On 25th May 2016, African Liberation Day, we celebrate the continued struggle for the freedom of the continent, its people and all oppressed people around the world.

 

“I am not African because I was born in Africa but because Africa was born in me.”

– Kwame Nkrumah, led Ghana to independence from Britain in 1957 and served as its first prime minister and president, until he was deposed (with CIA complicity) in 1966

 

“African women in general need to know that it’s ok for them to be the way they are – to see the way they are as a strength, and to be liberated from fear and from silence.”

– Wangar Maathai, Kenyan environmental and political activist

 

“Thousands of years ago, civilizations flourished in Africa which suffer not at all by comparison with those of other continents. In those centuries, Africans were politically free and economically independent. Their social patterns were their own and their cultures truly indigenous.”

– Haile Selassie, Ethiopia’s regent from 1916 to 1930 and Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974; OAU speech 1963 African Summit

 

“Without dignity there is no liberty, without justice there is no dignity, and without independence there are no free men.”

– Patrice Lumumba, Congolese independence leader and the first democratically elected leader of the Congo as prime minister; a letter to his wife, Letter from Thysville Prison, Congo, My Country

 

“We have to work at decolonizing our mentality and achieving happiness within the limits of sacrifice we should be willing to make. We have to recondition our people to accept themselves as they are, to not be ashamed of their real situation, to be satisfied with it, to glory in it, even.”

– Thomas Sankara, President of Burkina Faso from 1983 to 1987 until he was deposed in a coup (with French backing)

 

“It is easy to romanticize poverty, to see poor people as inherently lacking agency and will. It is easy to strip them of human dignity, to reduce them to objects of pity. This has never been clearer than in the view of Africa from the American media, in which we are shown poverty and conflicts without any context.”

– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nigerian author

 

“I know no national boundary where the Negro is concerned. The whole world is my province until Africa is free.”

-Marcus Garvey, Jamaican political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator who was a staunch proponent of the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements, to which end he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League

 

“The last four or five hundred years of European contact with Africa produced a body of literature that presented Africa in a very bad light and Africans in very lurid terms. The reason for this had to do with the need to justify the slave trade and slavery.”

– Chinua Achebe, Nigerian author, poet, professor, and critic

 

“The black man in Africa had mastered the arts and sciences. He knew the course of the stars in the universe before the man up in Europe knew that the earth wasn’t flat.”

– Malcolm X, American Muslim minister and human rights activist

 

“When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.”

– Desmond Tutu, South African social rights activist and retired Anglican bishop

 

“I dream of the realization of the unity of Africa, whereby its leaders combine in their efforts to solve the problems of this continent. I dream of our vast deserts, of our forests, of all our great wildernesses.”

– Nelson Mandela, South African anti-apartheid revolutionary who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999

 

“For Africa to me… is more than a glamorous fact. It is a historical truth. No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place.”

– Maya Angelou, American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist

 

“All of Africa’s resources should be declared resources of the state and managed by the nation. Our experience in Bolivia shows that when you take control of natural resources for the people of the town and village, major world change is possible.”

– Evo Morales, President of Bolivia since 2006

“Europe became rich because it exploited Africa; and the Africans know that.”

– Desmond Tutu, South African social rights activist and retired Anglican bishop

 

“We face neither East nor West: we face forward.”

– Kwame Nkrumah, Ghanaian independence leader in 1957 and served as its first prime minister and president, until he was deposed (with CIA complicity) in 1966

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