Pan African Revolutionary Comrade Freedom Fighter.

This is the post excerpt.

Pan-Africanism is a worldwide intellectual movement that aims to encourage and strengthen bonds of solidarity between all people of African descent. Based upon a common fate going back to the Atlantic slave trade, the movement extends beyond continental Africans, with a substantial support base amongst the African diaspora in the Caribbean and the United States.[1] It is based on the belief that unity is vital to economic, social, and political progress and aims to “unify and uplift” people of African descent.[2] The ideology asserts that the fate of all African peoples and countries are intertwined. At its core Pan-Africanism is “a belief that African peoples, both on the continent and in the diaspora, share not merely a common history, but a common destiny”.[3]
The Organization of African Unity (now the African Union) was established in 1963 to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its Member States and to promote global relations within the framework of the United Nations.[4] The African Union Commission has its seat in Addis Ababa and the Pan-African Parliament has its seat in Johannesburg and Midrand.
As a philosophy, Pan-Africanism represents the aggregation of the historical, cultural, spiritual, artistic, scientific, and philosophical legacies of Africans from past times to the present. Pan-Africanism as an ethical system traces its origins from ancient times, and promotes values that are the product of the African civilizations and the struggles against slavery, racism, colonialism, and neo-colonialism.[6]
Alongside a large number of slave insurrections, by the end of the 18th century a political movement developed across the Americas, Europe and Africa that sought to weld these disparate movements into a network of solidarity putting an end to this oppression. Another important political form of a religious Pan-Africanist worldview appeared in the form of Ethiopianism.[10] In London, the Sons of Africa was a political group addressed by Quobna Ottobah Cugoano in the 1791 edition of his book Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil of Slavery. The group addressed meetings and organised letter-writing campaigns, published campaigning material and visited parliament. They wrote to figures such as Granville Sharp, William Pitt and other members of the white abolition movement, as well as King George III and the Prince of Wales, the future George IV.
Modern Pan-Africanism began around the start of the 20th century. The African Association, later renamed the Pan-African Association, was established around 1897 by Henry Sylvester-Williams, who organized the First Pan-African Conference in London in 1900.[11][12][13]
With the independence of Ghana in March 1957, Kwame Nkrumah was elected as the first Prime Minister and President of the State.[14] Nkrumah emerged as a major advocate for the unity of Independent Africa. The Ghanaian President embodied a political activist approach to pan-Africanism as he championed the “quest for regional integration of the whole of the African continent”.[15] This period represented a “Golden Age of high pan-African ambitions”; the Continent had experienced revolution and decolonization from Western powers and the narrative of rebirth and solidarity had gained momentum within the pan-African movement.[15] Nkrumah’s pan-African principles, intended for a union between the Independent African states, upon a recognition their commonality; suppression under imperialism. Pan-Africanism under Nkrumah evolved past the assumptions of a racially exclusive movement, associated with black Africa and had adopted a political discourse, of regional unity [16]
In April 1958, Nkrumah hosted the first All-African People’s Conference (AAPC) in Accra, Ghana. The Conference invited delegates of political movements and major political leaders. With the exception of South Africa, all Independent States of the Continent attended: Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Sudan.[16] The Conference signified a monumental event in the pan-African movement, as it revealed a political and social union between the those considered Arabic states and the black African regions. Further, the Conference espoused a common African Nationalist identity, among the States, of unity and anti-Imperialism. Frantz Fanon, journalist, freedom fighter and a member of the Algerian, FLN Party attended the conference as a delegate for Algeria.[17] Considering the armed struggle of the FLN against French colonial rule, the attendees of the Conference agreed to support the struggle of those States under colonial oppression. This encouraged the commitment of direct involvement in the “emancipation of the Continent; thus, a fight against colonial pressures on South Africa was declared and the full support of the FLN struggle in Algeria, against French colonial rule”.[18] The years following 1958, Accra Conference also marked the establishment of a new foreign policy of non-alignment as between the US and USSR and the will to found an “African Identity” in global affairs by advocating a unity between the African States on international relations. “This would be based on the Bandung Declaration, the Charter of the UN and on loyalty to UN decisions”.[18]
In 1959, Nkrumah, President Sékou Touré of Guinea and President William Tubman of Liberia met at Sanniquellie and signed the Sanniquellie Declaration outlining the principles for the achievement of the unity of Independent African States whilst maintaining a national identity and autonomous constitutional structure.[19][20] The Declaration called for a revised understanding of pan-Africanism and the uniting of the Independent States. In 1960, the second All-African People’s Conference was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.[21] The membership of the All-African People’s Organisation (AAPO) had increased with the inclusion of the “Algerian Provisional Government (as they had not yet won independence), Cameroun, Guinea, Nigeria, Somalia and the United Arab Republic”.[22] The Conference highlighted diverging ideologies within the movement, as Nkrumah’s call for a political and economic union between the Independent African States gained little agreement. The disagreements following 1960 gave rise to two rival factions within the pan-African movement: the Casablanca Bloc and the Brazzaville Bloc.[23]
