African Liberation Day, 2009
Back To The Roots: African Liberation Day, Boston 2009
by Uchenna Ikonne
In 1963, the leaders of thirty-two recently independent African states convened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to form the Organization of African Unity. The date of their meeting—May 25th—would come to be commemorated in various points across Africa and the African diaspora in Europe, Australia and the Americas as African Liberation Day. During the three-day Memorial Day weekend of 2009, for the first time in forty-six years the city Boston was added to the locations where the day is observed.
“Up until now, in the United States it has been celebrated in Washington DC and New York City,” explained Nkrumah Sebogo, the self-styled “general” of the Boston chapter of the All-African Peoples Revolutionary Party, who organized the event. “We are having a long weekend with activities, art and culture, food, literature, lectures and cultural music.”
The art and culture component of the celebration was coordinated by Sister Lugie, owner of Back to the Roots, a cultural boutique located at Grove Hall in Dorchester where the A-APRP often holds meetings.
The All-African Peoples Revolutionary Party was founded in 1968 by Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana, with the goal of promoting the liberation of African countries from colonial powers, and the dissemination of socialist ideals. Sebogo, who was born in Ghana and brought by Stokely Carmichael of the Black Panthers to represent the party in Boston, hopes that the African Liberation Day festivities will draw more attention and converts to the party’s political objectives.
“We try to recruit among the African intellectuals in America. The number is not as we want, but we can’t give up. We still continue; that’s why we call it a struggle.”