Special Interview with Dr. W.E.B. DuBois about President Obama’s Legacy, President Trump’s Victory and the African Liberation Struggle in the 21st Century.
Sisters and Brothers welcome to the first episode of Ancestral Connections our goal is to channel the energy and wisdom of the greatest thinkers, servants, and freedom fighters our frontline struggle has produced. Because Mother Africa’s children at home and abroad are deeply embroiled in the struggle for total liberation and human dignity, one invaluable weapon that will ensure victory is the reclamation of our history and culture. This ensures Africans everywhere not only will have exposure to a narrative of their collective experience with genuine resistance as its cornerstone, but an ideological foundation that makes us one with the African fighting spirit. From the moment we decide paying tribute and homage to our bravest fighters that frontline struggle has produced is not enough, our former colonizers and enslavers are put on notice that those amongst our ranks who are involved in the work these fearless warriors left behind, can invoke their energy and wisdom when we are seeking clarity to overcome a state of confusion. As the first US President of African ancestry Barack Obama prepares to exit the White House, when he was replaced by the multi billionaire, corporate mogul and political novice Donald Trump, Due to historical obligation making a connection with the Pan African giant and human rights champion Dr. W.E.B. DuBois was necessary to discuss these chain of events.
Dr. DuBois having the opportunity to interview you is the ultimate honor. As you have watched Barack Obama’s Presidency from the African ancestry world, how would you describe the last eight years not only for so-called African Americans but Africans the world over?
Please remember my brother I was born five years after the Emancipation Proclamation and made my transition from Ghana the land of my dear Comrade and Brother Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah the night before the March on Washington in August of 1963. My wife Shirley and I renounced our US citizenship once we landed on African soil, which was extremely liberating especially since the US Government took it upon themselves to confiscate my passport foe eight years, something I didn’t anticipate having to deal with at the tender age of 83. However I was in good company they came after my brother and comrade for life Paul Robeson, because of our work with the Council on African Affairs the 5th Pan African Congress and our ties to the Soviet Union and China. Forgive me I just thought some backdrop and context was vital. President Obama’s victory was exactly 60 years after I left the NAACP because I refused to endorse the Presidential bid of Harry S. Truman who was FDR’s Vice President and was sworn in immediately after his death in 1945. I opted to support Henry Wallace which infuriated the leadership of the NAACP which was quite interesting because a poll in the office showed 70 percent of the staff also supported him. This cycle began for me in 1912 when I threw the weight of the Crisis magazine behind Woodrow Wilson right around this time the Bull Moose campaign was in full swing. When Joel Spingarn who was the NAACP’s chairman of the board from 1913 to 1919 and the Treasurer from 1919 to 1930 was told by Theodore Roosevelt personally that he should be careful of that man DuBois who in his humble opinion was a dangerous person. Our people who could went to the polls 500,000 to be exact and voted for Woodrow Wilson, during his tenure as the president of Princeton University did not have the conscience to desegregate this prestigious Ivy League institution and allowed DW Griffith’s Birth of a Nation a film that glorified the tradition of the Ku Klux Klan to be shown the White House. I wrote President Wilson a letter in 1913 that captured my position on our voting power, at that point in my life. By October 20th 1956 the Nation published my analysis on the vote entitled Why I Won’t Vote I said “I shall not go to the polls I have not registered for I believe that democracy has so far disappeared in the United States that “no two evils exist”. There is but one evil party with two names and it will be elected despite all I can do or say”. When it comes to writing I have been reduced to the Souls of Black Folk almost identical to the manner Dr. King is reduced to his I Have A Dream speech and Dr. Carter G. Woodson is reduced to the Miseducation of the Negro, my reason for bringing that up is to refer our people to my book Black Reconstruction published in 1935. For me we must be honest with ourselves for future generations of Africans yet to be born, let us look in the eyes and souls of each and every one of us who voted for him in 2008 and 2012 and ask them if President Obama was a Republican would they still have voted for him? The truth is President Obama was a Democrat who coincidentally happen to be of African ancestry on his Father’s side, therefore it was his party affiliation not his cultural makeup that made our people feel they were historically obligated to vote for him, his cultural make up was the icing on the cake. What I found most disturbing was his statement during the 2004 Democratic National Convention that only in the United States is his story possible, which means Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ahmed Seku Ture of Guinee, Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Modibo Keita of Mali and last but not least Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya the birthplace of President Obama’s father to name a few are just figments of our imagination and never presided over African nations where the colonial power structure was dismantled. As we continue to languish in the Western Hemisphere let us remember that the indigenous people who have also endured colonialism take pride in celebrating the Presidency of Evo Morales in Bolivia who came to power in 2006. Only those of us who have become accustomed to beginning our history as property of our enslavers and colonizers would feel comfortable digesting and sharing this narrative on the African experience. President Obama’s eight years in office represented maintenance under the guise of change which is all we have to look forward to until we decide to fight for fundamental change in every respect.
