- 
tion. And as many of you already know it was Chief 
Sam who employed Marcus Garvey in his London 
office and whose ideas influenced the young Garvey 
to greater ideas and far greater deeds later. 

Missionaries of the colonial period of course 
never heeded ideas such as Cugoano's about bap- 
tism, the changing of names and the introduction of 
the external trappings that might harm African peo- 
ple. Both the French policy of Assimilation and the 
British Indirect Rule did the same thing— the deper- 
sonalization of the African. In the Gold Coast it was 
apparent in the 1870s that the combined operation of 
British jurisdiction. Christian evangelization and 
legitimate commerce had produced the European ideal 
of a Ghanaian who was actively appropriating some 
of the material culture and institutions of civilized 
life and which behaviour the Supreme Court Ord- 
inance of 1876 was drawn up to clinch and acceler- 
ate. For if any person chose English Law in his re- 
lationship with another, actually or by construc- 
tion, then he excluded the operation of native African 
law. Section 19 underlined, 

"No party shall be entitled to claim the benefit of 
any local law or custom, if it shall appear either 
from express contract or from the nature of the 
transactions out of which any suit or question may 
have arisen, that such party agreed that his obli- 
gations in connection with such transactions 
should be regulated exclusively by English law." 
The authors in the Colonial Office in London of the 
Ordinance were Sir Julian Paohcefotte and Mr. Fair- 
field, and in a minute in the Colonial Office records, 
the latter drew a distinction between "mere Natives 
who have adopted the usages of civilized and chris- 
tian life" and declared, 

"If a Native is an educated man, living in a town, 
carrying on trade and married to one wife by a 
Christian minister, it would be absurd to deal with 
him otherwise than under civilized man." 

In the mid 19C. much harm had been done to 
make Ghanaian leaders seriously ponder about rem- 
edies, and among the many thinkers, writers and 
political leaders of the period only Casely-Hayford's 
ideas go beyond the seas along the middle passage 
to his Brothers and Sisters in the New World. But be- 
fore that he seriously questions the missionaries: 

"Why, for example, would not the native convert 
sing his native airs in Church? Why should he not 
attune his horns, his adziwa, his gomey, or for 
that matter, his adankum, to the praise of God, 
much as the Israelites of old praised Jehovah upon 
the cymbal and the harp? Again why should not 
the native be invited to church by the call of the big 
drum. . . Why in the name of reason and common 
sense, should not the native bear his own name and 
wear his own garments? .... There will never be 



35 



anything like genuine Christianity on the Gold 
Coast . . . till the missionaries have begun from the 
beginning to build up a national Church on scien- 
tific lines— a Church wherein the Spirit of Christ 
will be all in all, and the 'letter' a dead thing." 
In his book Ethiopia Unbound Hayford considers 
among other things Race Emancipation— General 
Considerations under which he discusses the con- 
tributions to the race by Dr. Edward Blyden, and Race 
Emancipation— Particular Considerations: under 
which he discusses African Nationality. Under the 
former he compares the works of Dr. Du Bois and 
Booker T. Washington with that of Blyden and 
writes, that while the two were promoting the materi- 
al and social advancement of particular branches or 
sections of the Black Race, Blyden "had sought for 
more than a quarter of a century to reveal everywhere 
the African himself; to fix his attention upon origin- 
al ideas and conceptions as to his place in the econ- 
omy of the world; to point out to him his work as a 
race among races of men; lastly, and most important 
of all, to lead him back unto self-respect." He did not 
say that to minimize the work and contributions of 
Du Bois and Washington, but it was to underline the 
singular contribution of Blyden in delineating the 
particularly rich soul of the Black man at home and 
abroad. And I must say that the extraordinary con- 
tribution, for that matter, of the African from the 
New World has been to represent and emphasize the 
uniqueness of the entire race and not any particular 
tribes or sections of it. Thus, George Padmore, Dr. 
Du Bois, Fanon and Blyden will always draw together 
all sections of Africa and other parts of the Black 
World. Now in discussing African Nationality Hay- 
ford in fact gives the entire chapter to Afro-America. 
And as far as he was concerned there are no Afro- 
Americans as such, for he contends: 

