GNRC Statement on African Liberation Day

The content originally appeared on: The Barnacle News

Standing on African Freedom Fighters’ shoulders

St. George’s: The Grenada National Reparations Committee (GNRC) stands in solidarity with Africa and her Diasporas as the world commemorates and celebrates African Liberation Day.

This theme for the day, which is commemorated on May 25, is “Same struggle: Smash settler colonialism in Occupied Palestine, Africa, the Americas and Oceania”. It is a stark reminder of our present reality.

The theme for the week, “A Borderless Africa for All Africans”, reminds us of Walter Rodney (photo). Rodney, a son of Guyanese soil, a brilliant scholar and Pan Africanist, who in 1972 stated that “Black unity must be international because we live on every continent, through no choice of our own.”  Rodney’s statement— more than fifty years later— still rings true.

Rodney’s statement is part of a great lineage of African liberators— including Marcus Mosiah Garvey— whose vision of a free and self-determined Africa fuels the African liberation movement today.

In the spirit of Garvey and Rodney, the Grenada National Reparations Committee envisions Africa in all her glory. An Africa where African resources are used to develop Africa for Africans, and by Africans and her descendants.

GNRC foresees a liberated Africa that has freed herself from the colonial chokehold of Europe and has shed the false images of the West—images that cast this great Continent as “dark” and devoid of history and culture. We know that this image of victimhood and dependency supports a broader story that was used to justify European plunder, extraction, and exploitation.

As we fight for reparative justice for the European slave trade and the enslavement of millions of Africans, we do so, standing proudly on the shoulders of our great African Freedom Fighters; among them are the preeminent Kwame Nkrumah, Thomas Sankara, Amilcar Cabral, Patrice Lumumba, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, and the late, great Robert Nesta Marley.

Late Kwame Nkrumah

A borderless Africa is the essence of Pan-Africanism. One Continent. One People. One Past. One Destiny. A borderless Africa is an Africa where all of Africa’s children—are welcomed home to her shore, regardless of nationality.

Reparative justice is the debt owed to Africa and her Diasporas. Reparations is about repairing centuries-old wounds that manifest as social problems, underdevelopment, environmental degradation, and poor health outcomes.

Reparative justice is also about calling on European individuals, institutions including churches and the monarchy, and governments such as Britain and France to restore the many broken links— between our brothers and sisters on the African Continent and their siblings in the Caribbean.

As we mark African Liberation, we do so keenly aware of the current crises facing the African Continent and her Diasporas including the ongoing struggle for justice in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the war waging in Sudan, the political strife in Haiti and the climate challenges facing Africans on the Continent and her descendants here in the Caribbean. 

This African Liberation Day, we do so solemnly. We do so as descendants of one of the longest and most brutal genocide in the history of humankind—the African genocide. Today, as we witness the unfolding genocide of the Palestinian people—we must say boldly and unabashedly—not on our watch.

In the words of South African freedom fighter, the late Nelson Mandela, “but we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

The Grenada National Reparations Commission is committed to fighting for the freedom of African People everywhere. And, the first step is demanding the repair and restoration of the African continent, the upliftment of African people, and the preservation and promotion of African culture, heritage and history.

A borderless Africa is a liberated, thriving and flourishing Africa!

PSFirst established in 1958 as “Africa Freedom Day’’, a decision to adopt a name change—to African Liberation Day—was taken on May 25, 1963 when 31 African Heads of State convened a summit meeting to found the Organization of African Unity (OAU).