Symposium Session Reviews

The morning session was summarized by Professor Carolyn Cooper who reiterated the point that we have a solid foundation in Pan Africanism and the teaching and life experiences of philosophers as Garvey and Nkrumah to name a few. There was then the ceremonial cutting of the Bob Marley Birthday cake and conversation amongst the conference participant.

The evening session was opened by Prof Martin who explained that Pan Africanism stands for "the realization that African people no matter where we live in the world, have certain things in common. These are a common racial ancestry from the African continent and a similar historical experience especially in the last 500 years, which has been characterized by major tragedies especially the slave trade and also being subjected to colonialisation and imperialism by a variety of European countries. This applies to both Africans at home and those now in the diaspora. People don't often remember that Africa was only really comprehensively overrun and conquered by Europe after the heyday of the Slave Trade. The slave trade made Europe strong and Africa weak. It was the slave trade that generated super profits on a scale never before encountered in human history and these profits were used to finance what was known as the Industrial Revolution in Europe. It was the Industrial Revolution in Europe which gave Europe a head start over the rest of the world which it has maintained until today."

In the evening session we were joined by Mutabaruka. Mutabaruka gave an excellent presentation on the importance on not allowing the Bob Marley legacy to be watered down and commercialized by the mainstream. He also spoke on the history of Rastafarianism and the importance of maintaining the integrity of Rastafarianism as well as its essential role as a liberation ideology for oppressed Black people all over the world.