"Looking at the matter closely, it is not so much 
Afro-Americans that we want as Africans or 
Ethiopians, sojourning in a strange land, who, out 
of a full heart and a full knowledge can say: If I 
forget thee, Ethiopia, let my right hand forget its 
cunning." 
And he had no doubts that in spite of the fact that 
the Black American had unfortunately but inevitably 
lost his language and other national characteristics 
he is still black spiritually which was all that mat- 
tered. He argues: 

"Now, if the soul that is in the Ethiopian, even in 
the United States, remains Ethiopian, which it 
does; to judge from the coon songs which have en- 



36 




riched the sentiment of mankind by their pathos, 
then I say the forgoing words, true as everyone 
must admit they are, points distinctly to the im- 
possibility of departing from nature's way with 
any hope of lasting good to African nationality." 
To Casely-Hayford both the Africans at home and 
those abroad need both science and technology as 
well as African culture, history and heritage. And it 
was for Africans to give back the latter to their 
brothers in the New World while they must expect to 
be taught science and technology by their brothers 
in the New World. He says: 

"There are probably but a few men of African 
descent in America who, if they took the trouble 
by dipping into family tradition, would not be able 
to trace their connection and relationship with one 
or the other of the great tribes of West Africa; and 
now that careful enquiry has shown that the in- 
stitutions of the Aborigines of Africa are capable 
of scientific handling, what would be easier than 
for the great centers of culture and learning in the 
hands of Africans in the United States to found 
professorships in this relation? In order of Provi- 
dence, some of our brethren aforetime were suf- 
fered to be enslaved in America for a wise purpose. 
That event in the history of the race has made it 
possible for the speedier dissemination and adop- 
tion of the better part of Western culture; and 
Lady Africa's sons in the East and in the West can 
do peculiar service unto one another in the com- 
mon cause of uplifting Ethiopia and placing her 
upon her feet among the nations. The East, for 
example, can take lessons from the West in the 
adoption of a sound educational policy, the kind of 
industrial and technical training which would en- 
able aboriginals to make the best use of their lands 
and natural resources. And, surely, the West 
ought not to be averse to taking hints from the 
East as regards to the preservation of national in- 
stitutions, and to adopt distinctive garbs and 
names. . . . " 
And lastly Hayford saw the cardinal place that 
language occupied in this programme: 

"I should like to see, he said, Ethiopian Leagues 
formed throughout the United States much in the 
same way as the Gaelic League in Ireland for the 
purpose of studying and employing Fanti, Yourba, 
Hausa, or other standard African languages, in 
daily use. The idea may seem extraordinary on the 
first view, but if you are inclined to regard it thus, 
I can only point to the examples of Ireland and 
Denmark, who have found the vehicle of a nation- 
al conservancy and evolution. If the Danes and 
Irish find it expedient in Europe, surely the matter 
is worthy of consideration by the Ethiopian in the 
United States, in Sierra Leone, in the West Indies 
and Liberia. " 

Hayford wrote this in 1911, and it was after 
some thirty-seven years that Herskovitz started the 
pioneer African Studies Programme in this country 
at Northwestern, followed by Boston University five 
years after, and by U.C.L.A. in Los Angeles eleven 
years after. It is said that 

"Professor Herskovitzs' concern for African 
studies had both academic and practical motives. 
He believed that American social scientists did not 
take sufficient account of cultural differences; that 
generally accepted and social theories were chiefly 
applicable, in fact, only to Western experience; and 