Dr. DuBois do you feel during President Obama’s tenure in the White House made so-called African Americans feel obligated to become apologists for US Imperialism?
Dr. DuBois: President Obama’s tenure in the White House is analogous to gambling in casinos after the 2000 US Presidential elections between Bush and Gore and 2004 Presidential elections between Bush and Kerry, our people collectively felt the way I felt in 1956. It was very strategic to make President Obama keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 when he was a virtually unknown Senatorial candidate, which is rather unconventional but was an illustration of how desperate the Democrats are to retain the services of the Civil Rights organizations, Churches who have propagated the notion for over 100 years that our salvation lies in the Democratic Party.
No one helped craft this narrative more than me going back to the talented tenth concept, however when I shared this with the world it was for the purpose of ensuring that it on a mass level our teachers, lawyers, architects, doctors etc recognize they owe their talents to our people. With that being said the very foundation of Capitalism is promoting the individual over the collective, therefore President Obama will always be celebrated in our community as the highest level of individual achievement since or ancestors arrived throughout the Western hemisphere in chains. The problem with that for US Imperialism is they have always gone beyond the call of duty to keep us politically ignorant, apathetic, and disenfranchised, the slavemaster was more comfortable with you joining Harriet Tubman on the Underground Railroad instead of learning how to read and write on your own, which would have resulted in a bullet to the head. The only reason we were taught the modified version of English was so we could understand the instructions to pick cotton and tobacco from sun up to sun down. If you embrace the geographical definition of America which is the Western Hemisphere this includes cutting sugar cane in Cuba Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The reason I expressed my displeasure with President Obama’s comments during his speech at the 2004 DNC is I want our people to make a clear distinction between his Presidency and those of Nkrumah, Ture, Lumumba, Nyerere, Keita, Kenyatta. All those gentlemen were products of our people’s heroic battle against European Colonialism and Imperialism, where on the other hand President Obama is a beneficiary of our struggle. There is a fundamental difference between liberating a nation and winning an election where the oppressive system remains absolutely in place. President Obama’s victory was on the heels of 9-11 and the introduction of US Homeland Security which historically speaking is nothing but the resurrection of the McCarthy era, where Government uses fear to instill fear in its citizens and manipulates them into believing infringing on their civil liberties, privacy and human rights is for their own good. Because of US political culture every US President is obligated to pay homage to the US military which predictably ends with a statement declaring them the best on the entire planet.
A Democrat named Wilson got the country involved in World War 1, followed by FDR marching the troops, right into World War 2 and a Democrat named Truman who officially desegregated the US Armed Forces which was a goal of the NAACP from its inception. This same Truman launches the CIA and gives the Zionist State of Israel its official of approval to function.
When President Obama in partnership with the NATO alliance bombed Libya for more than half a year it proved to his Republican counterparts, he was true to the tradition of US Imperialist banner that symbolizes how the United States prefers to deal with any head of state in Africa Asia the Caribbean or who opposes their quest for global domination. This agenda seeks a harmonious balance between first policing states and cities inside US borders where people turn to blue collar crime due to abject poverty, the next step is policing the world which includes raping and plundering the earth. Because of our cultural historical and physical disconnect from the African continent, we sat in silence while the 1st President of African ancestry dropped bombs on an African nation, when we broke silence we congratulated President Obama on a job well done. It was rather devious to bomb a North African nation which due to a predominantly Arab populace, is part of the Imperialist narrative that peddles the falsehood that North Africa is not even part of Africa. President Obama finished the job President Reagan started when he bombed Libya in 1986, let us remember the very last line of Lift Every Voice and Sing True to our God True to our Native Land.
