SADTU History Lessons: Africa Day, 25 May


Africa Day, 25 May: A resource-book for educatorsPart 4

Independence, Front Line States and SADCC

Before the OAU there was oppression, going all the way back to the beginning of the days of slavery. After the OAU there is the AU of today, with all of the problems that it has. Approaching the OAU, and during its existence (1963 to 2002), great history was made. This was the independence struggle, of which the OAU was a consequence, and for which it was created to support, and to continue. South Africa’s first universal-franchise election in 1994 was its high point.

Each country has its specific circumstances, history, personalities, problems, class structure, and class dynamics. In Africa, by now, there are 54 fully-made nation states and ten remaining colonies. In South America, for comparison, there are twelve fully-made nation-states and one colony. There can be no question of stereotyping.

To comprehend the African liberation struggle in total is for this reason a special challenge. It requires a historical perspective, combined with at least a sampling of the detail. It requires a feeling for the revolutionary literature, such as books, pamphlets, speeches, articles and radio broadcasts that have informed the great revolutionary tide of the 20th Century that touched all African countries.

sadtu history

Here is a mixed list of influential writers:

Samir Amin   Govan Mbeki
Ahmed Ben Bella   Eduardo Mondlane
Steve Biko   Gamal Abdel Nasser
Amilcar Cabral   Augustinho Neto
Aimé Césaire   Huey P Newton
Angela Davis   Kwame Nkrumah
Cheikh Anta Diop   ‘Mzala’ Nxumalo
Frederick Douglass   Julius Nyerere
W E B Du Bois   George Padmore
Frantz Fanon   Sol Plaatje
Ruth First   Paul Robeson
Muammar Gaddafi   Walter Rodney
C L R James   Thomas Sankara
Martin Luther King   Ousmane Sembène
Moses Kotane   Issa Shivji
Alex La Guma   Oliver Tambo
Patrice Lumumba   Ngugi wa Thiongo
Albert Luthuli   ‘l’Ouverture’ Toussaint
Mahmood Mamdani   Malcolm X