In 1962, Algeria gained independence from French colonial rule and Ahmed Ben Bella assumed Presidency. Ben Bella was a strong advocate for pan-Africanism and an African Unity. Following the FLN’s armed struggle for liberation, Ben Bella spoke at the UN and espoused for Independent Africa’s role in providing military and financial support to the African liberation movements opposing apartheid and fighting Portuguese colonialism.[24] In search of a united voice, in 1963 at an African Summit conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 32 African States met and established the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). The creation of the OAU Charter took place at this Summit and defines a coordinated “effort to raise the standard of living of member States and defend their sovereignty” by supporting freedom fighters and decolonisation.[25] Thus, was the formation of the African Liberation Committee (ALC), during the 1963 Summit. Championing the support of liberation movements, was Algeria’s President Ben Bella, immediately “donated 100 million francs to its finances and was one of the first countries, of the Organisation to boycott Portuguese and South African goods”.[26]
In 1969, Algiers hosted the Pan-African Cultural Festival, on July 21 and it continued for 10 days.[27] The festival attracted thousands from African states and the African Diaspora, including the Black Panthers. It symbolised the new pan-African identity, of regions with a shared experience of colonisation. The Festival further strengthened Algeria’s President, Boumediene’s standing in Africa and the Third World.[28]
After the death of Kwame Nkrumah in 1972, Muammar Qaddafi assumed the mantle of leader of the Pan-Africanist movement and became the most outspoken advocate of African Unity, consistently calling – like Nkrumah before him – for the advent of a “United States of Africa”.[29]
In the United States, the term is closely associated with Afrocentrism, an ideology of African-American identity politics that emerged during the civil rights movement of the 1960s to 1970s.[30]
As originally conceived by Henry Sylvester-Williams (note: some history books credit this idea to Edward Wilmot Blyden), Pan-Africanism referred to the unity of all continental Africa.[31]
During apartheid South Africa there was a Pan Africanist Congress that dealt with the oppression of Africans in South Africa under Apartheid rule. Other pan-Africanist organizations include Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association-African Communities League, TransAfrica and the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.
Additionally, Pan-Africanism is seen as an endeavor to return to what are deemed by its proponents singular, traditional African concepts about culture, society, and values. Examples of this include Léopold Sédar Senghor’s Négritude movement, and Mobutu Sese Seko’s view of Authenticité.
An important theme running through much pan-Africanist literature concerns the historical links between different countries on the continent, and the benefits of cooperation as a way of resisting imperialism and colonialism.
In the 21st century, some Pan-Africanists aim to address globalisation and the problems of environmental justice. For instance, at the conference “Pan-Africanism for a New Generation”[32] held at the University of Oxford, June 2011, Ledum Mittee, the current president of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), argued that environmental justice movements across the African continent should create horizontal linkages in order to better protect the interests of threatened peoples and the ecological systems in which they are embedded, and upon which their survival depends.
Some universities went as far as creating “Departments of Pan-African Studies” in the late 1960s. This includes the California State University, where that department was founded in 1969 as a direct reaction to the civil rights movement, and is today dedicated to “teaching students about the African World Experience”, to “demonstrate to the campus and the community the richness, vibrance, diversity, and vitality of African, African American, and Caribbean cultures” and to “presenting students and the community with an Afrocentric analysis” of anti-black racism.[33] Syracuse University also offers a master’s degree in “Pan African Studies”.[34]
The Pan-African flag, also known as the UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association) flag, is a tri-color flag consisting of three equal horizontal bands of (from top down) red, black and green. The UNIA formally adopted it on August 13, 1920,[35] during its month-long convention at Madison Square Garden in New York.[36][37]
Variations of the flag have been used in various countries and territories in Africa and the Americas to represent Pan-Africanist ideologies. Among these are the flags of Malawi, Kenya and Saint Kitts and Nevis. Several Pan-African organizations and movements have also often employed the emblematic red, black and green tri-color scheme in variety of contexts.
Additionally, the flags of a number of nations in Africa and of Pan-African groups use green, yellow and red. This color combination was originally adopted from the 1897 flag of Ethiopia, and was inspired by the fact that Ethiopia is the continent’s oldest independent nation.[38]
Maafa studies
Maafa is an aspect of Pan-African studies. The term collectively refers to 500 years of suffering (including the present) of people of African heritage through slavery, imperialism, colonialism, and other forms of oppression.[39][40] In this area of study, both the actual history and the legacy of that history are studied as a single discourse. The emphasis in the historical narrative is on African agents, as opposed to non-African agents.[citation needed]
Maafa is an aspect of Pan-African studies. The term collectively refers to 500 years of suffering (including the present) of people of African heritage through slavery, imperialism, colonialism, and other forms of oppression.[39][40] In this area of study, both the actual history and the legacy of that history are studied as a single discourse. The emphasis in the historical narrative is on African agents, as opposed to non-African agents.[citation needed]
Political parties and organizations 