Dr. DuBois what role do you think African Governments who are predominantly neo colonialist today played helping glorify President Obama’s image at home?
I once said “ For today Africa stands on new feet, with new eyesight, with new brains and asks Where am I and why? The Western sirens answer: Britain weedles; France cajoles; while America, my America, where my ancestors and descendants for eight generations have lived and toiled; America loudest of all, yells and promises freedom. If Africa allows African investment! Beware Africa, America bargains for your soul. America would have you believe that they freed your grandchildren; that Afro-Americans are full American citizens, treated like equals, paid fair wages as workers, promoted for desert and free to learn and travel across the world. This is not true. Some near freedom; some approach equality with Whites; some have achieved education; but the price for this this has been too often slavery of mind, distortion of truth and oppression of our own people.
About 48 hours before the 2008 elections a young lady named Jendayi Frazier who was under the Bush administration the Assistant Secretary for African Affairs met with all the African Ambassadors in Washington DC and let the cat out of the bag that African countries should not expect a significant shift when President Obama began his Presidency.
What the average US citizen almost completely overlooks and ignores is Cabinet positions, which never made sense because not only do these individuals formulate and implement policy, but they are handpicked and selected by the Presidents personally.
When this process begins I am always watching who will be the US Secretary of States and the Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, It would be a good idea for educators in our community at all levels of schooling to teach this history to our young people. This way if they aspire to become President they understand bombing Africa and stealing their natural resources is historically speaking part of the job description. On the Domestic front this also means when Police terrorize our children, beg us to be patient because justice will eventually take its course and should arrive right around the same time as the return of Jesus Christ, in the meantime you can pacify us with a good speech identical to the manner Preachers give those memorable sermons every Sunday.
President Obama’s National Security Adviser who also during his tenure was the US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, Sister Susan just like the President is of African ancestry She was President Obama’s adviser during his campaign. Sister Susan was President Clinton’s Assistant Secretary of African Affairs during his second term, during this period She drew up a plan to reinvade the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for the purpose of reestablishing those who were loyal to Mobutu Sese Seko the godfather of military neo-colonialism who assisted the CIA in sending the great Patrice Lumumba to an early grave. Thanks to the Governments of Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola this diabolical plan was not able to prevail. Sister Susan believes in return for Humanitarian aid to the African Continent, the United States should be able to set up military installations all over Africa called US AFRICOM which is headquartered at the Kelley Barracks at Stuttgart, Germany. This program began one month before President Obama won his first election, Howard University has a program that is run through the Ralph Bunche International Affairs Center that was developed by US Congressman Charles Rangel to send our youth to the US State Department to be trained as diplomats. They can send so-called African Americans to manipulate Africans into believing mortgaging the future of our Mother continent is in our best interest. I can’t help but think of when Nkrumah came to the US and the Hershey family wanted him to come and see their plant in Pennsylvania, because they couldn’t wait to get their hands on Ghana’s Cocoa, Nkrumah was then passed off to the New York Cocoa Board of trade who threw him a reception at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. For the record Nkrumah’s classmate at Lincoln University Ambassador Franklin Williams was the US Ambassador to Ghana when he was overthrown. A few years ago there was a US-Africa Business Summit in Washington that excluded Zimbabwe, Eritrea and the Sudan, President Obama didn’t meet with any of the African heads of states one on one, the justification was there were too many. President Obama could have held a joint meeting with the chairs of Regional bodies like SADC,COMESA,NEPAD and ECOWAS, I am quite sure they would have even agreed to a joint meeting. Do you think President Obama could have gotten away with hosting a US-EU summit without meeting with any EU head of state? Despite this disrespect President Obama came to Ethiopia at the African Union the following year and opened his speech by saying he was a proud American whose Father was an African, even though he made a clear distinction with the US flag in the background these neo-colonialist leaders knew that was their que to cheer wildly. As long as African leadership is subservient to our former colonizers and enslavers, this is exactly what we have to look forward to.
