Veiws in this article are views of the writer and don’t directly reflect those of HHPP
The road towards African liberation has been more than just a road towards African liberation. Its struggle for complete and absolute freedom has taken many courses. From the moment Africa, through countless named and unnamed circumstances and events, encountered European and Arab invasion it has always been the responsibility of African people to counter the realities and conditions those processes created. Our paths have been marked with gruesomeness and every instance has sparked another instance. Undergoing many series of connected events, our struggle has never been an isolated one. Our struggle has been one known to the world over ever since the first African was forced to leave home in shackles and chains and even with all those years passed, it is evident that it is not over. The fact that we are living and breathing organisms with the ability to think confronts us daily with the reality that we do not and cannot just exist. We have painted pictures, told stories, and changed the courses of our realities through action in how we seen and see fit. We have never, as a collective people, been okay with what colonialism and slavery has forced upon our backs. We have always implemented strategies and tactics to shake off desperation and despair and put into our own hands what has been proven to be fruitful by our own standards. This is not, nor has it ever been, an easy task. What has been proven to be difficult of this task is to constantly create in our brothers and sisters the will to ensure that we collectively struggle against all forms of oppression that is hurled towards us; the know how to identify, understand, and eradicate contradictions wherever they may form. The only way this can be done is by knowing what we truly mean to each other and collectively moving with this understanding being our foundation. There, throughout history, have been countless rebellions, riots, movements, protest, ambushes, trials, imprisonments, deaths, births, sit-ins, massacres, losses, and victories in the plight of African people to restore even an itty-bitty tiny piece of what we had before colonialism put its ugly head in our pie and started to eat away. There have been many organizations that have been born at home and abroad. There have been many organizations that have died and there are many that have died and been resurrected. There are many that continue to be born, new. Most importantly, there are countless nameless people who will build organization that has yet to be born. As long as you find exploitation and oppression the people will struggle against it. The plans and actions implemented may not always be the best, but what it does is ignite an interest beyond certainty that we must continue to struggle. We indeed learn from the past and as change is constant so are we. We change with the tide, or else we drown. What was once required may cease to be in our present day and in our present day from sun up to sun down it is evident that we want to live. I can only tell you this from personal experience as an African person, it is me. My objective, with all my flaws and imperfections, consciously and unconsciously has been to live. The desire to live is of normalcy, like looking both ways before you cross the street, automatic. Who could argue the fact that at every instant within a person’s understanding that they shouldn’t improve their quality of life by any means…..excuse me, but by every means they can muster up to do so.I understand that for us, as African people and oppressed people throughout the world this can only qualitatively be done through unity and action. For us a people who physically, socially, psychologically, and spiritually have suffered from colonialism and slavery must struggle to create and maintain Pan-African unity: the complete and total liberation of African people throughout the world, must be obtained. Pan-Africanism is a humanist struggle first and oppressed people who understand that our oppressors are the same, knows that African liberation is monumental to the worldview to smash imperialism in all its forms wherever it exist. Unity is not cliché. Iit is key. Yes two heads are indeed better than one, but millions of heads working to defeat there common enemy is called revolution. Our common enemy is capitalism and imperialism, within its framework and elbow rubbers we have to also contend with neo-colonialism, micro-nationalism, fascism, Zionism, and tribalism. I know those are a lot of isms, but these isms that I speak of are not just rhetorical talk and ideas, they exist. They are real. I repeat, they exist. They are real. Just ask the miners in South Africa, Marikana, and their families, who were slaughtered in cold blood this year while the cameras captured it and the world was able to watch as they sipped their morning coffee or had the freedom to turn the channel to another channel, because it was too much for them to bare and they proceeded with their day without another thought of it. You can also ask the miners and youth of Sierra Leone who have had limbs blown and hacked off mining for diamonds or cutting them themselves so they don’t have to mine. Ask the ones in the Congo without arms to write a statement on this matter because of the same circumstances. Countless occurrences this year alone of police brutality and murder by U.S. law enforcers? Of course. Ask the ones whom blood have spilled in the streets parents and siblings are there nothing to struggle against in regards to their unarmed children sisters and brothers, fathers and mothers. Despite America being the place of many dreams to be, its poverty-stricken streets are enough evidence to prove to anyone walking amongst them that it’s a dream you would want to wake from. Only, if you are a genuine person who sincerely care about the welfares of others. There are those who do keep it moving without a second thought and utter the words, “Oh, well. Not my problem.” I say to them, “Your doorstep is