Muammar Gaddafi at the first Africa-Latin America summit in 2006 in Abuja, Nigeria.

In Africa:

Organisation of African Unity, succeeded by the African Union

African Unification Front

Rassemblement Démocratique Africain

All-African People’s Revolutionary Party

Convention People’s Party (Ghana)

Pan-African Renaissance[41]

Economic Freedom Fighters (South Africa)

Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (South Africa)

In the Caribbean:

The Pan-African Affairs Commission for Pan-African Affairs, a unit within the Office of the Prime Minister of Barbados.[42]

African Society for Cultural Relations with Independent Africa (Guyana)

Antigua Caribbean Liberation Movement (Antigua and Barbuda)

Clement Payne Movement (Barbados)

Marcus Garvey People’s Political Party (Jamaica)

In the United Kingdom.

In the United States :

The Council on African Affairs (CAA): founded in 1937 by Max Yergan and Paul Robeson, the CAA was the first major U.S. organization whose focus was on providing pertinent and up-to-date information about Pan-Africanism across the United States, particularly to African Americans. Probably the most successful campaign of the Council was for South African famine relief in 1946. The CAA was hopeful that, following World War II, there would be a move towards Third World independence under the trusteeship of the United Nations.[43] To the CAA’s dismay, the proposals introduced by the U.S. government to the conference in April/May 1945 set no clear limits on the duration of colonialism and no motions towards allowing territorial possessions to move towards self-government.[43] Liberal supporters abandoned the CAA, and the federal government cracked down on its operations. In 1953 the CAA was charged with subversion under the McCarran Act. Its principal leaders, including Robeson, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Alphaeus Hunton (1903–70), were subjected to harassment, indictments, and in the case of Hunton, imprisonment. Under the weight of internal disputes, government repression, and financial hardships, the Council on African Affairs disbanded in 1955.[44]
The US Organization was founded in 1965 by Maulana Karenga, following the Watts riots. It is based on the synthetic African philosophy of kawaida, and is perhaps best known for creating Kwaanza and the Nguzo Saba (“seven principles”). In the words of its founder and chair, Karenga, “the essential task of our organization Us has been and remains to provide a philosophy, a set of principles and a program which inspires a personal and social practice that not only satisfies human need but transforms people in the process, making them self-conscious agents of their own life and liberation”.[45]

Pan-African concepts and philosophies.

Afrocentric Pan-Africanism 

Afrocentric Pan-Africanism is espoused by Kwabena Faheem Ashanti in his book The Psychotechnology of Brainwashing: Crucifying Willie Lynch. Another newer movement that has evolved from the early Afrocentric school is the Afrisecal movement or Afrisecaism of Francis Ohanyido, a Nigerian philosopher-poet.[46] Black Nationalism is sometimes associated with this form of pan-Africanism; a representative of Afrocentric Pan-Africanism in the Spanish-speaking world is Antumi Toasijé.

Main article: African philosophy § Kawaida

Hip Hop

During the past three decades hip hop has emerged as a powerful force that has partly shaped black identity worldwide. In his 2005 article “Hip-hop Turns 30: Whatcha Celebratin’ For?”, Greg Tate describes hip-hop culture as the product of a Pan-African state of mind.[47] It is an “ethnic enclave/empowerment zone that has served as a foothold for the poorest among us to get a grip on the land of the prosperous”.[47] Hip-hop unifies those of African descent globally in its movement towards greater economic, social and political power. Andreana Clay in her article “Keepin’ it Real: Black Youth, Hip-Hop Culture, and Black Identity” states that hip-hop provides the world with “vivid illustrations of Black lived experience”, creating bonds of black identity across the globe.[48] Hip hop authenticates a black identity, and in doing so, creates a unifying uplifting force among Africans as Pan-Africanism sets out to achieve.

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THE NEW YORK TIMES  SYDNEY 2000; A Gold Medalist’s Plea For Peace By TIMOTHY PRATT OCTOBER 3, 2000


SYDNEY 2000SYDNEY 2000; A Gold Medalist’s Plea for Peace


OCTOBER 3, 2000

Maria Isabel Urrutia made the most of her gold medal moment as she tried to address the armed guerrillas in her homeland.
”I’m sending a special message to them,” she said from Sydney, Australia, after winning the women’s 75-kilogram (165 1/3-pound) Olympic weight-lifting event, ”hoping they take pity on the families of all the people they have in captivity.”
The message couldn’t have been more timely. Two nights before, here in Urrutia’s home city, 50 armed men from the second of two guerrilla armies fighting the state for nearly 40 years kidnapped an estimated 80 people from roadside restaurants on the outskirts of town.
After Urrutia became Colombia’s first Olympic gold medalist, her achievement was best understood in the context of this troubled country’s chaos. In less than two weeks, countrymen have converted her into a symbol for everything from the value of hard work to a symbol of peace amid civil war.

In the crowded, work-in-progress house where 9 of her 13 brothers and sisters died before her athletic career ever began, well-wishers came and went upon her return. There were local police and ”lifelong friends” whom, Urrutia’s mother, Nelly, insisted were no more than Johnny-come-latelies.
Before her daughter’s arrival, Nelly had gotten on her first plane ride and found herself in the capital city of Bogota, on national television, standing beside Colombia President Andres Pastrana.
”Don’t get mad or anything,” she said to Pastrana, ”but I really think my daughter’s medal should make you think about giving more support to our country’s athletes, since most of them are pretty poor.”
Her mother knows. Twenty-two years ago, when Maria Isabel was just 13, the teenager walked an hour to and from Cali’s track and field stadium every day, lacking coins for the bus. Soon after taking a job serving coffee in a local company, she was fired two months later when she asked for permission to compete at a meet in Chile.
At 20, Urrutia began training in the morning and working as a telephone operator in the afternoon, a routine she continued until recently. In 1988, a Bulgarian trainer, Gantcho Mitco Karouchrov, felt Urrutia had the physique of a champion in another sport. Women’s weight lifting had just held its first world championship in Daytona Beach, Fla., the year before.
For a decade, under the same trainer, Urrutia won nine gold medals in world championships. But the hardships didn’t cease.