Dr. DuBois Since the beginning of the new millennium African-Asian relations have skyrocketed much to the dismay of the US and European Union, yet so-called African Americans are accusing China of attempting to colonize the African continent and exploiting our economic vulnerability. Could you please respond?
In Peking my 91st birthday was celebrated on a national level and was given an opportunity to make a broadcast to the world I made for the following remarks I speak with no authority; no assumption age nor rank; I hold no position, I have no wealth. One thing alone I own and that is my own soul. Ownership of that I have while in my own country for near a century I have been nothing a “nigger”. On this basis and this alone I dare speak, I dare advise. China after long centuries has arisen to her feet and leapt forward. Africa arise and stand straight, speak and think! Act! Turn from the west and your slavery and humiliation for the last 500 years and face the rising sun. My feet first touched China in 1936 Chinese laborers were paid less than 25 cents a day, I remember watching an English boy that looked to be around 4 years old order three Chinese children out of his way, but it was abundantly clear that revolutionary change was coming. I was invited by the US supported University of Shanghai who arranged a luncheon with the Chinese Banker’s Club. We were joined by the Secretary General of the Bank of China, the general manager of the China Publishing Company, the director of the Chinese Schools for Shanghai, and the executive secretary of the China Institute of International Relations. Around this time the long march from Kiangsi to Yenan led by Mao Tse Tung and Chu The. When I returned to China in 1959 it was to honor an invitation to visit and lecture in 1956, my passport stated it was not good for travel to China. This meant if I went to China I could not claim on the US for protection, the State Department had no legal right to forbid me to visit China. Like I said when reflecting on this experience in my Autobiography the US could give me no less protection in China than in Mississippi. My invitation had to be renewed by the cultural Minister Kuo Mo-jo and by Madame Soong Ching-ling. I traveled 5,000 miles, by railway, boat, plane and auto I saw all the great cities: Peking, Shanghai, Hankow, and its sisters; Canyon, Chungking, Chengtu, Junming and Nanking. I spent four hours with Mao TseTung and dined with Prime Minister Chou En-Lai on two occasions. What I saw was a people who overcame everything from Opium, Racism and Ruthless Exploitation in order to serve as a model for others regardless of their cultural makeup, who were confronted with similar political economic and cultural challenges that resurrection in every respect was not a fantasy or pipedream.
The pessimistic Sisters and Brothers who make this claim either suffer from a severe case of amnesia or are simply historically deprived of the truth. They must have forgotten it was China who built the railroads in Tanzania, China also provided the Zimbabwean guerillas arms during their 14 year war with British/Rhodesian guerillas that led to their independence on April 18th 1980. The Chinese also played a major role in helping the Zimbabwean guerillas gain a different ideological appreciation, for waging a protracted armed struggle which is inextricably linked to the war for the hearts and minds of your people. Before going to the Nanking Academy in China, the Zimbabweans were trained by the Russians and were functioning from the understanding that the outcome of a war was determined by who had the superior weaponry. The Chinese were diametrically opposed to that point of view, they felt the will of the people was the ultimate determining factor and guerillas should be as comfortable with the people as fish were in the water. I am sure if these pessimists amongst our people were alive when China gave my birthday national notice, all of them would have echoed the propaganda of Washington that the old man is a pawn for Communism. Since then China was emerged to be a super power thanks to an Industrial revolution which has resulted in the US having a debt to China is presently 1.0493 trillion dollars, according to the magazine the wicked and powerful treat like scripture Fortune these are some of the companies owned outright by China are as follows Starwood Hotels, Smithfield Foods, Ingram Micro, General Electric Appliance Business, Terex Corp, Legendary Entertainment Group, Motorola Mobility and AMC Entertainment Holdings. I also read that in 2014 the Anbang Insurance Group bought the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan for 1.95 billion dollars, this is the same hotel the biggest Mafia gangster Charlie “Lucky” Luciano used to lay his head. The Clinton administration launched the African Growth and Opportunity Act in May of 2000 exactly seven years after the Corporate Council of Africa was created which is responsible for 85% of the US private sector investments in Africa representing more than 180 companies. A bond not only between China and Africa but Asian nations like Vietnam who is the fastest growing economy in the world threatens this agenda. China has built 20 Agricultural Demonstration and Training Centers in Africa seven in Southern Africa where according to the newsletter SADC today 67% of the people depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Before we allow ourselves to be used as extended mouthpieces of the Democrats and Republicans let us study and research too much is at stake.
