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African futurism at the service of African and Afro-Caribbean characters

What were the roles of women in the early Pan-Africanist movement? What about the involvement of new generations of women in the current movement? How do women define Pan-Africanism these days?

Pan-Africanism, the idea that people of African descent have common interests and should be unified. Historically, Pan-Africanism has often taken the form of a political or cultural movement. There are many varieties of Pan-Africanism.

In its narrowest political manifestation, Pan-Africanists envision a unified African nation where all members of the African Diaspora can live. (African Diaspora refers to the long-term historical process by which people of African descent were dispersed from their ancestral lands to other parts of the world.)

In more general terms, Pan-Africanism is the sense that people of African descent have a lot in common, a fact worth noting and even celebrating.


The first Pan-Africanists

The most important early Pan-Africanists are:

  • Martin Delany (African Americans)

  • Alexander Crummel (African Americans)

  • Edward Blyden (Caribbean, born in St. Thomas Island)

The engagement of women in Pan-Africanism

As Dr Hakim Adi, Professor of African History and the African Diaspora at the University of Chichester, puts it “Women played a central role in the development of Pan-Africanism. It was a woman, the South African Alice Kinloch, who initiated the modern Pan-African movement at the dawn of the 20th century.At the beginning of the 21st century, it became fashionable, mainly in certain academic circles in the United States, to use the term "black internationalism" as an alternative to pan-Africanism. This phrase was also first coined by a woman, Jeanne Nardal, an influential and important Martinican writer in Paris in the 1920s, who used the term d 'black internationalism. to refer to the growing ties between

“Negroes of all origins and nationalities”. There is no doubt that she also used the phrase to refer to the growing pan-Africanism of the time, and so it is difficult to see what distinguishes the two terms."

What remains of women's engagement in Pan-Africanism?

Young women of the new generation seem to be more inclined to be feminists than committed Pan-Africanists. However, the two may not be incompatible. Activism takes other forms, with battles that are perhaps not ours. But that will be the subject of another article....

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