HUFFPOST  LATINO VOICES 01 /27/2016 01:46 pm ET Mexico Finally Recognized Its Black Citizens, But That’s Just The Beginning In Mexico, like everywhere, identity is complex. By Krithika Varagur

Last month, for the first time ever, the Mexican government recognized its 1.38 million citizens of African descent in a national survey. The survey served as a preliminary count before the 2020 national census, where “black” will debut as an official category.
A major force behind the government’s recognition was México Negro, an activist group founded in 1997 by Sergio Peñaloza Pérez, a school teacher of African descent. México Negro works for, among other initiatives, the constitutional recognition of Afro-Mexicans and to increase the visibility of Afro-Mexican culture. 
The Huffington Post recently caught up with Peñaloza to discuss his organization, why recognition matters and what’s next for black Mexicans. 
The Black Mexican Agenda
“We have been working for twenty years without much government response, so the events of the past year have been huge progress for us,” Peñaloza told The Huffington Post on the phone from his home in Cuajinicuilapa, Guerrero.
Cuajinicuilapa is one of the major pueblos negros, or black towns, of Mexico. It’s also at the center of the “Costa Chica,” the southwestern states of Guerrero and Oaxaca where the Afro-Mexican population is concentrated (the nation’s capital has a smaller black population than you’d think). So, from a distance, México Negro campaigned for recognition by INEGI, the census agency that did the initial count of Afro-Mexicans, and CONAPRED, the National Council for Preventing Discrimination.


The Dance of the Devils (la danza de los diablos) is a dance performed by Afro-Mexicans in Costa Chica.

Peñaloza told HuffPost that CONAPRED’s actions are overdue, especially given the UN’s announcement to focus on the rights people of African descent. “But committed officials in both agencies have bypassed institutional sensitivity to support that Afro-Mexican national movement,” he said.

Brisa Solis, CONAPRED’s communications director, said its main goal in 2016 is to translate the results of the INEGI census survey into better race-related public policies. In November, INEGI sought representatives from black and indigenous communities to help inform their policy decisions, and acknowledged that “racial discrimination persists in our country against blacks.”
Why Has It Taken So Long?

Until last month, Mexico was one of only two Latin-American countries (the other is Chile) to not officially count its black population. As a result, the move to recognize Afro-Mexicans has been met with some pushback from Mexicans who believe that mestizo identity (the mix between indigenous people and Europeans) is more important than specific ethnicities. 
Mexico’s post-revolutionary government made a conscious effort to create a national mixed-race identity that melded Hispanic, indigenous and African ethnicities. Article 2 of Mexico’s 1917 Constitution recognized its “multicultural composition,” and today, over 60% of Mexicans identify as mestizos. So in modern Mexico, “blackness” is still a tenuous identity, and many use labels like “criollo” (creole) or “moreno” rather than the ones black Mexicans tend to prefer. Peñaloza, for instance, describes himself as “afrodescendiente (of African descent), negro (black), or afromexicano (Afro-Mexican).” 

Peñaloza said one of México Negro’s strategies going forward is to ally the black rights movement with indigenous rights, which are generally more widely recognized. In 2013, leaders from 26 indigenous communities in Oaxaca released a statement pushing for constitutional reform that addressed the rights of both indigenous people and Afro-Mexicans; this month, they jointly criticized the local legislature for failing to act on their recommendations.


Sergio Peñaloza, at center, at the XVI Encuentro de Pueblos Negros on November 14, 2015.

What’s Next For Afro-Mexicans?

“We couldn’t seriously push our socioeconomic agenda when we were not even officially recognized as a group,” said Peñaloza, but they can set their sights higher in 2016.

In 2016, México Negro’s most important outreach effort will work on having elementary and high schools include material on Africans and people of African descent in school curriculum.
On the university level, Rosa Maria Castro Salinas, the chairwoman of the Association of Women of the Costa Chica of Oaxaca, told HuffPost that her group is launching a professorship at the Benito Juarez Autonomous University of Oaxaca to study Afro-Mexican women.
In addition to increased visibility in textbooks, Jaime Bernardo Ramos, a documentary filmmaker in Mexico City, told HuffPost it will be important to increase representation in film and media. Citing the handful of famous black Mexicans, like singer Johnny Laboriel and the black Cuban actor known as Zamorita, he said afrodescientes are few and far between on the national stage.
“Darkness is seen as negative,” Ramos said, “and Afro-Mexican youth have no icons. It seems like their only options are to immigrate or be delinquents. But that can change. I am very hopeful.”