OE: Dr. DuBois that leads into the next question last year was the 50th anniversary of the overthrow of Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah and the Convention Peoples Party who called you the Father of modern day Pan Africanism. Please discuss your relationship with the Osagyefo and what we should remember bout him first and foremost.
Dr. DuBois: Thank you for asking me why such a special figure in our illustrious history is so special to me on a personal level, let us remember Nkrumah was born in 1909 the same year I helped start the NAACP, wrote a biography on John Brown and called for Encyclopedia Africana, a project the enemies of project never wanted to see get off the ground. After many years had passed I reached the conclusion that death would deprive me the opportunity of launching this much needed project, this was extremely difficult for me to accept, the next thing you know Nkrumah reaches out and tells me if I relocate to Ghana the resources of his government would be at my disposal to begin this project which he read about while living in the United States. That very gesture by Nkrumah who I loved like a son helped me reflect the courage and wisdom of one Dr. Carter G. Woodson who along with J.A. Rogers were the finest historians we as a people have ever produced. Dr. Woodson who was the 2nd African to get a PHD from Harvard after me, was equally dedicated to the Encyclopedia Africana project, however we differed in tactic how it should come to fruition, Dr. Woodson felt in addition to the responsibility of researching, archiving and chronicling this project those external to our culture reality and experience should be allowed to finance our efforts. Dr. Woodson transitioned 13 years before I did at the age of 75 in 1950 seven years before Nkrumah and the Convention Peoples Party liberated Ghana from British Colonialism, when Nkrumah first made this humble and revolutionary gesture, the very first person I through about was the great historian and visionary Carter G. Woodson who the annals of history proved was right and exact. Nkrumah is the bridge between Marcus Garvey and myself, Dr. King and Malcolm X and the Black Power movements in the US and Britain. Nkrumah calls this old man the father of Pan Africanism a distinction I don’t feel I truly deserve Henry Sylvester Williams who organized the first Pan African Conference is more worthy. Nkrumah goes on to say “Of all the literature I studied, the book that did more than any other to fire my enthusiasm was Philosophies and Opinions of Marcus Garvey”. How ironic is this? I remember in my final years in Ghana my final physician was the Puerto Rican Revolutionary Ana Livia Cordero who also ran a Women’s Health Clinic and was affiliated with the National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Accra. Her husband was the actor playwright and journalist Julian Mayfield who Nkrumah gave the responsibility of running a magazine called the African Review, who along with the historian John Henrik Clarke and Mae Mallory sent arms to Robert Williams who reached the conclusion the fascist and repressive measure of the Klan and White Supremacists in Monroe, North Carolina should be dealt with like John Brown confronted our enemies in Harper’s Ferry. It was none other than Thurgood Marshall who conspired with Walter White to force me out of the NAACP that provided the FBI office in New York a dossier on Robert Williams. Julian Mayfield lived a few doors away and would take me on drives throughout the country side in Ghana, once he got comfortable he asked several questions about many great women and men. I found myself saying they failed to write enough leaving behind for future generations what they did on our behalf collectively, for this reason if Marcus Garvey’s writing pushed Nkrumah to become the revolutionary fighter he was than we should shower him with even more praise than the work he did through the Universal Negro Improvement Association/African Communities League. This was identical to how Booker T. Washington’s autobiography Up From Slavery inspired Marcus Garvey. For me to say Marcus Garvey and I didn’t see eye to eye would be a gross understatement, however if both of us influenced the man who launched the first might blow against Africa’s colonizers and enslavers that led to their demise, we should both be humbled and proud. The fact that Nkrumah was a prolific writer himself who still has published more books than any other African head of state should not be glossed over,I hope Ghanians and Africans the