|Posted by sjaugu on July 8, 2014 at 3:40 PM|
African history month is 24 - 7, constituting every day, week and month in the year. And each MONTH will have a different theme.
The theme for July 2014 is African Independence Month. To set the scenario, let us go back to the 17th century around the time African slaves were being introduced into the Americas (1619). Africa was a large sprawling continent without national definition. Politics were controlled by African Kingdom leaders. The power of these leaders was dependent on their ability to conquer and control land mass, prisoners (slaves) and other available resources.
The African Kingdom leaders were constantly at war with their neighbors in order to maintain and increase their power through conquest of additional land with its accompanied resources. Europe was in its height of seeking world domination. Large portions of Asia fell under European colonialism. The major powers of Europe were now scheming on how to conquer and colonize the Americas and Africa. Both land masses, Africa and America, did not have strong political or military bases to provide infrastructure or protection against the European invaders.
The powers to be in Europe took advantage of the lack of unity and purpose of the tribal structure of the African communities. They began to carve up Africa for themselves. In 1884, the European powers convened a conference in Berlin, Germany. The purpose of the conference was to divide Africa into colonial partitions, which would be controlled by Europe.
The case for an African Independence Month begins with the Berlin Conference in 1884. European countries started partitioning Africa until around 1905; by that time, all the lands and resources of the continent were completely divided and colonized. More specifically, the countries were Belgium, Germany, Italy, England, Portugal and France. At that time, England and France benefited, and they also had the most colonies in Asia. Collectively, the labor and raw resources were the keys to the European countries' industrial development, and the political/economic control of Africa by Europe, via the Berlin conference of 1884, lasted until 1939, the advent of World War II.
World War II was fought over the control of the world’s raw resources. These countries were Germany, Italy and Japan (the Axis) versus Europe's, France, England and the United States (the Allies). Consequently, the winner would inherit control of the colonies. Moreover, at the beginning of World War II, the allies had full possession of the colonies in both Africa and Asia. The war was among the industrial powers fighting for control of the African and Asian colonies.
The Allies resorted to recruit from African communities, along with, Asian colonies to support their war effort. In the process, promises were made of equality and social changes in the United States, as well as, the Caribbean islands, together with some form of independence for the African and Asiatic colonies. By utilizing these tactics their recruitment campaign was successful.
Members of the Diaspora communities were excited about the prospects of social improvements, and at the same time, Africans colonies were overwhelmed with the prospect of independence. A short time after the war ended, reality set in, and the African communities were grossly disappointed when they realized no change was coming.
When World War II was concluded, the allies had possession of the colonies in both Africa and Asia, but due to the intense fighting in Europe among themselves, Europe’s infrastructures were completely destroyed. Their economies were in shambles, which exposed their vulnerability. This presented opportunities for countries in Asia and Africa to break away from colonialism. What followed was a wave of countries in Africa and Asia demanding independence. Either they negotiated or fought for it, nevertheless. It spelled the end of conventional colonialism. Moreover, in the Americas, the Civil Rights movement was born. This led to unprecedented social changes.
The Asian nations were the first to take the initiative. One by one they declared their independence. There was the lack of social justice in the Americas along with no sight of independence in Africa. These disappointments ushered in the Civil Rights movement in the United States, and at the same time, Africans began the fight for their independence. During that process great leaders evolved, such as, Kwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta, Patrice Lumumba, Julius Nyerere, Sékou Touré, Thomas Sankara, Steve Biko, Nelson Mandela and many others. These countries over time slowly gained their independence individually.
The road to African independence was very hard and tortuous often through bloody fights, revolts and assassinations. The peak year for independence came in 1960 when about 17 nations gained independence. Overall there are scores of independence days that are now celebrated in Africa during different days, and months throughout the year. The end of World War II was significant because a score of Africans Independence Day's was created.
The case for an African Independence Month would be the culmination of all the African Independence days to be celebrated in one particular month. We have selected every July to be that month. It would be beneficial for all African communities to learn about the struggles for victory together within one forum. With modern-day technology, an African Independence Month is feasible. During July, all the African countries can celebrate, and share these great accomplishments within one forum.
The Slave Kingdoms documentary
Henry Louis Gates Jr.
How Europe Underdeveloped Africa
Slavery, Colonialism and Racism
Edited by Sidney W. Mintz
The Scramble for Africa
Michael T Klare