The Puerto Rican Flag 


The design of the Commonwealth flag reflects the close ties that bound the Cuban and Puerto Rico patriots in the 19th century for the flag which waves over the Capital of San Juan is the Cuban flag color reversed.
The flag was first used on December 22, 1895. A group of 59 Puerto Ricans led by Dr. Julio J. Henna, gather at “Chimney Corner Hall” in Manhattan, New York City and organizes a political group, attached to the Cuban Revolutionary Party, which advocated independence for Puerto Rico and Cuba from Spanish rule. As part of their activities, a flag was created to rally support for independence from Spain. The flag was soon adopted as a national symbol. In 1898, the flag became the mark of resistance to the US invasion; and in the 1930s it was adopted by the Nationalist Party. When Puerto Rico became a Commonwealth in July 25, 1952 it was officially adopted as the national flag.
The Puerto Rican flag consists of 5 alternate red and white stripes. On the left of the flag is a single white five-pointed star resting in a blue triangle. The symbolism is explained thus. The white star stands for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico while the three sides of the equilateral triangle together represent the three branches of the Republican government (executive, legislative and judicial branches). The three red strips symbolize the blood that feeds those parts of the government. The two white stripes symbolizing the rights of man and the freedom of the individual, are a perpetual reminder of the need for vigilance of a democratic government is to be preserved.
The flag is not flown except in company of the U.S. flag. Adopted in July 25, 1952.
Interesting Fact

Did you know that the original design used a sky blue tone of the triangle in the Puerto Rican flag? But when the flag was adopted officially by the Commonwealth in 1952 it featured a dark blue very similar to that of the US flag. This fact has raised many issues whether to use a sky blue tone or a dark blue tone in the flag. Recently, with the celebration of the flag’s 100 anniversary in 1995 the current administration displayed a flag with the original sky blue tone. Some historians concluded that the reason why a dark blue was used in the 1952 flag was related to the origins of the flag and its relationship with a revolutionary independence movement.
The identity of the flag’s author has been reason for many debates, possible authors: José del Matta Terraforte, Antonio Vélez Alvarado, Manuel Besosa and/or Gonzalo (Pachín) Marín.
Soon after the Cuban Revolution (1950’s) US officials in the island became suspicious of those who displayed the flag, considering them subversives. Police used to arrest anyone displaying the flag on charges of insubordination against the United States.

The Green Book By Tunnell Harry Independent Historian

The Negro Motorist Green Book, popularly known as the Green Book, was a travel guide intended to help African American motorists avoid social obstacles prevalent during the period of racial segregation, commonly referred to as Jim Crow. The Green Book listed businesses that would accept African American customers.  

The book was the vision of Victor Green, an African American US postal employee from Harlem, New York. The first guide focused on Metropolitan New York. The next year, in 1937, Green expanded listings to other locations. His book would eventually include every state and several international destinations before ceasing publication in 1964. Before its demise the book was the most popular of several tourist guides created specifically for an African American audience.
These types of travel guides were necessary during the Jim Crow era because African Americans were subject to acts of discrimination and occasional intimidation as many businesses refused to accept them as customers. African American motorists, for example were warned to avoid sundown towns which required minorities to be outside the city limits before sundown, hence the name. African American travel could be fraught with risk and guides like the Green Book were an important resource.
The Green Book also provided a service that made lodging reservations for clients. The listings were verified annually to ensure accuracy. In addition to business listings, the books included travel articles, driving tips, and essays highlighting locations of interest. An important sponsor for the Green Book was the Esso Standard Oil Company, which distributed the books and solicited African American customers through them.
The guide’s format varied and early versions listed a variety of businesses such as hotels, tourist homes, restaurants, barber shops, beauty parlors, service stations, and taverns. As the geographic scope of the guide expanded, entry types were reduced. For example, between 1949 and 1959, listings expanded to all 48 states, with a 13% increase in the number of cities. However, the 1959 Green Book listed only hotels, motels, and tourist homes.
Green wrote that his book would not be necessary “when we as a race will have equal opportunities and privileges.” He died in 1960 and the last edition of his guide was published in 1964. The 1956 creation of the national highway system diminished the need for these travel guides because highways minimized contact with local communities, decreasing chances for discrimination against African American motorists. Eventually, the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act made the Green Book and similar publications obsolete, just as Green predicted.  


Victor H. Green, The Negro Motorist Green Book (New York: Victor H. Green & Company, 1949); Richard A. Kennedy, Auto mobility, Hospitality, African American Tourism, and Mapping Victor H. Green’s Negro Motorist Green Book (Master’s Thesis, East Carolina University, 2013); Cotton Seiler, “‘So That We as a Race Might Have Something Authentic to Travel by’: African American Automobility and Cold-War Liberalism,” American Quarterly, 58(4), 1091-1117.
Tunnell, Harry

Independent Historian

Entry Categories:
20th Century

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Cold War The Bay Of Pigs Invasion Begins. 