world over are reading studying and chairing these books. They are too valuable to ignore. Another point to mention is when the Convention Peoples Party was organizing the positive action campaign, Nkrumah announced the opening of a University in Ghana the initial reaction was this was overly ambitious and not practical. Nkrumah used this opportunity to teach his fellow Ghanians about how Booker T. Washington built Tuskegee University in Alabama. Finally I got to know Nkrumah in Manchester, England as he and George Padmore were extremely instrumental in doing the organizational legwork on the ground for the 5th Pan African Congress, which provided me the chance to work with Marcus Garvey’s first and second wives Amy Ashwood and Amy Jacques Garvey. Amy Ashwood Garvey was also part of the Council of African Affairs with Paul Robeson and I, which I became the Vice Chairman once I left the NAACP for the final time. The fact I worked with Marcus Garvey’s wives on the 5th Pan African Congress in the country where Garvey transitioned only 5 years before, should serve as a warning to those who go beyond the call of duty to present us as eternal enemies. This is what Nkrumah means to our history.
O.E.: Dr. DuBois you mentioned earlier that a permanent staple of US Political Culture is Militarism rooted in greed and obsession with the world’s human and material resources This also driven by racism and happens regardless of whether a Democrat or Republican Presides in the White House. Please discuss how this impacts on our people inside US borders and all over the world.
Dr. DuBois: Every so-called African American who teaches history social studies at all levels of education must hammer the point home that the Democrats were at the helm of power during World War I and II, Korea and Vietnam. A failure to point his out is equivalent of propagating the notion that Abraham Lincoln is the liberator of our ancestors. Those who still aspect that narrative as gospel should go out and purchase my book Black Reconstruction in America: An Essay Toward a History Of The Part Which Black Folk Played in the Attempt to Reconstruct Democracy in America that was published in 1935.
This is important not only because of so-called African Americans voting pattern since President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, in more recent years when Democrats occupy the White House and Washington displays military aggression our organizations will turn a deaf ear. The NAACP condemned King for following the courageous example of SNCC because they felt it wasn’t proper for the Civil Rights Struggle to be linked to the Vietnam War. The young people in SNCC asked Dr. King if he felt we should practice non-violence in Mississippi, Alabama the Carolinas, Maryland and Virginia what about non- violence in Hanoi? One aspect that old age and experience provides us is the ability to reflect on not only our mistakes but ideological shifts you can make simply to long life . During World War I the NAACP was very committed to challenging the US Army for refusing to accept Africans who wanted to volunteer to fight for this country with the exception being the regiments previously established for our people. Because of an increase in lynching which was magnified by the burning of Lation Scott at the stake in Tennessee that tickled the fancy of Senator James K. Vardaman who was affectionately called by those who embraced Mississippi’s political culture the Great White Chief who stated “If it is necessary every negro in the state be lynched; it will be done to maintain white supremacy. Senator Vardaman felt it was the patriotic thing to do was to deny Africans access to the military.
Because our never ending commitment to integration and desegregation the NAACP protested to Washington insisting Africans be drafted just like other citizens, the concession was we be drafted but trained in “separate” units and secondly as I stated before ambiguously permitted to be drafted for labor. There was also an existing sentiment that we could not be trusted with guns. We were caught between a rock and a hard place or a Jim Crow draft. In 1918 the NAACP asked me to go to Europe and investigate the treatment of our soldiers. This work resulted in the US government commissioning 700 African soldiers, I got the opportunity to interview Nelson Baker the US Secretary of War believe it or not I was even offered a captaincy in the Intelligence Service. I called myself being patriotic telling our people “Forget your grievances for the moment and stand by your country”.
