by Ezinne Adibe
“The body is but a shell. The spirit never dies.”
“Look for me in the whirlwind or the storm, look for me all around you, for, with God’s grace, I shall come and bring with me countless millions of black slaves who have died in America and the West Indies and the millions in Africa to aid you in the fight for Liberty, Freedom and Life.”
These are the words of the late Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr., orator, entrepreneur, publisher, journalist and unwavering proponent of Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism. Garvey was born August 17, 1887, in a month of African (black) resistance. In the same month of the Haitian Revolution and the month that Nat Turner and countless enslaved Africans took on their oppressors.
In the 21st century, with Africa still under the foot of its seemingly former oppressors and question as to whether China is emerging as a new imperialist on the African continent, there is a need to reassess the state of Pan-Africanism; what it means to be black, African American, African, Afropolitan, or any other identity that we affirm, and our responsibilities as those standing on the shoulders of such people as Harriet Tubman, Nanny of the Maroons, Malcolm X, Nat Turner, Marcus Garvey, and countless memorialized (and those whose names are not found in books) African men and women.