not far away. What will you do when it comes knocking at your door?” Again, we are not and cannot be disillusioned to who our enemies are. We are faced with the question of how to confront and defeat them. Myself, like many of my comrades know the answer again is Pan-African unity. This answer set me out on a journey with my peers who understand what’s necessary just as much as I do to find more that understood what we do. We set out with understanding that organized numbers are our best defense and tool. In doing so, alliances were built and we found those hard-working individuals in great numbers, in a city called Philadelphia. The Peace House, Peace Farm, Peace Center, and the Hip-Hop Party for the People are what we found. We found strength and greatness in the year 2012. We found there what Pan-African unity looks like. At the Peace House we were cared for with great sincerity. Here you have Organizers Sis-Comrade Keturah Caesar and Brother-Comrade Tommy Joshua who day after day after day open their doors when daylight comes to feed the people. We are speaking about two individuals who by no means are wealthy or rich, but had the capacity to feed the people daily. If you are hungry not only is breakfast served but lunch and dinner as well. Capitalism doesn’t provide this. This is what socialism looks like. They are an example for us through this initiative of what we can do and be for each other minus the what can I get out of it mentality that capitalism teaches us. It is most importantly a delight to eat with the people. We were engaged at a social capacity that I yearn for regularly, over food. Most of the food comes from an open piece of land surrounded by dilapidated buildings, this is the Peace Farm. I had never seen so many dilapidated building in my whole life, directly across the street from the Housing projects. The farm has been cultivated to feed the people that look down upon it from there Housing project windows. They have at their disposal a reality where they don’t have to be hungry or worry about waiting for the first of the month to assist them with food stamps or having to worry about stealing food or what ever a hungry belly creates. They can solve their hunger simply by going down to the farm taking a basket and get what they need to eat. We did the same thing while there. The Peace Farm is steadily growing too. That means more food. Hunger eliminated. They also have classes at the Peace Center and initiatives to help educate the people on how to utilize the food and herbs that they grow and pick to serve them best. They teach the people, especially the youth, how to care for the farm so it will last as the people need it. This is good; this is an example of unity. This is an example of mapping the course that we set by our own standards. This is a model that has been set up from the model our ancestors gave us before European and Arab invasion. This is an example of the African way. Leaving from the Peace Farm we ventured over to the Peace Center. I was awe struck with all the dilapidated buildings I saw on the way, but the funny part about it is that of all the abandoned buildings that were there we passed and saw so many buildings that were historical to our struggle that were still standing. We had a chance to visit and take an oath of solidarity with the UNIVERSAL NEGRO IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION, chapter Philadelphia, PA. Brother-Comrade Tommy Joshua was able to give us a lot of street by street history from identifying the names of the streets to the buildings and why they were named for such. It was again, very weird to see murals onside of buildings painted of African people in chains, bondage, a ship, and a big pink man standing guard. It made me smile. I said to myself, these people refuse to forget. This is awesome. I had never seen anything like it. In my city, they may of course paint over it, but it was there in Philly. We shall not forget, no matter how hard they have tried to make us forget. This is what the mural was screaming. I also recall walking past a recreation center called the King Center everyone has a King Center, but there I seen all these African people, elders sitting outside maybe about 150 people broad day chittering, chattering, laughing, talking, playing, maybe even doing some sneaking things I may have not seen, but it looked like a village of elders being very communal. I told Bro-Comrade Tommy in my city, the police would have run everyone off from loitering. This for me was a culture shock. I never saw so many African people, in the middle of the day like that doing what we call, shooting the breeze. To me it seemed as though they had control and Tommy said that they did. It was a joyous experience despite all the dilapidated houses that surrounded them. Upon arrival to the Peace Center I had a chance to meet two former Black Panther Party brothers whom you could tell were well respected by the youth and held position as elders there. They had their place in the minds of the youth it was evident. The Peace Center you knew upon approach that it belonged to the people. The young men and women that congregate there are not average, they are a reflection of work and constant development. You can see within them that someone truly cared for who they are and what they will be. Mannerism accompanied with intelligence, followed up with the will to work was so awesome to see. I appreciate their hospitality every step of the way. I have a home in Philly for this I am certain, Pan-Africanism I know is birth out of initiatives and it is only through proper and selfless engagement with each other that it grows. I don’t see a future with the absence of my comrades in Philly, at least not one that I would want to see. I see a great and mighty road ahead of us through continuous engagement. I salute you Peace family and Hip-Hop Party for the People. Salute to my Sis-Comrade Keturah Caesar for allowing me to read to you on the stoop under the street light! Forward MARCH!
written by Kilaika Anayejali Kwa Buruti