African Diaspora Essay

The Pan African movement was dedicated to establishing independence for African nations and cultivating unity among black people throughout the world. During this time leaders across the nation held conferences in which they discussed the de-colonization process in Africa. The primary leader during this movement was W. E. B Dubois. He attended many conferences where many people believed him and followed in his direction. The first conference was held in London in 1900 and was convened by Henry Sylvester- Williams.

This conference brought people from African decent together where they discussed their common fate and unity amongst the African community. The next conferences were organized by W. E. B Dubois which took place in 1919 and 1927. The conference in 1919 discussed W. E. B Dubois trip to Paris where he reported discrimination amongst black soldiers in the US army who were station in France. Also he spoke at the Versailles Peace Conference where he ensured African interests were addressed. The Manchester conference of 1945 won the reputation of a pace-maker for decolonization in Africa and in the British West Indies.

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It marked a significant advance in the participation of workers in the Pan African cause. It demanded an end to colonial rule and an end to racial discrimination, while it carried forward the broad struggle against imperialism, for human rights and equality of economic opportunity. The Pan-African Congress strategy positioned the political and economic demands of the Congress within a new world context of international co-operation. 2. When W. E. B. Du Bois and Marcus Garvey had their first contact in May 1915, Du Bois already was a Black leader in the US, while Garvey had just the month before established his UNIA in Jamaica.

Du Bois was on a visit in Jamaica, and received a very friendly welcomeletter by Garvey. Soon afterwards they met in person, shook hands and Garvey told Du Bois briefly of his plans, eager to find a supporter in him. Almost one year later, Garvey came to the US for a speaking tour through the country to raise money for a project in Jamaica. Garvey wanted to invite Du Bois in person to his first lecture and therefore visited the NAACP headquarters. As Du Bois was not there, he left an invitation that was declined in a polite way by Du Bois, but nevertheless Du Bois announced Garvey’s tour in his magazine “the Crisis”.

During his tour Garvey decided, that the US was the place for his ideas and that he should therefore stay in the United States. He started speaking weekly in Harlem, soon found a huge amount of followers, officially founded the US branch of the UNIA end of July 1918 and short afterwards established the UNIA newspaper “The Negro World” 3. The African response to slavery was divided into three instances in which slaves which successful in freeing themselves. The first instance was the maroons of Jamaica. From 1494 to 1655 Jamaica was a Spanish colony.

Spain established the plantation system and started to grow and export agricultural crops. In 1655 Great Britain challenged Spanish occupation of the island and captured it. During the war between Spain and Great Britain slaves on the plantation took the opportunity and escaped into the mountains. When the war was over the British demanded that the slaves return but the slaves argued that they were slaves of the Spanish and since the Spanish were no longer there, they were now free. Great Britain insisted that they were still slaves.

The slaves reaction was “if you think we are slaves come and get us”. Due to the slaves reaction war ensued between the maroons and the British soldiers from 1655 to 1738. In 1738 the British governor of Jamaica believed that in the interest of the security of planters and the stability of the island it would be wise to make peace with the maroons. Based on his decision the British government did an unprecedented agreement. At the press conference they wrote out a peace treaty with the maroons. In the peace treaty Great Britain agreed to recognize the freedom and independence of the maroons.

They decided to give them land in Jamaica where they could establish their own communities, governor themselves, and they would be free of taxation. The British government created a state within a state. The maroons promised that they would not allow runaway slaves to use maroon settlements as sanctuaries. Runaway slaves that were found on maroon land would be returned to his owners. The British governor believed that the maroons were not upholding the second part of their agreement because they were not returning runaway slaves.

The maroon argument was that if they seen any runaway slaves they would return them but so far they have not seen any. As a consequence a second war broke out between the maroons and the British government in 1795. During this war large numbers of maroons were captured and deported to Canada as punishment and eventually transported to the west coast of Africa. This was the first instance were a group of slaves freed themselves. Next, the second group of slaves that freed themselves was the Republic of Palmers in Brazil.

During the slavery period the Portuguese had the right to trade in slaves from the time of the Treaty of Tordisellas in 1494 between Spain and Portugal. Portugal and Brazil transported more African to be enslaved in Brazil than the rest of the country combine. There were vast areas in Brazil suited to the plantation system. Most plantations were in Bahia and Pernambuco. At the beginning of the 17th century slaves escaped in mass from these providences. These slaves escaped into the interior of Brazil and establish their own communities and government.

Slaves in other parts of Brazil knew their only was to be freed was to find their way to palmers. The Republic of Palmers grew by leaps and boundaries. By the end of the 17th century the planters of Brazil complained to the government that the existence of the Republic of Palmers was destabilizing through the plantation system in those providences. The government sent troops against the Republic of Palmers at the end of the 17th century which caused slaves to escape further into the interior where they lived. The last instances of slaves freeing themselves were the Haitian Revolution were the Haitian people abolished slavery.

The coming of free trade forced planters to sell their products on world markets. Secondly, the decline in productivity caused farmers to lose products. Next, investors in Europe where reluctant to give planters loans because of all the money they lost in Haiti. Finally, the impact of public opinion in Europe government forced them to end slavery in America. They feared that if slavery continued the same thing that happened in Haiti would happen elsewhere. This pressure caused the British to abolition the slave trade in 1807.

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