Pan-African Congress


Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere convened the last Pan-African Congress June 17–19, 1974, in Dar es Salaam Commonly known as the Six PAC this was the first congress held in Africa Nyerere considered this meeting coming after national liberation had spread throughout Africa and the Caribbean as an opportunity to discuss the “means, and further, the progress, of opposition to racialism, colonialism, oppression and exploitation everywhere and placing these in “the context of a worldwide movement for human equality and national self-determination” Alluding to the new challenges presented by independence Nyerere asked those present to recognize that “an end to colonialism is not an end to the oppression of man,” and to continue working “against oppression by the leaders of those countries which have recently attained freedom whether this is directed against other black men and women or against people of different races”Speeches and debates at the Six PAC focused on race and class and the African Diaspora but the proceedings were punctuated by heated disagreements among delegates from the United States and the Caribbean. Despite the contentiousness the resolution adopted at the Six PAC reflected the efforts of delegates to envision the tasks of a new struggle and a new liberated future This resolution focused on neo-colonialism as the new threat to African diasporic independence and on the continued oppression of Africa; took up the struggle against apartheid in South Africa; class differences and exploitation in Africa; and the Palestinian liberation movement and The Six PAC held several sessions on the oppression and exploitation of women the resolution itself calling for the democratization and “transformat[ion] of gender relations on the continent and in the diaspora” Coming over a half-century after the first Pan-African Congress in Paris, and some eighty-odd years after the Chicago Conference on Africa, the Six PAC showed the imaginative daring that drew those first delegates to London in 1900 and inspired Du Bois to work so diligently on the congresses from 1919 to 1927 In its closing lines the resolution talked of the Six PAC delegates daring “to dream the same dream that has always filled the villages, ghettos, townships and slave quarters with hope, that has always animated the spirit of resistance” It resonated with the optimism of those earlier meetings, if it betrayed in a far more public way the limits of that illusive ideal to racial unity A struggle against new forms of exploration and oppression awaited the African Diaspora and the resolution concluded with a fitting echo of Du Bois 

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