that many social sciences were thus 'culture bound.' 
He was also concerned that so few Americans 
possessed any comprehensive knowledge of 
Africa— indeed it was sometimes said in the 1940's 
that the few African experts in the United States 
could hold a convention in a telephone booth." 
Professor Herskovitz died in 1963. In 1968 there 
were some forty college and university programmes 
dealing with African Studies. And now with the in- 
stitution of Black Studies Programmes on almost 
every Campus in the country there is a tremendous 
dissemination of knowledge of Africa going on. And 
Casely-Hayford must be really happy in his grave 
because all the languages he recommended and much 
much more are being taught, and mostly to Black 
students in these institutions. And I am convinced 
that the Black students who are studying these 
languages have more than mere academic interest in 
their pursuit. There is a movement of mind and a 
great deal of diffusion at the moment in the black 
world; more and more of our brothers and sisters 
are every summer visiting their motherland, some 
bearing African names and speaking these languages 
and much sympathy and concern is being generated 
over underdevelopment and the issues in South 
Africa, and Angola and Rhodesia and the poverty 
and famine and political instability. 

But this identity and concern to do something, 
however little, has always been there. Indeed when 
Ottobah Cugoano was writing these ideas above in 
1787, free Blacks because of racial prejudice in the 
white-dominated churches, were establishing their 
own churches which they labelled African. In the 
same year appeared also because of their traditional 
communalism in the face of discrimination and un- 
certainty, the first mutual benefit societies— the Free 
African Societies of Philadelphia and Newport. Not 
only did they care about needy members and the 
wives and children of deceased members (just as 
many African Trade Unions and Mutual Benefit 
societies still do) but much concern of both these 
churches and societies was in connection with the de- 
praved and terrible state of African society and its 
woeful state of underdevelopment. And it was in 
this spirit that Daniel Coker the founder of the 
African Methodist church of Baltimore declined to 
accept the position of first Bishop and go to Sierra 
Leone as a Missionary; and he wrote back in 1820, 
"My soul cleaves to Africa." 

The first person who seriously urged Blacks to 
go to Africa and help was Paul Cuffee (whose father 
must have been Fanti, Akan or Ashanti) of Westport 
in Massachusetts. He was a shipowner and a mer- 
chant, and in order (as he saw it in his day) to civilize 
and christianize Africans in Sierra Leone, he took 38 
blacks there in 1814 at his own expense. The African 
Institution of Boston was obviously also very much 
concerned, and they sent in 1812 a letter to Paul 
Cuffee expressing their desire "most cheerfully to 
sacrifice ease and many other privileges and com- 
fort, for the purpose of diffusing light and civiliza- 
tion and knowledge in Africa." From the West 
Indies and Brazil also, many people went to West 
Africa as lawyers, doctors, missionaries, locomotive 
engine drivers and educators. And the descendants 
of many of them are still providing very useful 
service to their communities. Names in Ghana which 
readily come to mind are the Christians, Abensetts, 
the Clarks; and the most memorable educator was 



Master Briton, the Jamaican. 

I think, however, that one Black American Enter- 
prise in Ghana must have greatly convinced Casely- 
Hayford of the Tightness of this appeal to our 
brothers here for technical help. And this was the 
AFRICAN UNION CO, (INC.) Builders and Con- 
tractors, Engineers, Furniture Manufacturers, 
Produce Merchants, etc. The African Union was an 
association of prominent and most highly esteemed 
Black citizens of the United States, by whom it was 
started in 1914 three years after Hayford had pub- 
lished his Ethiopia Unbound. The President was 
Mr. Charles W. Chapelle who was born in Georgia 
in 1872, the son of a Methodist preacher. The Vice- 
President was Mr. W. R. Pettiford of Birmingham, 
Alabama, and at the time President of the Negro Na- 
tional Bankers' Association. The Secretary was Mr. 
J. L. Jones of Cincinatti, Ohio then President of the 
Central Regalia Co.; and among other members were 
the Hon. R. R. Jackson, then Major-General of the 
Uniform Ranks of the Knight of Pithias, and Hon. 
Emmett J. Scott of Tuskegee Institute Ex-Secretary 
to the United States Secretary for War, then Secre- 
tary and Treasurer of Howard University. 