Cold War


The Bay Of Pigs Invasion Begins. 
The Bay of Pigs invasion begins when a CIA-financed and -trained group of Cuban refugees lands in Cuba and attempts to topple the communist government of Fidel Castro. The attack was an utter failure.
Fidel Castro had been a concern to U.S. policymakers since he seized power in Cuba with a revolution in January 1959. Castro’s attacks on U.S. companies and interests in Cuba, his inflammatory anti-American rhetoric, and Cuba’s movement toward a closer relationship with the Soviet Union led U.S. officials to conclude that the Cuban leader was a threat to U.S. interests in the Western Hemisphere. In March 1960, President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered the CIA to train and arm a force of Cuban exiles for an armed attack on Cuba. John F. Kennedy inherited this program when he became president in 1961.
Though many of his military advisors indicated that an amphibious assault on Cuba by a group of lightly armed exiles had little chance for success, Kennedy gave the go-ahead for the attack. On April 17, 1961, around 1,200 exiles, armed with American weapons and using American landing craft, waded ashore at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba. The hope was that the exile force would serve as a rallying point for the Cuban citizenry, who would rise up and overthrow Castro’s government. The plan immediately fell apart–the landing force met with unexpectedly rapid counterattacks from Castro’s military, the tiny Cuban air force sank most of the exiles’ supply ships, the United States refrained from providing necessary air support, and the expected uprising never happened. Over 100 of the attackers were killed, and more than 1,100 were captured.
The failure at the Bay of Pigs cost the United States dearly. Castro used the attack by the “Yankee imperialists” to solidify his power in Cuba and he requested additional Soviet military aid. Eventually that aid included missiles, and the construction of missile bases in Cuba sparked the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, when the United States and the Soviet Union nearly came to blows over the issue. Further, throughout much of Latin America, the United States was pilloried for its use of armed force in trying to unseat Castro, a man who was considered a hero to many for his stance against U.S. interference and imperialism. Kennedy tried to redeem himself by publicly accepting blame for the attack and its subsequent failure, but the botched mission left the young president looking vulnerable and indecisive.


The civil rights movement in the American South was one of the most significant and successful social movements in the modern world. Black Georgians formed part of this southern movement for full civil rights and the wider national struggle for racial equality. From Atlanta to the most rural counties in Georgia’s southwest Cotton Belt, black activists protested white supremacy in myriad ways—from legal challenges and mass demonstrations to strikes and self-defense. In many ways, the results were remarkable. As late as World War II (1941-45) black Georgians were effectively denied the vote, segregated in most areas of daily life, and subject to persistent discrimination and often violence. But by 1965, sweeping federal civil rights legislation prohibited segregation and discrimination, and this new phase of race relations was first officially welcomed into Georgia by Governor Jimmy Carter in 1971.
Early Years of Protest

Although the southern civil rights movement first hit the national headlines in the 1950s and 1960s, the struggle for racial equality in America had begun long before. Indeed, resistance to institutionalized white supremacy dates back to the formal establishment of segregation in the late nineteenth century. Community leaders in Savannah and Atlanta protested the segregation of public transport at the turn of the century, and individual and community acts of resistance to white domination abounded across the state even during the height of lynching and repression. Atlanta washerwomen, for example, joined together to strike for better pay, and black homes often contained guns to fight off the Ku Klux Klan.

Around the turn of the century political leader and African Methodist Episcopal bishop Henry McNeal Turner was an avid supporter of back-to-Africa programs. Marcus Garvey’s Back to Africa movement in the 1920s gained support among Georgia African Americans, as did other national organizations later, such as the Communist Party and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Meanwhile, black Georgians established schools, churches, and social institutions within their separate communities as bulwarks against everyday racism and discrimination.

Protest during the World War II Era

The 1940s marked a major change in Georgia’s civil rights struggle. The New Deal and World War II precipitated major economic changes in the state, hastening urbanization, industrialization, and the decline of the power of the planter elite. Emboldened by their experience in the army, black veterans confronted white supremacy, and riots were common on Georgia’s army bases. Furthermore, the political tumult of the World War II era, as the nation fought for democracy in Europe, presented an ideal opportunity for African American leaders to press for racial change in the South. As some black leaders pointed out, the notorious German leader Adolf Hitler gave racism a bad name.

African Americans across Georgia seized the opportunity. In 1944 Thomas Brewer, a medical doctor in Columbus, planned an attempt to vote in the July 4, 1944, Democratic primary. Primus King, whom Brewer recruited to actually attempt the vote, was turned away from the ballot box. Several other African American men were turned away at the door. The following year a legal challenge (King v. Chapman et al.) to the Democratic Party’s ruling that only white men could vote in the Democratic primary was successful. The decision was upheld in 1946. In response, black registration across the state rose from a negligible number to some 125,000 within a few months—by far the highest registration total in any southern state. In the larger cities, notably Atlanta, Macon, and Savannah, local black leaders used their voting power to elect more moderate officials, forcing concessions such as the appointment of black police and higher spending for black schools. Under the charismatic leadership of the Reverend Ralph Mark Gilbert from Savannah, the NAACP grew to more than fifty branches by 1946.

At a state level, black leaders confidently sought to prevent the notorious white supremacist Eugene Talmadge from being elected governor for the fourth time. In his campaign speeches, Talmadge asserted that “the election tomorrow is a question of white supremacy.” Talmadge won the 1946 election through a combination of violence, fraud, and the vagaries of Georgia’s county unit election system. In the weeks leading up to the Democratic primary, his supporters had systematically challenged the qualifications of black voters and purged them from electoral rolls.

In the primary, moderate Democrat James V. Carmichael, supported by Governor Ellis Arnall (who had previously defeated Talmadge and was prevented by the state constitution from a succeeding term), won the popular vote over Talmadge by 313,389 to 297,245 votes. Owing to the county unit system that gave disproportionate power to rural voters, and which would be abolished by the federal courts in 1963, however, Talmadge secured victory by winning the county unit vote 242 to 146. But Talmadge died before he could take office. The resulting “three governors controversy” led to his son, Herman Talmadge, who had not even run for the office, being selected governor by the state legislature.

