I have come to appreciate your insightful writings. My question follows.
Can we birth a nation, seriously? A nation within a nation! The UNITED STATES OF AFRICA. For African people at home and abroad to unite and thrive within!
Your thoughts, please.
Before I attempt to answer your question, let me first thank you for issuing the initial question in a new feature on Manhood, Race & Culture titled, Ask Dr. Jones. I hope that you will regularly issue questions that are as interesting as this initial query.
Let me first say that this question regarding ‘A Nation within a Nation, (but without a Nation)’ is slightly unclear as I am not certain if you are asking about the development of The United States of Africa on the Continent of Africa for all persons of African descent or the creation of a similar entity on the North American continent among African-Americans.
Since I am uncertain regarding which direction your query is aimed, I will answer your question both ways.
As for the creation of a United States of Africa on the African continent, a move which would be the ultimate dream of Pan-Africanist on the continent as well as those strewn throughout the Diaspora, I do believe that it is possible in the sense of anything being possible; however, I do not think that it is very likely that a United States of Africa will ever be formed.
My rationale regarding the formation of a United States of Africa being unlikely flows out of the historical reality that Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of post-colonial Ghana, attempted such a feat with the Organization of African Unity. Nkrumah discovered what I think would be the result of a similar initiative today, that being, African leaders are unwilling to give one inch in regards to the administration of their lands for a host of reason, not the least of which are the after-effects of an all too common colonial education that to this day serves as a deterrent to unity within specific nation’s let alone across the entire continent.
Now on to your second question regarding the formation of “A Nation within a Nation, but Without a Nation” on the North American continent among African-Americans.
There is little doubt that this is one of the most frequent solutions provided by Black Nationalists seeking to ameliorate the myriad, often interlocking, issues and maladies that have historically afflicted African-Americans.
In fact, there are many historical precedents throughout our storied history that highlight not only the possibility, but also the operation of African-American communities that were ‘a nation, within a nation, but without a nation in its purest sense.’ The most notable of such endeavors is ‘Black Wall Street’ in Greenwood, Oklahoma. So we know that it can be done, now the question becomes is it feasible in the 21st Century to expect a repeat of such an impressive feat.
I once again believe that it is possible, however, not likely when one considers that the African-American community has failed to replicate the successful strategies of other racial/ethnic groups (political solidarity and economic collectivism) that have not only achieved this feat but also been able to maintain it over decades. We have quite simply not been very good stewards and failed to capitalize upon opportunities to improve our collective plight.
Dr. James Thomas Jones III
© Manhood, Race, and Culture, 2016