Of the objectives of the Company the Red Book 
of West Africa writes in 1923, "This undertaking is, 
apart from its success as a first rate business organi- 
zation, thoroughly deserving of every encomium 
because of the altruistic principles upon which it was 
founded, and which are the motive force of its activi- 
ties." It goes on to say that company was founded 
"for the training of young men of West Africa in 
mechanical trades and commerce, as well as for their 
spiritual welfare. And the scope of the company's 
operations from Sekondi along the Railway to 
Coomassie demonstrates the efficiency with which 
the business is conducted, and the highly satisfac- 
tory results which are attending it as an important 
educational factor." In Sekondi alone where Mr. 
Hayford was practicing law at the time, the company 
employed some two hundred and thirty people at 
their establishment in Chapel Street which was 
equipped well with machinery and other appliances 
for the rich variety of operations there. I recently in- 
terviewed Mr. Chappelle's own driver who told 
much about the work done there and who learned 
three trades under his master. Some of the most 
beautiful and solid buildings in Sekondi were con- 
structed by the company; and these include the 
Barclays Bank and the residence of the late Hon. 
J. G. Christian. The Company also cultivated sugar 
cane and citrus plantations. Engineer Chappelle 
was a great asset and influence in Ghana. 

So far, so good. On the whole, however, there 
are still several more reasons and areas which 
must be pondered and covered to make effective dif- 
fusion possible and rewarding. There is first of all 
the historical connection and the presence of the 
African in the New World and the survival and the 
influence of his culture there. There is then the colo- 
nial period and experience, and the post-colonial 
struggle to build viable and stable states. But even 
before then there is the aweful period of the Slave 
Trade in Africa and Slavery in the New World, and 
my experience as a student in Africa and as a teacher 
here is that Africans are mostly unaware of the awe- 
ful depersonalization of their brothers in the New 
World, and most American Blacks do not know the 
full effect of the Slave Trade on African society and 



37 




38 



the African character. And there is also the situation 
in which many or all these countries find themselves 
where they have to develop a multi-tribal or multi- 
racial and multi-cultural peoples into single har- 
monious nations. Then of course there is that ab- 
solutely important problem of the conquest of or 
adjustment to the tropical or semi-tropical environ- 
ment where the problems of tropical diseases, tropi- 
cal agriculture and tropical architecture for instance, 
should be seriously and quickly tackled. 

Historically much of the information about the 
African in the period of Slavery and the Slave Trade 
is of tremendous importance and is involved in the 
commercial expansion of the metropolitan countries, 
the foundation of the American colonies and the 
Carribean. In other words since Africans could not 
write at the time, much of our history of the period is 
concentrated in European archives, libraries, mu- 
seums and private collections. Also a measure of 
the political, social and economic organization as 
well as the value systems, religious ideas and prac- 
tices, especially the African's conception and ideas 
of God and the lesser gods, the manifestation of the 
spiritual in actual life, man's relationship with na- 
ture from the pre-slavery era to colonial times, all 
this is to some extent still to be found in the New 
World; and a great deal of the contemporary living 
culture in these places could only be explained with 
reference to Africa, and especially to West Africa. I 
have seen here in America, in Surinam and in the 
Islands the very popular silver bracelets which Black 
women wear, which are centuries old and are only 
now vanishing from West Africa where they origin- 
ated. I have seen hair styles and dances in Surinam 
and Guyana which are West African; particularly I 
have seen very popular Yoruba dances in Cuba and 
Guyana and the Ashanti court dance, the Adowain, 
in Guyana where it is also called the court dance. And 
I have tasted the very ancient food of apitsi in Guyana 
to my great surprise. I have seen the annual Ahanta 



(Ghana) festival dance of Ebise in Surinam; and 
there is the famous John Conu dance in most of the 
Islands which commemorates the triumphs of John 
over the Dutch in the Western region of Ghana in 
the 18th century. I could go on and on. In other 
words much pattern of thought and behaviour can 
be really meaningful there with reference to Africa. 
Once again, Surinam offers an interesting example 
of West African life, especially Ghanaian. The matri- 
lineal organization, Chieftancy, the military organi- 
zation especially the use of the Akansafo (coroman- 
tyr marital songs) and the power of the talking 
drum, the Akan state form, the influence of the 
priests,— all this is a living but a historical record 
which no African scholar can lightly set aside. Both 
the Akan language and the Akan drum language 
are being taught in some Colleges here in America 
and Black scholars who would like to visit or work 
among the 'BUSH NEGROES' would find the study 
most rewarding and enjoyable. 

