Letter from Accra
After April, 1964
I arrived in Accra yesterday from Lagos, Nigeria. The natural beauty and wealth of Nigeria and its people are indescribable. It is full of Americans and other whites who are well aware of its untapped natural resources. The same whites, who spit in the faces of blacks in America and sic their police dogs upon us to keep us from “integrating” with them, are seen throughout Africa, bowing, grinning and smiling in an effort to “integrate” with the Africans — they want to “integrate” into Africa’s wealth and beauty. This is ironical.
This continent has such great fertility and the soil is so profusely vegetated that with modern agricultural methods it could easily become the “breadbasket” of the world.
I spoke at Ibadan University in Nigeria, Friday night, and gave the true picture of our plight in America, and of the necessity of the independent African nations helping us bring our case before the United Nations. The reception of the students was tremendous. They made me an honorary member of the “Muslim Students Society of Nigeria,” and renamed me “Omowale,” which means “the child has come home” in the Yoruba language.
The people of Nigeria are strongly concerned with the problems of their African brothers in America, but the U.S. information agencies in Africa create the impression that progress is being made and the problem is being solved. Upon close study, one can easily see a gigantic design to keep Africans here and the African-Americans from getting together. An African official told me, “When one combines the number of peoples of African descent in South, Central and North America, they total well over 80 million. One can easily understand the attempts to keep the Africans from ever uniting with the African-Americans.” Unity between the Africans of the West and the Africans of the fatherland will well change the course of history.
Being in Ghana now, the fountainhead of Pan-Africanism, the last days of my tour should be intensely interesting and enlightening.
Just as the American Jew is in harmony (politically, economically and culturally) with world Jewry, it is time for all African-Americans to become an integral part of the world’s Pan-Africanists, and even though we might remain in America physically while fighting for the benefits the Constitution guarantees us, we must “return” to Africa philosophically and culturally and develop a working unity in the framework of Pan-Africanism.