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The Pan African Consciousness Essay

1008 words - 5 pages

“I know no national boundary where the Negro is concerned. The whole world is my province until Africa is free” (Garvey). These words by Marcus Garvey perfectly illustrate the spirit of unification that characterized the attitude of many people of African Descent as a direct result of the callous treatment that Africa as a whole suffered at the hands of Europeans. Europe not only ravished Africa of a significant resource in the millions of lives that it stole and enslaved. Europe also pillaged the continent with the brutal institution of colonization. The manacles of colonization inspired great suffering in the lands and lives of Africans examples include Land exploitation, labor ...view middle of the document...

It is at this point that Cesaire argues the permanent malnutrition is introduced. This production of cash crops led to famine in the lands of The Congo and thusly caused permanent damage in the lives of the colonized. This damage led to the aspect of the Pan African movement that celebrated Africa. One very important idea pushed by Marcus Garvey, who is known as the father of the Pan- African Movement, is that “Africa was the ancestral home and spiritual cradle of all African-descended peoples, the scene of past and future glory” ( Lynch 31). Garvey thought it was very important that the continent be freed from “tyrannous European imperialist grasp” (Lynch 31). The ideas that Garvey postulated about Africa were founded in the consequences of Europe’s misuse of the land.
Another way that European colonization caused harm to Africans is through labor exploitation. Death, taxation, and torture were tools used to enforce labor policies. After Europeans confiscated African land, they proceeded to charge Africans taxes to inhabit the land. They charged the taxes in a manner that required Africans to work for Europeans in order to pay. The railway line in The Congo, Ivory recovery, cash crop cultivation and rubber extraction were all tasks performed by Africans. Africans most often worked without pay. Europeans however made millions on the backs of Africans. Labor exploitation in many ways is equal to slavery, in that Europeans forced Africans to work without pay. All the while enslaving Africans Europeans told the rest of the world that they were “teaching the Congolese to work”. The teaching methods of the Belgian employed the “chicat” a whip used to torture Africans as well as such monstrosities as severing the hands of those who did not meet their production quotas. Labor exploitation left a legacy of suffering in the Congo. This legacy of suffering directly led to the Pan-African ideal to restore the continent and use it as a place of refuge for its descendants.
The final method of exploitation employed by Europeans was the dehumanization of the...

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