Again much as we read in Bossman and other 
European authors some fair descriptions of the ma- 
terial culture of West Africa of the period of slavery, 
it does look to me that a clearer picture emerges from 
the study of this culture transplanted into the New 
World at the time. I have seen in the markets of 
Surinam, Guyana, Haiti, Brazil and Jamaica roots, 
seeds, barks of trees and other things used for cura- 
tive purposes just as they are so employed in West 
Africa today, and in many cases they carry the same 
African names still; and even where these names 
are Creole of takitaki etc., they are often translitera- 
tions of their African names. For there are many 
plants in Surinam which carry the same Akan names, 
but I also came across one with the takitaki name of 
"Gedu dede me dede" meaning" Could God die I 
would die." Now that same plant which the Akans 
of Ghana call "Nyame bowu na meewu" means the 
same thing, and signifies the immortality of God. 
Moreover there is much historical evidence of the 
diffusion of this kind of knowledge from Africa. 
Steadman in his Expedition to Surinam, published 
in 1774, tells the story of Granman Quacy a slave 
from Ghana who had a commanding knowledge of 
the curative properties of herbs, roots, etc. and who 
as a result was invited to Holland and honoured by 
the Prince of Orange, and whose formulae were 
studied by Linnieus. His Quassie Bitter (Quassie 
Amara Li) I believe, is still in use. 

Again cultural relations cannot subsist in 
vacuole. Cultural ideas, values and institutions, 
since their transfer from Africa, have in some signifi- 
cant cases been subjected to new ideas, values and in- 
stitutions in the New World. Necessary synthesis or 
fusions have thereby resulted which should have rel- 
evance in contemporary Africa. Outstanding in this 
respect is the way in which traits of African religion 
have been carried over into those New World coun- 
tries where Catholicism prevailed or still dominates, 
and syncreticisms between African and Christian 
sacred beings and rituals have taken place. Haiti, 
Brazil and Cuba are some such places. These syn- 
creticisms are worth studying by African Scholars. 
I met in Cuba in 1965 a black priest who with un- 
doubted sanctity and honesty and in environments 
very much like a chief's court in West Africa, minis- 
ters to hundreds of Cubans, both black and white, 
and from all walks of life. On his altars both African 
Gods and Catholic saints jostled for space. I ob- 



served the same phenomenon in Haiti and here 
particularly during the yam and rice annual festivals 
both Christian and African elements merge without 
any apparent incompatibility. And Harold Cour- 
lander brings this out fairly well in The Drum and 
the Hoe. He writes, 

"The family ancestors whose good will has made 

the harvest possible having been taken care of the 

food, is now shared among the extended family 

and the saints and God, led by the hougan or 

pret savane." 

In West Africa some drums are sacred because they 

communicate like human, and create and stir man to 

great feats of daring and bring man into touch with 

Divinity. Much attention, therefore, is paid to them 

during the annual festivals when the sacred rites are 

being performed. They are clad in white and fed 

sacred food like the ancestors and the lesser gods. 

Here is what Courlander says of the service for the 

Assotor Drum, the largest and most sacred of all the 

Haitians drums— the drum for all the Gods and spirits 

of the country: 

"The Assotor drum is dressed in the finest cloth- 
ing and kerchiefs for the mange (feast). It is the 
king of everything. 

When the mange assoto is ended, when the drum 
has been fed, there is an immediate mass held in 
church for the souls in purgatory." 

I said earlier that African scholars have much to 
learn from this. The colonial agents, especially the 
missionaries of the colonial regimes in Africa, drove a 
wedge between the so called 'Christian civilization' 
and 'heathen life' which still is very much in evi- 
dence, and which for all practical purposes stopped 
the merging of African ideas of the sacred rituals 
and institutions with Christian ideas and institutions, 
especially in the rites of passage everywhere in Africa. 
And this is the problem of the 'dual man' as Casely- 
Hayford put it. 

