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African people will remember Touré as a great Pan Africanist who attempted to unite Africa

and Africans world-wide. It was Touré, along with Nkrumah and Mali's Modibo Keita,

who attempted to form a United States of Africa in the 1960s.



Books by Ahmed Sekou Touré

Strategy and Tactics of the Revolution  / Africa on the Move  / Militant Poems

The Political Leader Considered as the Representative of a Culture  /  African resistance to colonial penetration

Afrika and imperialism / The doctrine and methods of the Democratic Party of Guinea

Freedom through culture / Guinean revolution and social progress / Islam for the people's benefit

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Remembering Ahmed Sekou Touré as Guinea Turns 50

By Norman Otis Richmond


I have a confession: I am addicted to Radio Netherlands. It is not even a 50/ 50 love; it is more of a love / hate thing. I love their International flavor. There is where I can hear about what is happening from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. However, their coverage of African affairs on many occasions makes me want to puke.

The West African nation of Guinea turned 50 on October 2. A recent feature on Radio Netherlands, Bridges with Africa, "Guinea at 50: Going through a massive mid-life crisis" made my blood run cold. It was a one-side attack on Guinea's first president, Ahmed Sekou Touré (b. Guinea, January 9, 1922; d. 26 March 1984).

As a youth Touré, along with Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah, the Congo's Patrice Lumumba and Algeria's Ahmed Ben Bella were some of the leaders that I and many of my generation identified with.

While only a fool would attempt to defend the current regime of President Lansana Conte, only a bigger fool would attempt to denigrate the role that Touré played in the struggle for World African Liberation. Lansana has been the head of state of Guinea since the death of Touré in 1984. He took power in a military coup shortly after Touré's death. A professional military man, he actually fought against the heroic Algerian people on the side of the French, during their war of liberation against colonialism.

However, he did fight against the French for the independence of Guinea after his involvement in Algeria. Today, Guinea is one of the poorest countries on earth.

Touré helped lead Guinea to independence from French colonial rule in 1958. In Cameroun, an armed uprising began in 1955 when the UPC (Union des Populations de Cameroun) was declared illegal. UPC had demanded the withdrawal of French troops, an end to Cameroun's status as a United Nations mandate, and a revolutionary land reform with the slogan, "the land to those who till it." Without protest the UN allowed the French troops to violently crush the revolt. Western history books seldom write about the revolt in the Cameroun.

A trade unionist, Touré was able to help lead his nation to independence by proclaiming, "We prefer dignity in poverty to affluence in slavery."

After secondary schooling, he worked as a clerk and trade union organizer, becoming a founder of the Rassemblement Democratique Africain [RDA] in 1946. His political base in Guinea depended in part on unionized urban workers, in part on rural opposition to the system of administrative chieftaincy imposed by the French. This enabled him to lead the local section of the RDA, the Parti Democratique de Guinée (PDG), and to emerge along with the leaders of the UPC as one of the most radical of the nationalist leaders in French West Africa.

African people will remember Touré as a great Pan Africanist who attempted to unite Africa and Africans world-wide. It was Touré, along with Nkrumah and Mali's Modibo Keita, who attempted to form a United States of Africa in the 1960s. Nkrumah asked the Congo's Patrice Lumumba to join this alliance before his assassination on January 17, 1961.

Guinea was one of the first African nations to open its doors to Overseas Africans. Six years after Guinea's independence, a delegation from the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) visited Guinea on the invitation of Touré. The politically astute Harry Belafonte made the arrangements. Belafonte is a direct political descendant of the "tallest tree in our forest," the great Paul Robeson.

Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) has said that Fannie Lou Hamer, the Mississippi-born freedom fighter who made the statement, "I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired," was one of the people who benefited from Touré and Belafonte's gesture. Hamer loved the experience and conveyed it to Ture:

"Oh, Stokely, the president came to visit. Oh, he was so handsome, all in his white robes, and he was so kind." Despite the language gap, she had spoken with everyone she'd met. "Oh Stokely, those people be jes' like us. The way they fix they hair, some of them. How they stand, how they walk, even the way they carry they babies."

It was Touré who gave a base to the liberation forces in another West African nation, so-called Portuguese Guinea. The movement there was led by one of the world's foremost theoreticians, Amilcar Cabral (September 13, 1924-January 20, 1973). Cabral was the leader of the PAIGC (The African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde and Guinea).T he former French colony of Guinea, became known as Guinea-Conakry and the Portuguese colony came to be known as Guinea-Bissau.

The Portuguese invaded Guinea November 1970 with the intent to assassinate Touré and Cabral. The Portuguese colonialist made a sensational attempt to invade Guinea-Conakry. They were knocked out in early Mike Tyson fashion.

The PAIGC started the armed struggle against Portuguese colonialism in 1963. But in the following years the Portuguese suffered defeat after defeat. Toure's government supported the PAIGC completely.

Mai Palmberg, the editor of the book, The Struggle for Africa discussed the aborted invasion. Said Palmberg, "The invasion proved to be a total fiasco, because PAIGC and Guinea's defense forces were able to respond quickly and drive the enemy out. It was later revealed that West Germany and France had supported the Portuguese invasion, and that their representatives in Conakry had assisted the invasion forces."

While it is true that Touré's relationship cooled with the Soviet Union in his later years, he nevertheless cooperated with them against Apartheid South Africa. When Apartheid South Africans invaded Angola, the progressive forces worldwide united with Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA). The forces of reaction supported Apartheid South Africa and puppet groups like the National Liberation Front of Angola (FNLA) and the National Union for the Total Independent of Angola UNITA.

Washington expressed its disappointment and irritation at Touré's transgression and warned that it would affect relations between the two countries. Touré was defiant, informing the Soviet ambassador: "You have permanent and unconditional permission to use Conakry airport for all flights relating to Angola." How will history evaluates Touré? I believe the revolutionary forces of the world will hold him up as a person who was on the right side of history.

As for Radio Netherlands, they are merely the mouth piece for imperialism and history will reflect that the word  "Apartheid" is of Dutch origin.

Norman Richmond is a Toronto-based writer/broadcaster/human rights activist. Richmond can be heard on CKLN-FM 88.1 Thursday's on Diasporic Music 8pm to 10pm and Saturday's on Saturday Morning Live 10am to 1pm He can be r eached This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Source: BlackAgendaReport

posted 22 October 2008

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1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity.

Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.” We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth. Whether or not the human instigators of all this remarkable change will survive the process they helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and revelatory book, an open question.

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The Persistence of the Color Line

Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency

By Randall Kennedy

Among the best things about The Persistence of the Color Line is watching Mr. Kennedy hash through the positions about Mr. Obama staked out by black commentators on the left and right, from Stanley Crouch and Cornel West to Juan Williams and Tavis Smiley. He can be pointed. Noting the way Mr. Smiley consistently “voiced skepticism regarding whether blacks should back Obama” . . .

The finest chapter in The Persistence of the Color Line is so resonant, and so personal, it could nearly be the basis for a book of its own. That chapter is titled “Reverend Wright and My Father: Reflections on Blacks and Patriotism.”  Recalling some of the criticisms of America’s past made by Mr. Obama’s former pastor, Mr. Kennedy writes with feeling about his own father, who put each of his three of his children through Princeton but who “never forgave American society for its racist mistreatment of him and those whom he most loved.”  His father distrusted the police, who had frequently called him “boy,” and rejected patriotism. Mr. Kennedy’s father “relished Muhammad Ali’s quip that the Vietcong had never called him ‘nigger.’ ” The author places his father, and Mr. Wright, in sympathetic historical light.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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