This is either year two or year one of the Decade of the African Diaspora (DOAD), depending on how you are counting. For yours truly, and the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC) organization, which jointly declared the decade, it is year one. Last year, was the period of announcement and dissemination of information regarding the DOAD. Work not already begun, begins now.

And 2011 is also the United Nation’s declared Year of the African Descendants. This means encouragement of action worldwide for, by and in cooperation with the African Diaspora. This year is to highlight the positive accomplishments and benefits of being an African descendant, and to expose the remaining bigotries, microracisms, xenophobia, and outright violence being perpetuated against the forward advancement of the African Diaspora.

The African Diaspora must be organized, and there is a growing movement afoot–international, national and local–to do just that.

What organization are you a part of, and what is that organization doing to move the African Diaspora into a higher-level future? If you are not a part of a collective, organized approach, why not?

For those who need reminding regarding the Decade of the African Diaspora, please continue reading.

Dr. Martin Luther King was an African Diasporan. This was reflected in his statements at Ghana’s first independence celebration in 1957, as he shook Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah’s hand and joined him in envisioning a brighter future for Africans and African descendants in the world.

Malcolm X was a Diasporan. Not only did he advocate African American involvement in the Organization of African Unity, he created a group partially modeled after it, the Organization of African American Unity.

Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the founder of Negro History Week, which has now evolved into Black History Month, was a Diasporan. Many times in his teachings and in the Journal of Negro History, which he started, he discussed Black American’s ties to those in the Caribbean, in Central and South America, in Europe, and in Asia.

In fact, there are well over 250 million African Diasporans living in various parts of the world.

What exactly qualifies one to be a member of the Diaspora? According to the African Union, one has to be an African descendant living outside of the continent, regardless of one’s citizenship, and one has to be committed to African unification–helping to achieve a United States of Africa.

The definition does not emphasize race and ethnicity, as we have always done. That is, it does not say you must be Black, first and foremost, to be a member of the Diaspora, nor does it say that simply because you are Black you are a Diasporan. So, it is African descendants who are committed to African unification. Hmmm. That means within that 250 million-plus population of African descendants, then, there must still be massive education to remind them of who they are and where the motherland is. Diasporans must educate each other.

We are currently in the Decade of the African Diaspora, Jan. 1, 2010 through Dec. 31, 2020. It is our time to stand up and shine; our time to collect what’s due; our time to show what we are made of, and what we can contribute in a major way. During this heightened period of focused activity and accomplishment regarding the Diaspora’s work to help accomplish African unification–the United States of Africa, or Union of African States–the Diaspora will help to restore, regain and re-establish Africa’s dignity in the world; Africa’s earned respect in the world, Africa’s leverage and power in the world; and thereby help take continental Africans and African descendants to higher ground, wherever they reside.

During this fertile period, the Diasporan giant will indeed awaken and move us all forward.

Whether any of us decide to migrate to a unified Africa or not, the status and life chances of Black folk, wherever they live on the planet, will be increased, enhanced and more valued once there is a strong, credible and sustained African presence in the world.

To understand the connection, simply look at the history of other peoples–Japanese Americans and Japan, Jews and Israel, Chinese and China.

Here are some selected examples of expected projects from Diasporans:
(1). Pan African parents will teach their children to honor and respect them, their African ancestors and elders, and themselves. The children will be made to understand that ignorance of themselves, their history and their worth in this world is their enemy, not their ally.

(2). The national and international reparations movement will be either victorious or abandoned, based on whether there is the production and agreement on a viable plan to win, concomitant strategies and tactics which flow from that plan, and relentless implementation with a purpose.
Experience has already taught that without a cogent plan, victory is and will be impossible.

(3) Pan African repatriation will be achieved–dual citizenship throughout Africa will be an actual, not fantasized, option–for all members of the Diaspora.

(4.) Black Student Unions and African Student Unions will be retired to legacy status and replaced by Pan African clubs and associations focused on African redemptive activities.

(5.) Pan African culture, with its many artists, innovators and crafts experts, will prove to be the solid bridge necessary to help construct and maintain Pan African unity.

(6.) The scattered groups of Pan African activists will recognize what operational unity–unity without uniformity–actually means and overcome their own egos and grandstanding long enough to consolidate into Pan African partnerships that produce real leverage and international influence.

(7.) Pan African international trade and business centers (built, owned and run by Diasporans) will proliferate throughout the Diaspora and interconnect all levels of commercial activity between the continent and the Diaspora for the benefit of both.

(8.) Pan Africans will re-take control of the education of African folk and publicize to the world that Diasporans, wherever they are, are worthy of success, dignity and respect.

(9.) Mutual respect will infiltrate the lives of Diasporans, and help make us whole.

(10.) The environmental movement will become a viable part of the Pan African movement–saving the planet is about saving ourselves.

And much more . . .
The only real options in this period, for those of us convinced we are here to do more than merely take up space before we transition, are where is or where will your involvement be?

Professor David L. Horne is founder and executive director of PAPPEI, the Pan African Public Policy and Ethical Institute, which is a new 501(c)(3) pending community-based organization or Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). It is the step-parent organization for the California Black Think Tank which still operates and which meets every fourth Friday.

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