There are very serious spiritual, social, political 
and economic problems facing the black man on the 
Continent and in the New World, which only under- 
standing, tolerance, patience and mutual respect for 
natural difference could solve. And the first real 
step will be taken in Tanzania this June, when the 
Sixth Pan-African Congress meets there for the first 
time on African Soil. And Dr. Fletcher Robinson 
writes: 

"The Sixth Pan African Congress is an effort to 
motivate and mobilize Black people globally to 
begin to move towards self-reliance and self-deter- 
mination collectively, as a 'nation' of people. (We 
have already demonstrated that involvement in a 
common action will serve to unify us in spite of our 
very diverse interest.) A main focus of the Con- 
gress is to consider the application of science and 
technology as tools of liberation for Africa and 
African people. " 
Nothing can be more welcome at this particular 
moment of our history, and especially as it comes 
from our Brothers and Sisters from America. AND 
SO IT SHOULD BE! Three central figures of our 
discussion from the 18th century to our times, Dugo- 
ano, Hayford and Du Bois, all wanted us to believe 
(and I know they are right) that Slavery, far from be- 
ing a curse, could be a blessing. On the eve of 
Ghana's independence Dr. Du Bois sent a message to 
Nkrumah charging him with the duty of continuing 
the Pan African movement declaring solemnly: 



"I hereby put into your hands, Mr. Prime Min- 
ister, my empty but still significant title of 'Presi- 
dent of the Pan-African Congress,' to be bestowed 
on my duly-elected successor who will preside 
over a Pan-African Congress due, I Trust, to meet 
soon and for the first time on African soil, at the 
call of the independent state of Ghana." 
Nkrumah consequently called in 1958 the first ALL 
AFRICAN PEOPLE'S CONFERENCE and the first 
INDEPENDENT AFRICAN STATES CONFER- 
ENCE which later has blossomed into the ORGANI- 
ZATION OF AFRICAN UNITY. 

As everybody knows, it was not easy to organ- 
ize the O.A.U., and it was therefore inevitable for 
African leaders to concentrate their efforts to bring 
about unity on the Continent itself first. So that 
apart from the brief appearance of Malcolm X in 
Cairo, the Organization of the Black Diaspora has 
not participated much in this otherwise, a march of 
togetherness, since the last Pan-African Congress of 
1945. In June therefore, BLACK BROTHER WILL 
MEET BLACK BROTHER AND BLACK SISTER 
WILL MEET BLACK SISTER in Tanzania; and for 
Du Bois, Hayford and Malcolm this is necessary, 
healthy and inevitable if the black man should con- 
tinue to survive and progress in this sad world; and I 
must entreat you to ponder on the following state- 
ments from the three as we wait to meet in Africa: 
From MALCOLM 

"Just as the American Jew is in harmony (politic- 
ally, economically and culturally) with world 
Jewry, it is time for all African-Americans to be- 
come an integral part of the world's Pan-African- 
ists, and even though we might remain in America 
physically while fighting for benefits the Consti- 
tution guarantees us, we must 'return' to Africa 
philosophically and culturally and develop a 
working unity in the framework of Pan-African- 
ism." 
Du Bois: The following is from Du Bois' THE CON- 
SERVATION OF RACES. 

"We cannot reverse history; we are subject to 
the same natural laws as the other races, and if the 
Negro is ever to be a factor in the world's history— 
if among the gaily-colored banners that deck the 
broad ramparts of civilization is to hang one un- 
compromising black, then it must be placed there 
by black hands, fashioned by black heads and hal- 
lowed by the travail of 200,000,000 black hearts 
beating in one glad song of jubilee. 

For this reason, the advance guard of the Negro 
people— the 8,000,000 people of Negro blood in 
the United States of America— must soon come 
to realize that if they are to take their just place in 
the van of Pan-Negroism, then their destiny is not 
absorption by the white race." 
Casely-Hayford. from ETHIOPIA UNBOUND, 
Race emancipation; African Nationality. 

