African people are one nation forcibly dispersed around the world
Our Party, using the historical materialist method of investigation and analysis, concluded that black people within current U.S. borders are Africans, an integral part of a forcibly-dispersed nation. National oppression and subjugation is not something that is resolved through integrating into the system of the colonizing nation. It is resolved through emancipation from the grasp of our predatory, parasitic colonizers.
The recognition of Africans globally and within the U.S. being one nation is longstanding. One hundred years ago the African nationality was summed up in the declaration by Marcus Garvey, “Africa for Africans… at home and abroad.”
Garvey’s movement was embodied in the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL) with its millions of members stretching across the globe.
It was the largest material manifestation of the recognition by black people worldwide that, indeed, we are one nation of people dispersed around the world through violence and coercion.
In a report from the New York chapter of the UNIA-ACL at the First International Convention of the Negro Peoples of the World in 1920, New York delegate Mrs. Sarah Branch stated: “We are tired of being called Negroes. We are not Negroes. We are Africans. [Applause] We want to be called Africans. God gave us the name Ethiopians, and we want to be called Ethiopians or Africans. Negro is simply a pet name that the white man when he went to Africa and stole our foreparents gave us. Let us all in this convention with one voice cry out, ‘We will not be called Negroes any longer, but Africans!’”
However, we cannot overlook the fact that there is a large sector of African people around the world that finds itself endowed with false national consciousness imposed by our colonial oppressors. We exist as hyphenated people everywhere: We are Afro-Germans, Black-Brits and Afro-Americans, Afro-Colombians, etc. On the continent of Africa, we have assumed the identity associated with the European-controlled-and-named territories created for exploitation of our people and resources.
We are one Africa and one nation. The Party’s analysis of our unified African national identity is one of the most significant contributions we have made to the African Revolution. This is why the entire chapter on the African nation from “An Uneasy Equilibrium” is definitive and is included in this Political Report. It is the responsibility of every cadre to fully understand and be fluent in our position on the African nation.
Our salvation depends on our rejection of the false national consciousness imposed on Africans by colonial capitalism. Our struggle has always been for power and self-government. This is one of the reasons why it is necessary to abandon the liberal fight against racism—an idea in white people’s heads. We must fight for our liberation as a nation.
African Internationalism contains the only definition of the emergence of the modern nation that makes any sense, not just in general, abstract terms, but in the context of the world in which we live and struggle to end our oppressive relationship with colonial capitalism.
This is also the basis for understanding the merger of the interests of the colonial ruling class and the working class, both of which were born of colonial slavery. This is also an elaboration of the declaration by our Party that class struggle in the real world is concentrated in the struggle against colonialism.
Otherwise there is no way to make sense of the deep unity to be found between the white ruling class and the white working class.
This disproves the assumption by Marx and most European and European-influenced communists that there is a historically-determined material basis for the unity of what they describe as the international working class against the international capitalist rulers. The contrived confusion of the Europeans—Marxists included—on this question lends to ideological and political stupefaction.
It is confusion fueled by class interests. It is confusion that once honestly confronted must necessarily lead to the proper conclusion that any struggle for communism or historical progress must submit to the leadership of the African working-class-led national liberation movement. Anything else results in nothing more than white rights gained at the expense of the rest of us.
The essential class contradiction here is between the total white oppressor nation and the colonized rest of us, African workers included.
The masses overwhelmingly chose Garvey
What is often referred to as the “National Question” by Marxists and other leftists, especially within current U.S. borders, only became a “question” because of the need for ammunition to discredit the Garvey Movement.
With the 1922 arrest of Garvey, assisted by the Communist Party-USA along with W.E.B. Du Bois and others who had ideological differences with him, the material evidence of the universality of the African nation was temporarily obscured. Thus in Africa and around the world today we are still known as Ghanaians, Somalis, Ivorians, Camaroonians and other imaginary, contrived nationalities such as New Afrikans in the U.S.
These false identities rob our Revolution of its inherent power and are further evidence of the correctness of our political line. Only African Internationalism solves the problems associated with having to come up with hundreds of separate identities (more than 50 in Africa alone) to win what should be a single struggle for national liberation.
African Internationalism teaches us that black people everywhere are part of a single African nation with the responsibility of opening up fronts for the total liberation of Africa and African people worldwide.
While African Internationalism solves the issue of African nationality, it does not deny that Africans, like others, have other identities as well. We are attached to different ethnic groups; we have diverse religions, speak different languages and identify with different regions in Africa and the world. African Internationalism shows us, however, that our primary identity is as Africans!
This helps us to achieve strategic loyalty—loyalty to the greater good for all our people regardless of religion, ethnicity, language and other identities of lesser significance.
In the U.S. this gives us the additional ability to overcome the psychology of “minority” politics. It connects our Revolution to the more than one-and-a-half billion other Africans locked in the same struggle.
It also exposes the neo-Zionist nature of the Black Belt South line introduced in the 1920s into our movement by the Communist International and Communist Party USA to attack Garvey in the first place.
The Black Belt South claim that black people colonized in the U.S. have been transformed into a new nation meant that the Communist Party could vie for the membership of Africans whose unity with Garvey revealed such a strong aspiration for African national identity and unification. In fact, it was the Garvey movement and the demand by Africans for national liberation that forced the Communist Party USA to admit that there was such a thing as an African nation within the current borders of the U.S.
It was only in 1928, nine years after its founding, that the CPUSA spoke of our people as a nation.
The discovery of a “Negro nation” in the Black Belt South was made in a miserably unsuccessful attempt to recruit Africans into the Communist Party. The communists were intimidated by the power of the worldwide Garvey Movement.
