US Bishop roots for revitalization of Pan-Africanism

Renowned African American preacher Bishop Joseph Tolton. [Photo: Courtesy]

Annually, February is celebrated as the “Black History Month”, especially by African Americans, although the same recognition is steadily spreading and gaining ground within the African Continent.

It is a time to mark achievements by African Americans and a recognition of the central role of blacks in US history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of celebrated historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every US president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrate black history.

In honor of the black history month and the recent wave of Wakanda (Black Panther Movie) fever, a renown African American preacher Bishop Joseph Tolton who, travels to East Africa regularly preaching the gospel of inclusion and tolerance has broadened his work in Africa so as to sensitize more people on the origins, ideals and significance of the Black History Month.

On February 1st the beginning of America’s Black History month, The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries launched a campaign, – an initiative purposed to challenge President Trump’s derogatory comments about Africa and to advocate for a just  foreign policy towards African nations all while sparking a 21st century Pan African renaissance.

According to Bishop Joseph Tolton, The great crime of this African Holocoust was that Africa and Africans were divided.

Division always leads to loss. African scholar Patrick Manning estimates that Africa lost 1/3 of its population because we were divided. As human capital or labor is a factor of production the slave trade severely reduced Africa’s ability to produce and compete favorably globally.

The cleric explains that diminished production has undermined the continent’s rate of wealth accumulation and damaged its sustained economic growth. 

Tolton believes that people of African descent have suffered for generations because of this loss.

The brutal policing of Black bodies in America are a direct result of the loss from Africans being divided. Poverty among Black people in Brazil is a direct result of the LOSS from Africans being divided. He attributes the high rate of killer diseases such as HIV Aids as a consequence of the loss.

Tolton says he is on a crusade, in the spirit of Marcus Garvey, the founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, "to unite all people of African descent to establish a country and absolute government of OUR own". He also wants to encourage African Americans to focus their energies in engaging their motherland.

Tolton says he is following in the footsteps of the December 1958 All African People Conference held in Ghana and hosted by the Late Kwame Nkrumah, and whose theme was “Hands off Africa". 

The conference was highly commended by the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King JR who was in regular contact with President Nkrumah.                

60 years on the steps of New York’s city hall Tolton has declared to US President Trump to respect Africa and people of African descent globally.

The immediate action of is to advocate for:

•             Fair economic trade between America and African nations

•             Continued American support of funding for critical healthcare concerns and infrastructure

•             A compassionate immigration policy for people of African descent migrating to America

•             Sustained support of democratic values among African nations

In support of the same, US Congresswoman Yvette Clarke says “I am stunned and shocked by the President’s cavalier attitude toward our nation’s longstanding partnership with African nations. I fully support the work of TFAM’s Pan African coalition working to resist the Trump budget and advocate for not only a sustained commitment to the physical health of Africa and all people, but we continue to be committed to the values of inclusion, the promotion of a strong civil society, and the continuation of Obama’s Power Africa program to support the stability of the continent’s infrastructure.”

The long-term objectives of the campaign are to convene conversations between Economists and Tech Executives and entrepreneurs to focus on the creation of middle class jobs in the information and service based economy. To continue the protection of human rights for people, women and all marginalized communities.

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