"How extraordinary would be the spectacle of 
this huge Ethiopian race— some millions of men- 
having imbibed all that is best in Western culture in 
the land of their oppressors, yet remaining true to 
racial instincts and inspirations, customs and institu- 
tions, much as did the Israelites of old in captivity! 
When this more pleasant picture will have become 
possible of realization, then and only then, will it be 
possible for our people in bondage metaphorically 
to walk out of Egypt in the near future with a great 
and a real spoil. 



39 




40 



THE BLACK BEING 

The Black being 

ran silently from his being black 

locked in? or out of? or from what? 
Such are 

the personal hells and/or 

heavens of 
each mother's son and 

fathers daughter 
in the being black of their black beings . . . 

tenajol cormier 




UNTITLED LOVE POEM NO. 6 



You showed me your Africa 

hidden in the mouth 

of a village copper mask 

careful not to spill 

its many secrets; 

hidden in the folds of cloth 

newly woven 

and dipped in colors 

from the robes of Ra. 

You sought the uninherited legacy 

spoken by ebony carvings 

whose searching eyes told 

of kinship. 

And I showed you my Africa 

soft, round . . . 

a brown bubbling well 

sweet with secrets 

moving to the rhythms 

of forgotten drum beats 

your hands knowingly played. 

And together we crossed hills 

swam flowing waters 

found rainbows in the darkness 

behind half-closed eyelids. 



Irma McClaurin 
from Song In the Night 



41 



A WAY-STATION FROM OUR PAST 




Elmina Castle, located in the southern coastal region of Ghana (formerly the Gold Coast) 90 
miles west of Accra, is one of the best preserved of some thirty structures which the Europeans 
built along the coast during their colonial invasion of West Africa. From the 15th century these 
castles were used as trading posts and slave holding stations by various European nations, 
including the Portuguese, Dutch, French, and British. Elmina itself was one of the major stations 
for the British during their colonial control of the Gold Coast. 

The rape of Africa resounds from Elmina. It is estimated that 200,000 British pounds of 
gold — African gold — were shipped annually from its shores. It is said that even today the 
stench of the slave trade remains there, suddenly assaulting the unsuspecting visitor with the 
nauseating odor of accumulated excrement and blood — three centuries of organic leavings from 
generations of tortured human beings. The tens of millions of Black people who were forced 
through dungeons in places like this for more than 300 years, bound across the Atlantic to the 
Carribean and the Americas, have left for us a rude reminder of the severity of our struggle. 

A liberation cry was most surely heard among our forebears in the slave pens at Elmina 
Castle. Today the cry reverberates across the seven continents urging persistent action; and the 
response by the sons and daughters of Africa steadily gains effectiveness. African liberation 
pertains to all of us. It is one struggle; it is now; and it is here. 

M.W.S. 



42 




OBSERVATION OF A "MILITANT" 

he stood engulfed in his blackness 

puzzled, he profiled on the corner 
seeing himself a grey shadow in sunlight 
seeing himself on the wall 

a target; still and relaxed 
puzzled as to where he began 
and the other crowded images 
STOPPED!!!!! 

tenajol cormier 



43 



"AMERICA NEEDS A KILLING 

AMERICA NEEDS A KILLING 

THE SURVIVORS WILL BE HUMAN." 

—Michael Harper 



, There Will Be No Survivors 

slinging it carelessly 

over his back 

he walks 

the only 

open path. 

picking 

them off 

two 

by 

two. 
cracked picture windows 
reflect the haunted 
calmness of the body, 
standing alone between today 
and yesterday 
he nestles it 
between his shoulder 
& ear. 

cocking the trigger 
.... hesitating 

only 

once. 

Irma McClaurin 
from Song In the Night 



44 



The day will come when 

my poetry locked in my room 

will no longer be sacred 
and planned government eyes 

will be scanning every word I write 
Yes, but my words will be processed 

as i will be canned, 

packaged, industrialized. 
The time will come 

because even now freedom of 

choice has collapsed and 

as the wishes of one man 

and a few strong men 

who must have their way 

become the way 
The time has come to 

Damn the status quo 

for it stands in the way of the people 
We must renew 

the pyramids of Egypt 

the workshop of knowledge of Timbuctoo 

and sanctify the beauty and courage of the Zulu 

And with all these things as right 

we be reactionaries 

we be the people of a dark and beautiful past 

we be here to . . . 
Damn the status quo. 