Herman Talmadge’s victory ushered in a resurgence of white supremacy. Time magazine quoted a Georgia voter who said, “Pore ol’ Georgia—first Sherman, then Herman.” Segregation was tightened up in the statute book, state officials sought to outlaw the NAACP, and vigilantes targeted local black leaders. Gilbert, despairing over the collapse of the state network of black protesters, resigned from the leadership of the NAACP. Brewer, who had received death threats from a local Klan member, was assassinated on a Columbus street in 1956 by an unknown assailant, and the group he had founded to oppose white supremacy disbanded.

During the ensuing decade, defenders of white supremacy powerfully interlinked their attack on black insurgency with the more general fear of communism. Organized black protest continued on a significant scale only in Atlanta, Macon, and Savannah, which became relative oases of moderate race relations in the state. Yet even there, strict segregation continued and violent assaults on black residents were frequent.

The segregation of public schools in Georgia and other southern states was declared unconstitutional in 1954 with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. Many white Georgians resisted integration and advocated closing schools rather than abiding by the court’s decision. In 1960 Georgia governor Ernest Vandiver Jr. formed a special committee chaired by Atlanta attorney John A. Sibley to conduct public hearings on the issue. The committee, known as the Sibley Commission, ultimately recommended local option on the matter.

Mass Protests during the 1960s

Copying the principles of nonviolent mass confrontation elsewhere in the South, black Georgians in the major cities (and students in particular) resumed the assault on white supremacy and segregation during the early 1960s. If urban protest was a common phenomenon across the region, however, each community had its own distinctive story to tell.

Of all Georgia’s cities, Albany garnered the most national headlines because of the involvement of Martin Luther King Jr. in a mass protest campaign during 1961-62, called the Albany Movement. King’s presence certainly bolstered the scale of the existing protests, with up to 1,200 black residents spending time in jail (sources on the mass jailing numbers vary, from 750 to 1,200). However, divisions among protest leaders (King’s brief presence was resented by some student activists), tactical mistakes, the machinations of local police chief Laurie Pritchett, and the stubborn defense of white supremacy meant that the campaign was unable to force a citywide desegregation agreement in the short term. It was King’s worst setback in the South, although in Albany itself residents and student volunteers continued to press for racial equality, with some success, long after King had moved on.

In Savannah, a united, widespread, and unremitting campaign led by W. W. Law, head of the local NAACP, forced city leaders to agree to desegregate public and private facilities from October 1, 1963, some eight months ahead of federal civil rights legislation. In his 1964 New Year’s Day address, Martin Luther King Jr. described Savannah “as the most desegregated city south of the Mason-Dixon line.” Law himself was fired from his job as a postman during the height of the crisis but was reinstated when the trumped-up nature of his charges became a national scandal. Georgia’s other notably successful movements were in Brunswick, Macon, and Rome, where black leaders often used the threat of heightened protest to force anxious city governments to take the lead in avoiding social unrest.

Students in Atlanta were the first to respond to protests elsewhere in the South, and under the leadership of students Lonnie King and Herschelle Sullivan, they organized a sophisticated and durable campaign. The manipulative behavior of the city government, hiding behind its slogan of “the City Too Busy to Hate,” coupled with the hesitant support of Atlanta’s traditional black leadership, however, prevented the movement from securing a swift end to segregation. Indeed, at least 103 southern cities had desegregated their lunch counters before Atlanta, and student leaders themselves wrote to Mayor Ivan Allen Jr. in 1963, “Three years have passed without our having realized the goals which we set down.”

Protesters in Augusta also faced insurmountable, often violent, supremacist opposition, and black leaders in Columbus, still reeling from the murder of Thomas Brewer, were reluctant to launch a major campaign.

Protest in the Countryside

Protest away from the major cities, however, was comparatively faltering and sporadic. Some black leaders commented ruefully that the civil rights movement stopped in Perry, a small town to the south of Atlanta. The tradition of supremacist control and violence coupled with black poverty and economic dependence countered any prospect of widespread organized protest.

Counties like “Terrible” Terrell and “Bad” Baker in southwest Georgia were notorious for the violent supremacist antics of local police. Under the leadership of Charles Sherrod, a young black preacher from Virginia, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) targeted Georgia’s notorious southwest Black Belt region in an attempt to overturn the worst vestiges of rural white supremacy. “Our criterion for success is not how many people we register” to vote, Sherrod explained. “We feel that we are in a psychological battle for the minds of the enslaved.”

Seeking to build up local leaders, SNCC volunteers lived in the Black Belt, far away from the attention of journalists covering the civil rights movement. Many were shot, and student leaders in Americus were charged with insurrection in 1963—a crime that carried the death penalty. Although they were ultimately released, the ferocity and economic strength of white supremacists meant that SNCC’s work was by necessity piecemeal and long term—indeed some of the volunteers, including Sherrod, made the region their permanent home.

The Continuing Struggle for Civil Rights

In many ways, the passing of federal civil rights legislation in 1964 and 1965 did not mark the end of the civil rights struggle in Georgia. The legislation barely addressed problems faced in many of the poorer black city precincts, where issues of squalid housing, unemployment, and police brutality dominated. During the summer of 1965, riots erupted across the state, particularly in Atlanta. Georgia’s largest riot occurred in Augusta in 1970, triggered by the torture and murder of a black teenager in a city jail but reflecting many years of simmering tension. In some of the most impoverished areas around Vine City in Atlanta, a group of SNCC workers sympathetic to Black Power separatism sought briefly to organize a project, in 1965, to empower the poor. As late as 1987 civil rights leaders led a march in Forsyth County —a county that warned black visitors not to “let the sun go down on your head.”