That propaganda angle actually lays the foundation for Jackie Robinson to go before the House of Un American Activities Committee and testify against Paul Robeson come out, against Muhammad Ali for refusing to drafted in the War on Vietnam.
By the time 1950 rolls around I was part of a group of 60 individuals who created the Peace Information Center these individuals attended the World Congress of the Defenders of Peace in Paris in 1950. We created Peacegrams reprinted and circulated the ”Stockholm Appeal” which called for the atomic bomb to be demolished. We got 2,500,000 signatures in the USA globally a half a billion people signed this historical document. The US Secretary of State called the Stockholm Appeal, a propaganda trick in the spurious ‘peace offensive of the Soviet Union. I raised a crucial question, If we worked together with the Soviet Union against the menace of Hitler, can we not work with them at a time when faith can save us from utter atomic disaster?
I was informed by Abbott Simon the executive secretary of the International Peace Center that the Department of Justice demanded our registration as “agents of a foreign principal”, this took place at the exact moment that the American labor party asked me to run for US Senator in New York which would have provided an invaluable platform to discuss peace.
On February 8th 1951 a grand jury in Washington indicted the Peace Information Center and its officers for “failure to register as a foreign principal”. What you have to keep in mind I am targeted at the age of 1983, this also put pressure on friends and my previous organizational affiliations. My fraternity which I helped start which at the time had been in existence for 45 years out of 30 chapters only one expressed sympathy and none offered any aid. The NAACP’s board finally passed the following resolution:
“Without passing on the merits of the recent indictment of Dr. DuBois, the board of directors of the NAACP expresses the opinion that this action against one of the great champions of civil rights lends color to the charge that efforts are being made to silence spokesmen for full equality of Negroes. The board also affirms its determination to continue its aggressive fight for full citizenship rights for all Americans”.
An International Committee in Defense of Dr. DuBois and his colleagues was formed The Committee had 200 members 33 Frenchmen, 30 Poles, 12 Beligians, 11 Germans, 7 Englishmen, 6 Italians, 5 Brazilians, 4 each representing Switzerland, the Soviet Union, Hungary and China; one to three each out of Romania, Bulgaria, Iran, Lebanon, Martinique, Holland, Austria: and finally 59 US citizen six were African. Isabelle Blume of Belgium chaired this effort. You had articles published in Austria, India, the Soviet Union,the Shanghai News and Edinburgh Review in Scotland. International bodies sent their support including the International Union of Students, the World Federation of Teachers Unions, the International Federation of Women, the World Federation of Scientific Workers.
I am thinking about the conclusion I reached about my philosophical rift with Booker T. Washington at the time as prominent as we were, neither one of us understood the nature of capitalistic exploitation of labor, and the necessity of a direct attack on the principle of exploitation as the beginning of labor uplift. We cannot plot a course of action for the African world and not welcome a clash of ideas with the US Imperialist warmongers and their propaganda machine. I am so glad I did not go to the grave as an apologist for their trial of war for profit and obsession with the bloodshed of weak and oppressed people the world over.
Dr. DuBois as you watched President Trump and Mrs. Clinton use social media during their campaign from the perspective of someone who pioneered the Crisis magazine and numerous publications and journals in addition to your books, what is missing from our efforts today specifically dealing with acquiring the truth and spreading it to the masses of our people.
