Re: The other aspect of Pan-African
Posted By: Ayinde In Response To: Re: The other aspect of Pan-African (Bantu-Kelani)
Date: Friday, 17 December 2004, at 10:14 a.m.
In Response To: Re: The other aspect of Pan-African (Bantu-Kelani)
You may have missed the fact that I did not endorse the AU as is. I showed where I felt it can be transformed into something that can serve the interest of Africans throughout the Diaspora. I am not under any illusions about their abilities, but I also do not feel any solution can be imposed on Africa. If Africans on the continent want those of us who are outside of the continent to do more, they will also have to get an appreciation of our experiences, and points of view.
I also would like Africans in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere to do more. It will certainly take raising the awareness of Africans in these different countries, and helping them get more resourceful for them to do more. I feel more can be done from where we are to assist in raising such awareness, and to encourage people to use the working models of entrepreneurship and community development to extend to Africa and elsewhere. It is good that some of us are in a ‘slightly better’ position where we can earn more to be able to extend. Some of us have gotten our governments to start trading and supporting African causes. It takes ongoing work to raise awareness, and this also entails showing a commitment to development from right where we are. People and governments will not take us seriously if we do not have experience and working models that they can see. Those who already have extensive resources can always contribute to African causes, but many of us have to mobilize support, and raise awareness to get things done. The models and ideas for assistance come from the successful work we do in our own areas, although we draw these ideas from all around.
In my response to you, and in a response to Ras Marcus, I said, "Well it is by the work people do towards their personal self-liberation, which includes assisting others who are in need of such help, do people eventually realize their own liberation. This should be the goal of everyone."
This also means that if we work at alleviating sufferings from where we are, we are also mobilizing people who can emulate the examples to assist others on a wider scale. Extending to others who are most in need is part of helping ourselves. In this light, alongside sharing practical skills, sharing information and sharing ideas that allow Africans in our communities to realize their bond to Africa, brings the urgency of situations in Africa to them. Extending to Africa and other countries that critically need help is part of the successes of developing communities.
Am I saying that we should put ourselves first? Sure I am, but not in the Eurocentric definition of selfish selves. We can put a bigger, more generous, more informed, more compassionate realization of ourselves first. That is what increasing African awareness does. Our selves can grow from the limitations of ‘my own’, ‘my family’ and ‘my country’, to embrace people who are most deserving of our time, labour, resources etc. I share history and insights so more people can become aware of the magnitude of their selves.
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