The founding fathers and mothers of Pan African doctrine were visionaries who could see a time when people of African descent from all over the world would find ways and means to be creative about moving forward together, helping each other in mutually beneficial ways. The earliest Pan African conferences took place in the United Kingdom and the ideas of those who participated in those events have been passed on from generation to generation through various authors, artists and thought leaders. Perhaps those ideas were of pressing importance to people of African descent, because they were formulated at a time in history when most nations in Africa and the Caribbean were colonised.
Looking at the current state of affairs, it becomes clear that there hasn’t been a lot of thorough negotiating about the way such attitudes or policies could be implemented. One can think of many situations where groups of people have used the optimism of Pan African ideals to feather their own nests and not really consider ways in which they could be of support to other groups.
Thanks to social media platforms and other internet related ways of finding out about each other, there has been a gradual process of demystification in recent years, which means that we don’t have the same psychological impediments that use to affect some of us. When I was a young adult, the cultures of Black people from certain other parts of the world seemed to be more vivid, expansive and glamorous than they probably were in reality.
Some folks haven’t cottoned on to the change that has happened. They believe they can still go to other parts of the world and be regarded as the wise ones or leaders. They take it for granted that Black people they meet elsewhere will fall in line when they tell them about the way things should be done.
In order to avoid situations where there could be conflicts, or rude awakenings, maybe there needs to be a revision and upgrading of the Pan African dream or promise.