Dr. DuBois: The social media now is part of a ruthless tug of war between sincere grass roots organizations and the corporate warmongers who recognize the profit margin and even more importantly the leverage it provides them spreading their narrative to a generation who lack any true historical foundation. When we created the Niagara Movement the precursor to the NAACP I remained optimistic that we could have our own periodicals, I had started in Memphis with the help of two graduates of Atlanta University a small printing shop and we began publishing a paper called the Moon in 1906. The Moon was published until 1907 we then did a miniature magazine called the Horizon until 1910 which was a monthly publication, from there came the Crisis when I accepted the assignment of the NAACP to become the Director of Publications and Research. Regardless of our outlet of choice let us remain true to our convictions and take a no holds barred approach to truth and historical accuracy. I remember the audacious manner Oswald Villard who at the time was Chairman of the NAACP’s board approached me and suggested I publish a list of crimes in our community right next to the monthly lynchings, which would imply petty blue collar crime was the equivalent to lynching. When I saw the football player for the Atlanta Falcons Michael Vick go to federal prison in Ft Leavenworth, Kansas for fighting pitbull dogs, yet in the chapter The Rape of Africa from my book The World and Africa I chronicled how between 1788-1884 Britain stole 100 tons of Ivory from Africa each year. You now have me thinking about the showdown with Eleanor Roosevelt portrayed by so many as the real life statue of liberty. Mrs. Roosevelt is recognized as one of the main architects of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, she was also on the board of the NAACP, in 1947 We spearheaded a protest document to the United Nations entitled An Appeal To The World A Statement of Denial of Human Rights to minorities in the case of citizens of Negro Descent in the USA and an appeal to the UN for redress. Mrs. Roosevelt though on our board refused to submit the petition because she feared it would harm the reputation of the United States on the world stage. I would like to see our people focus on my clash with Mrs. Roosevelt for a change instead of harping on difference with Booker T. Washington and Marcus Garvey.
Let me also urge young people go back and study Mr. Garvey’s Appeal to the Soul of White America 1923 this ensures they recognize the process that paved the way for Malcolm X when he started the OAAU to plot the same identical course in 1964, the only difference was Africa had independent nations with leaders who were in a position to speak out against the cycle that brought their kith and kin to foreign shores to be reduced to human chattel. Mr. Garvey and all those who worked day and night to publish the Negro World deserve much praise, the blue print comes from Frederick Douglass and Martin Delany getting the North Star up and running at an important moment in our efforts to go forward. Our efforts to organize workers got a boost from A Phillip Randolph and the Messenger Newspaper. Nkrumah established the Ghana News Agency and established the Ghanaian Times. We know the US Constitution rocks you to sleep by propagating the notion you have freedom of the press, those who are suspicious then learn about the Broadcasting Board of Governors(BBG) and learn once again the Government lies right to your face every chance it gets.
The BBG is under the supervision of the Inspector General of the State Department and the US Foreign Service, BBG is headed by a bi-partisan with nine board members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the US Senate with the 9th member ex-officio is none other than the US Secretary of State. They promote the illusion of balance by stating by law no more than 4 members can belong to same political party. Their propaganda pet projects include the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Y Television Marti, Radio Free Asia, and Middle East Broadcast Networks, this is an octopus who enjoys spreading its tentacles.
For my people struggling inside US borders my place of birth I think it will be appropriate to end this interview by sharing another portion of my remarks from the speech on my 91st birthday in Peking, China directed by African flesh and blood.
“You have been told, my Africa: My Africa in Africa and all your children’s children overseas; you have been told and the telling so beaten into you by rods and whips, that you believe it yourselves, that this is impossible; that mankind can rise only by walking on men; by cheating them and killing them; that only on a doormat of the despised and dying; the dead and rotten can a British Aristocracy, a French Cultural elite, or an American millionaire or Billionaire be nurtured and grown. This is a lie. It is an ancient lie spread by Church and State, spread by priest and historian, and believed in by fools and cowards, as well as by the downtrodden and the children and despair”. President Trump is simply walking in the footsteps of those who came before him only the most dishonest amongst our ranks will try to convince our people otherwise.
O.E. Thank you Dr. DuBois for your time and the work you did on not only our behalf but all humanity. We will continue the work you left behind.
Dr. DuBois: All I ask on behalf of those who came before you is all today’s warriors give our people’s struggle the time it deserves. Thanks for helping reintroduce our work at a moment when the dominant narrative that starts our struggle in the turbulent 60’s, which is no different than starting our history as property of the slave master.
Obi Egbuna Jr is the US Correspondent to the Herald (Zimbabwe’s National Newspaper)
The External Relations Officer to ZICUFA(Zimbabwe Cuba Friendship Association)
The Co- Founder of Mass Emphasis Children’s History and Theater Company
His email is firstname.lastname@example.org