It’s been two centuries,
Since my ancestors started their talk of PAN AFRICANISM
In desperate desire to remind US,
That no one can take away OUR dignity,
To remind US,
That we are MORE than mines and FIELDS.
And two centuries later,
I am STILL preaching PAN-AFRICANISM.
You can research all you want,
On my ancestors definition of it,
But I’ll do you the honor of knowing MINE
I promise you you’re not the first one to hear it,
Not because I haven’t told anyone else,
But for some “unknown” reason MY generation of AFRO’s view and experience isn’t necessary
So OUR definition didn’t make it on Wikipedia
In fact, to the media, I don’t think WE exist.
The echo that bounces back within les milles collines
The walking beauty of the Ugandan cranes
The reflection of purity of the blue waters of the Congo
The space between the ground and every Masai jump
The veins of every warrior that fought behind Shaka Zulu
The sharp edge of every Egyptian pyramid
Every beat of the Burundian drum
The radiation of every trapped ray of sunshine within different shades of BLACK
The result of every African queen
*I think now you know more countries in Africa than you knew before you came in so you’re welcome*
I am culture,
From its roots to its branches
From its brown skinned inhabitants to its green surroundings
The dry taste of every dehydrated mouth
The rough skin of every HIV patient
The tear that drops at every collision of bullet and body
The hunger of every corrupt leader
I am every whiplash on slaves back
I am everything ugly and questionable
Yet everything beautiful and enviable
This is MY Pan-Africanism.
But just because there exists a term,
To define the attempt to unite all Afro descendants
Is not an excuse to call Africa a country,
Or forget our differences as often as you remember our similarities.
It’s just particularly interesting,
That many visuals suggest Africa as a unit
Yet constantly emphasize its failure to pan Africanism.
NO, Pan Africanism is not a synonym for Africa the country.
It goes far beyond the borders of Africa
To bring together the AFRO within and abroad
To put back together the pieces that were once divided
To redefine what it means when one says
“A BLACK swan”
“A BLACK angel”
“A BLACK doll”
To REMIND us that black is strong and capable
Courageous and knowledgeable
TO REMIND US
NEVER to apologize for who we are
That the beauty in home
Is in accepting that it is not heaven
But in realizing that YOU can make it one
By redefining what the “tell-lies-vision”
(I mean television)
By speaking louder every time you are silenced
By embracing the dirt
And by reminding everyone that for every death there is a LIFE
By realizing, acknowledging, and embracing that
YOU are the AFRICAN in pan AFRICANism
By knowing that you are 21st Kwame Nkrumah,
The 21st Martin Luther King,
The 21st Jomo Kenyatta,
The 21st Du Bois.
It’s been two centuries,
And I am standing here doing exactly what my ancestors did
How much more Pan African can I get?