Our Readers' Opinions
June 26, 2009
Homecoming Africa


by Oscar Allen

In a real sense, it is Jamaican Ambassador Dudley Thompson’s ongoing will and Testament addressed to us in 2007. He said I am approaching the 91st year of my life, God has been good to me…

“I long for the day when I shall obtain my united African passport. I long for the day when we shall have our own African international news service.{{more}} I long for the day when our women will be treated as equal in all respects and with full dignity everywhere. I long for the day when our black mothers and fathers will smile upon the black babies in their arms, happy and confident that they will never again grow up in the shadows of injustice and inequality. May God bless you all.”

Dudley Thompson had attended the Pan African congress in the U.K in 1945. He had defended the Kenyan warrior Jomo Kenyatta in court against the colonial authorities some 10 or more years later. Today he opens his dream and places it in our hands. His Black African longings are his requests to us. Reflect on them. In truth, the African homeland does not yet exist, except in the longings of her most devoted, realistic, single minded and engaged sons and daughters. Bringing Africa home, the real liberation of Africa is the creative purpose and raison d’être of this post colonial generation of homeland and diaspora Africans.

Perhaps those of us who sympathize with the longing of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez to bring an alternative America into history- his ALBA-, can enter the material emotions and near three score and ten years of Dudley Thompson’s trench and battlement world war for Africa. He calls to us to “come over and share this cause with me.”


UNESCO, The United Nations Educational Scientific and Organization, has published a General History of Africa in 8 Volumes. Some of us have interest in the civilization of Africa, others in the transatlantic rape of Africa and European colonization, still others focus on post colonial developments and the liberation of Africa. I found in Volume 1 of the UNESCO history these interesting informations.

In Lower Nubia, organic remains have been collected that bear witness to the harvesting and preparation of wild cereals some 13,000 years ago (4,000 years earlier than in the near East).

Africa and not Asia was the source of the first migrations… up to the emergence of Pharaonic Egypt. It was only then that the movements of peoples towards Africa began.

Again for the prehistorian of Africa, bone and stone tools bear witness to a cerebral process of humanization that was already under way 2.5 million years ago. But that was not when it all began.

The pre history of Africa is a real source of the history of the world, clearly the peoples and civilizations that spread across the African continent have left their marks on every other continent. When I look closely at the Hebrew and Christian Bible/Scriptures, they are not afraid to show that they rely on, are desirous of, and at the same time, wary of Africa’s peoples and civilizations. It was the African civilization in Egypt that saved the house of Jacob from extinction and starvation. As the younger leader Joseph put it; ‘God sent me here in Africa to arrange your salvation’ (Genesis 45:7). On a personal note, when the great leader Moses, had welded a collection of oppresses and unruly peoples into a manageable community, he married a tall and gracious woman from that part of Africa whose people, according to Isaiah 18, were “tall and smooth skinned” (verse 7). This elegant black woman from Cush/Ethiopia/Sudan, caused confusion for some of Moses’ family. They figured that he was getting too big for his shoes to marry this black queen! (Read Numbers 12, 1-2).

And the great prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah engaged in positive and negative ways with their peoples’ ever present African neighbours in time if need. Isaiah speaks concerning Egypt of God’s desire to have Egypt, stocking Egypt, drying up the irrigation canals, causing civil war, plaque and terror so that his people would come to the Hebrew Yahweh. In that day, Yahweh will bless them saying Blessed be Egypt my people Assyria my handwork and Israel my inheritance. (Isaiah 19-25). “In that day, Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth” (v 24)


Today, the government of the Republic of South Africa is leading an African Unity mission to outreach to and embrace people of African blood overseas. One of the recommendations of a 2007 conference in Barbados was the establishment of African themed Museums in CARICOM countries to commemorate the “African Story.”

At that conference, our Prime Minister Gonsalves situated the situation of Africa today. Part of what he said was this: “In the last 25 years, Africa is the only continent world-wide which has grown poorer. Its share of world trade has halved in a generation…” .

Another grim reality that is of concern to African Liberation is, not the Africa out there, riding on painful media waves, but the Africa, hidden suppressed and imprisoned within us. The Africa buried under our sophisticated hairstyles, our educated consumption, our perfumed and powered and philistine professions, and our western horizons. The African that we do not want to acknowledge and to be. Until you and I return to where we get our genius for art, music, athleticism, intellect and moral consciousness, we will remain a half a people, unliberated and robbed of mission. Look at how we cannot even envision and build a vibrant Caribbean region, or rehabilitate/elevate our first indigenous peoples.

There is a liberation that we are running away from, a homecoming that we turn our backs to, a discovery of Africa that begins within me and within you. Dudley Thompson urges us to get there. I think that Africa is in peril without our conversion, for I too long for the Isaiah Proclamation: ‘Blessed be Africa’ Nkosi Sikelel Afrika. Mungu ibariki Afrika.

Let us throw away our false longings, rediscover a love for our hurting motherland. Do like Cuba; reconnect with Africa, with Cush and with Eden, recognize the homeland inside us.