Nevertheless, the contrived Black Belt South position never organized Africans. CP organizers complained that Africans were not coming into the party despite its new slogan calling for self-determination for the “Negro nation.”
As one account stated, the Black Belt South position “did not receive wide support from African Americans [sic], either in the urban North or in the South…
While the party continued to give lip service to the goal of national self-determination for blacks, particularly in its theoretical writings, it largely ignored that demand in its practical work.”
The Party’s position has actually been tested in the real world. There was a time when the African masses had the opportunity to choose between the Black Belt South line, integration or assimilation and the movement of Marcus Garvey. The test with Garvey was made by the CP supported African Blood Brotherhood and the Pan-Africanist project of W.E.B. Du Bois. The masses overwhelmingly chose Garvey.
This unwillingness of Africans to join the Communist Party was interpreted by some to mean that Africans did not want self-determination. This was joy to the ears of the handful of African CPUSA members who were apparently attracted to the Communist Party because it represented a militant assimilationist politic that satisfied their own personal aspirations.
The concession of black nationality by the Communist Party USA spoke of our “right to self-determination,” a “right” that would be granted by the new post-revolutionary socialist state under the leadership of the industrial (white!) workers. The Africans would be recognized as a nation that could realize self-determination through the authority of a multinational (white) workers’ state.
According to the CPUSA, Africans would improve our conditions of existence essentially through the historically white nationalist trade unions, which were united with their bosses in keeping African people unemployed or underemployed.
The unions physically fought us as “scabs” when we sought work while white workers were on strike, demanding African workers maintain solidarity with sectors of the oppressor nation conveniently identified as workers.
While we were to be slaves of trade unionism, the real political leadership of our people would come from the multinational, colonizer-controlled Communist Party. We would fight for higher wages and better working conditions under colonialism, but the colonizer-controlled Communist Party would handle the critical political questions. After the revolution, Africans in the Black Belt South could achieve the “right to self-determination” according to the whim of the white workers who would now become the new colonial ruling class. Socialist colonialism!
Black Belt South position is opportunist, comparable to Zionism
African Internationalism recognizes the African working class as the primary force for revolution, the force that will finally bring real communism to the world, benefitting Africans and all the toiling masses. African Internationalism informs us that the African working class must have its own, independent, revolutionary Party of the working class. Only such a party can guarantee the self-determination of the African nation and determine what the African nation is, based on the needs, aspirations and objectively and scientifically defined interests of African people.
The Black Belt South concept was an opportunistic contrivance when it was created nearly a hundred years ago. It continues to be philosophical opportunism today in its new designation developed by the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika. The “New Afrikan” designation is also gladly accepted by some U.S.-based African communists.
This is a political line comparable to that of the European settlers who have claimed the land of the Palestinian people, originally under the guise of white socialism, renaming it Israel and themselves Israelis. The whites who occupied southern Africa made the same claims to our land there. In South Africa, the Dutch colonizers even renamed themselves Afrikaners. In what is now called the “Americas,” Europeans gave themselves a similar designation as “Americans.”
The theft of land in each instance by European settlers was central to exploitation and oppression that have yet to be overcome. In South Africa, what is being called liberation is simply domestic neocolonialism. In reality, the land and resources are controlled by a handful of whites that effectively transformed a handful of petty bourgeois Africans into managers of resources mostly owned and controlled by white power.
In Israel, or Occupied Palestine, the white nationalist settler colonial state also functions as a military outpost for the U.S., itself a settler state. Israel has violated every semblance of international law through expanding violence against Palestinians and incessant annexation of Palestinian and Arab lands.
Ours is a just struggle. We do not have to create a political line that inadvertently legitimizes the theft of Palestinian land by European settlers. Since the beginning of the work on this Political Report, the Israeli Defense Forces have, on one occasion, publicly murdered 60 unarmed Palestinians and wounded more than a thousand to reinforce their colonial control. This is how Zionism looks. It is necessary whenever there is an illegitimate annexation or theft of the land of the oppressed.
In the same way, the Black Belt South line places our movement for the liberation of our people in objective unity with the ongoing oppression of the Indigenous people within current U.S. borders. This remains true notwithstanding the offensive claim by black Zionists that the genocide of the Indigenous people has sufficiently reduced their population to such an extent that it would be impractical to concede the land to them. This is a position that settler colonizers always use to justify the occupation and theft of the land and resources of others.
We reiterate: the African People’s Socialist Party stands in unwavering solidarity with the Indigenous people of the Americas in the struggle for their land.
We recognize that Indigenous people include the Spanish-speaking residents south of the stolen southern border of the U.S. who are known by an assortment of names because of European colonization of the landmass known as the Americas.
Our Party’s uncompromising solidarity with the Indigenous people is the only way our struggle can have integrity. We are not their enemies. We will not add the extra burden onto their already Herculean struggle of having to defend themselves from an incursion of Africans contending with other settler colonialists for possession of their land.
With our Party’s position, our relationship with the Indigenous people can work out all the questions concerning the dispensation of the material and human resources created on this stolen land by colonially enslaved Africans.
Because of African Internationalism the integrity of our national liberation struggle under the leadership of the Party of the African working class will not be sacrificed on the altar of the false god of New Afrikanism. African Internationalism also makes it unnecessary for our people and our struggle to labor in isolation from each other anywhere on Earth.
Build and consolidate the African Nation!
Build the African Socialist International!
Forward to the worldwide African Revolution!
Izwe Lethu i Afrika!