Pan-Africanism ( Greek prefix πᾶν pan, everything ' ) means " the unity of all black / African people worldwide, regardless of their ethnicity or nationality ", ie the people whose ancestors were taken away by the Atlantic and the Arab enslavement by force from Africa and now live in the U.S., the Caribbean and Latin America and also in parts of the Middle East and South Asia.


Among the most famous pan-Africanists include Steve Biko, Edward Wilmot Blyden, WEB Du Bois, Cheikh Anta Diop, Muammar Gaddafi, Marcus Garvey, Amy Jacques Garvey, Joseph Ephraim Casely Hayford, Martin Luther King, Fela Kuti, Patrice Lumumba, Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela, Bob Marley, Kwame Nkrumah and Leopold Sedar Senghor. CLR James, a sympathizer of the Pan-African movement, contributed with his book on Toussaint Louverture to form pan-African consciousness.


As a political movement of Pan-Africanism began not in Africa but in the West Indies. Henry Sylvester Williams from Trinidad coined the term with his first Pan-African Conference in 1900.

For the 20th century, however, were largely the five Pan-African congresses since 1919 by the American historian and civil rights activist WEB Du Bois organized. First time ever, the resolutions of the international delegates for equality, against racism and imperialism also an echo in the press of the colonial countries. At the conferences, many who later became renowned protagonists of later African independence movements took part. Du Bois meeting provided the philosophical and political breeding ground for the beginnings of decolonization of Africa.

The Jamaican Marcus Garvey headed until 1928, the largest pan-African union: the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League ( UNIA - ACL), which he had founded in 1912 in Kingston. The ' Garveyism ' spread rapidly in the United States. 1914 Garvey moved his headquarters to Harlem. Most important publication was the weekly newspaper Negro World. Garvey tried with his organization in the early 1920s in Africa to build new settlements for African Americans, he even bought a passenger steamer and founded the shipping company Black Star Line, to allow monthly transport quotas to Liberia and South Africa. His social-utopian plans and building a UNIA organization in Liberia were thwarted by the Liberian King government.

Marcus Garvey was the pan-African movement, the red, black and green flag, the red represents the blood that man must shed for their redemption and freedom, green stands for the vegetation of the African motherland and the black for the people of African origin itself. 's pan-African movement, the Ethiopian flag is adorned with the colors green, yellow, red used. Green and red stand for the same principles as in Garvey's flag and yellow for the mineral riches of Ethiopia. This flag comes to symbolic meaning, because Ethiopia ( with the exception of Liberia) was the only country that did not fall under European rule, as the Italians had been defeated in the famous battle of Adwa. The flags of many African countries are inspired by Garvey's flag or to the Ethiopian.

Pan-Africanism in Africa

On January 7, 1961 the radical Pan-Africanism zuneigende group of countries decided to " African Charter " (Casablanca group) in Casablanca. The majority of the newly independent states did not want to follow this path and created at a conference from 8th to 12th of May in Monrovia in the same year a counter paper. Finally, on 25 May 1963 a conference in Addis Ababa a common " Charter of the Organization of African Unity " was adopted and thus the Organization of African Unity founded, but developed little political clout. Popular representatives of Pan-Africanism in Africa were Kwame Nkrumah and Gamal Abdel Nasser. In 2002, the African Union was founded.

During apartheid in South Africa, the Pan Africanist Congress was fighting against the oppression of black South Africans. Except Garvey's UNIA - ACL, there were also other pan-African organizations such as Trans Africa and The Internal Peoples Democratic Uhuru Movement.

Pan-Africanism in Jamaica

The Rastafarian movement originated in Jamaica in the Pan-African movement: After Marcus Garvey ascribed declaration 'look to Africa for the crowning of a Black king' looked at the Rastafari to Haile Selassie. RMS does not originate this policy from Garvey; rather Garvey Selassie criticized on many points. Pan-Africanism is also omnipresent in the Jamaican reggae music, which the musician Bob Marley rise to the most famous pan-Africanists; other Jamaican musicians such as Peter Tosh treat in their songs pan-African issues.

Subsequent movements

From the Pan-African movement, the Black Athena movement emerged, among whose main representatives of Cheikh Anta Diop and his ' ideological son ' Molefi Kete Asante. This movement is about the African history from an African perspective pro- as opposed to a Euro -centric perspective to see a return to traditional African beliefs and to African culture. Often the view is taken that the black African origin of Egyptian and some other civilizations should be recognized. Pan-Africanism is also associated with black nationalism.


Pan-Africanism is often criticized for ignoring the cultural and ethnic differences between people of African descent as well as the differences between the social and political conditions in the countries where blacks live.