More generally, the federal civil rights legislation of 1964 and 1965 ushered in a new phase in Georgia’s struggle for racial equality. In many small towns, protests to force integration began only after 1965, and often many years later.

In her book Praying for Sheetrock Melissa Fay Greene describes how in McIntosh County in the early 1970s, “the epic of the civil rights movement was still a fabulous tale about distant places to the black people of McIntosh.” Sheriff Thomas Poppell controlled the county through a “system of favoritism, nepotism, and paternalism” and manipulated the black vote to stay in office. It was not until one Friday afternoon in 1972, when Darien’s police chief shot and seriously wounded a black garbage worker for disturbing the peace by drinking and arguing with his girlfriend, that the black community in McIntosh County finally got involved in the fight for civil rights.

In politics, civil rights leaders sought to effectively mobilize black voters and also oppose the gerrymandering of political districts that decreased the power of the black vote. By 1980 black Georgians still represented less than 10 percent of the total number of elected officials in the state, although notable successes included the elections of Andrew Young to the U.S. Congress in 1972 from a majority-white district, and Maynard Jackson as Atlanta’s first black mayor in 1973. Young was the first black congressman from Georgia since Reconstruction.

Herman Talmadge lost his campaign for reelection to the Senate in 1980—a result that Jackson claimed showed the importance of the black electorate: “You cannot spit in our eye and tell us it’s raining.” Talmadge’s defeat, however, was probably due more to bad publicity generated by problems in his personal life.

In education, civil rights leaders sought to hasten the integration of schools and protect the jobs of senior black teachers. By the 1980s, however, perhaps the greatest single issue was the continued economic hardship faced by the poorest black (and white) Georgians. Such were the pernicious consequences of slavery and white supremacy that civil rights leaders still faced a struggle for racial equality into the twenty-first century.

Ghana to roll out free senior high school program. 

Ghana to roll out free senior high school program.
Posted on May 1, 2017 by BarbrahMusambaChamaMumba

Ghana is planning to make senior high school free for all teenagers, whatever their background, in a move experts say could transform the lives of millions of youngsters, particularly girls.
President Nana Akufo-Addo has promised to introduce the measure in September to fulfil a campaign pledge made during last December’s election that brought him to power.
Currently, access to senior high school in Ghana depends on passing an entrance exam, available places and, crucially, being able to afford the fees.
Akufo-Addo said last month that free schooling meant “more and more of our girls get access to affordable and quality education which is turn speeds up the development of our country.
“Achieving excellence in girls’ education is a must if we are to shed off the evils of poverty, ignorance, and disease and put our country on the path of progress and prosperity,” he added.
Girls in Ghana currently lag behind boys in school attendance by just over two years.
UN statistics from 2015 indicated girls spent an average of 5.8 years in school compared with 7.9 for boys.
Across sub-Saharan Africa, the figures were 4.5 and 6.3; globally the average was 7.7 and 8.8.
The need for girls to finish school has been the subject of many global campaigns, which have highlighted their impact on improving problem areas such as child mortality and wages.
Boost standards
The West Africa head of the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED), Dolores Dickson, said girls in Ghana faced similar barriers to stay in school as in other developing countries.
Poorer families were more likely to focus on a boy’s education, believing that a girl will be more helpful around the home, she added.
Public primary and junior high school in Ghana is free, although there are still costs for items such as uniforms and exercise books.
But when girls were given the chance to finish school, it benefitted everyone, she said.
Camfed has given secondary school scholarships to more than 67,000 girls in Ghana.
They “invest back in their families, paying for healthcare and other siblings to go to school”, said Dickson.
Access to education should become “just as natural as breathing or.. having a meal a day” so “you don’t have to think about it”, she added.
Raymond Osei, who lives in Cape Coast, 150 kilometres (nearly 100 miles) from the capital, Accra, said his 13-year old daughter, Charlotte, would be going to senior high regardless.
But eradicating fees would ease the burden on family finances, said the banker, who pays about 1,600 cedi ($380, 350 euros) a year in fees and books for a private junior high school.
“For those lower income earners, it was a big blow when it (senior high school) wasn’t free. Some of them end up dropping out because they cannot get enough money,” he said.
‘Fantastic opportunity’
Education consultant Prince Armah said the free senior high initiative was a positive move but issues of equality still needed to be addressed across Ghana.
Wealth gaps between rural and urban areas, the more affluent south and the poorer north, has an impact on schooling.
Government statistics from 2015 exams showed non-deprived districts outperformed deprived districts, with approximately 25 percent of candidates receiving above average grades.
In deprived districts, it was less than 12 percent.
Some 400 million cedi has been set aside for the scheme in this year’s budget. Exact details of how the initiative will work are yet to be revealed.
But Camfed’s Dickson said if Akufo-Addo’s plan is successful, it will be “a fantastic opportunity for this generation”.
“It means that access to education is no longer a challenge, no longer a barrier. We know the power of what education can do,” she added.
“If this works people will go into the school system and have access to the school system irrespective of where you are born and who you are born to.”