Makeda 



Acknowledgements 

The Staff of the DRUM would like to thank: 

For their articles and interviews: Dovi Afesi 

Chinua Achebe 
Birku Menkir 
Mfundi Vundia 

For poetry: Makeda 

Sonia Sanchez 
Tenajol Cormier 
Irma McClaurin 
Mungu Kimya Abudu 
Kenneth Ralph Cuffee 

Photography: Tshakka Henderson pp. 13 and 42 
Clement Roach pp. 16 and 23 
Dalton Brown page 32 
Dick Nichols page 24 

For re-production of their images: Dana Chandler page 45 

Clyde Santana pages 40 and 43 
Arturo Lindsay page 30 
Clement Roach page 41 



And especially Brother Melvin W. Smith whose invaluable donation of his time and advice has done so 
much to spurn the efforts of the staff in acquiring a greater sense of organizational responsibility and a 
criterion for excellence. 

Also, the DRUM would like to take this space to introduce EUGENE NILES and DAVID THAXTON as the 
upcoming Editor and Assistant-Editor respectively. It will be the responsibility of these two capable in- 
dividuals collectively with the efforts of the Staff (new recruits as well as those returning next year), to not 
only maintain the quality and relevance that subsequent Staff efforts have tried to maintain, but to always 
strive to make DRUM that much more relevant and politically directed, so that DRUM will continue to edu- 
cate and inspire its readers, in the area of Black and Third World literature. Please support the efforts of 
these dedicated Brothers and Sisters, for what we get out of the DRUM can be no more than what we put 
into it. 



Ed. Note: The DRUM would also like to acknowledge, for the usage of our cover, "The Angolan Free- 
dom Fighter," The Liberation Support Movement (Information Center) B.C. Canada. 



47 







Nov. 2, 1973 


1 

Dec. 7, 1973 


U,N, Recognizes 


Admit Guinea- 


Guinea-Bissau 


Bissau to OAU 


NEW YORK - The United 


ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — 


Nations General Assembly 


Guinea-Bissau, having issued 


today voted a draft resolution 


its Declaration of In- 


in recognition of the 


dependence recently, was 


independent state of Guinea- 


rewarded for its action by 


Bissau. 


being admitted into the 


The measure, passing by a 


Organization of African Unity 


vote of 93 to 7, with 30 


as a full member. 


abstensions, strongly con- 


IN TAKING a seat at the 


demns "the policies of the 


conference table in Addis 


government of Portugal in 


Ababa's Africa Hall, Guinea- 


perpetuating its illegal 


Bissau became the 42nd 


occupation of certain sectors 


member of the 10-year-old 


of the Republic of Guinea- 


organization and received a 


Bissau and the repeated acts of 


standing ovation. 


aggression committed by its 


The proposal to admit the 


armed forces against the 


new nation, which has been 


people of Guinea-Bissau and 


known as the African Party for i 


Cape Verde. The resolution 


Independence of Guinea and \ 


also, in conformity with the U. 


the Cape Verde Islands 


N. Charter, specifically draws 


(PAIGC), was made by 


the attention of the Security 


Algerian Foreign Minster, 


Council to Portugal's illegal 


Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Mr. 


presence in Guinea-Bissau and 


Bouteflika said the admission 


invites all member states. 


of Guinea-Bissau would be a 


agencies, and organizations of 


contribution to the liberation 


the U.N. System to render all 


of African territories under 


necessary assistance to the 


foreign domination. 


government of Guinea-Bissau. 


1 



mftg^t-t-^feSHfc 



WLM %»6IIWi*m 



48 




Amilcar Cabral 
September 14, 192'4-January 20, 1973 



SUPPORT 



AFRICAN 
LIBERATION 



MAY 25, 1974