Arts & Culture

African History Reflection Day 2020: Interrogating Language of Identity

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm | 31 August 2020
Online | £0 - £5.98

History consultant and TAOBQ (The African or Black Question) co-ordinator Kwaku will lead this African History Reflection Day (AHRD) discussion on identity politics and language, using the backdrop from the first pan-African conference, through to the founding of the UNIA-ACL, its first international convention from which the seeds for AHRD were sown, to today’s Black Lives Matter movement, to underscore his points.

Here’s some food for thought to get you thinking on the issues, and the importance of language and terminologies when dealing with either identity politics or history:

  • African, Black, or People of Colour?
  • African Origin, African Heritage, or African Descent?
  • Afro-Caribbean, African-Caribbean, or Caribbean?
  • African British or British African?
  • Black History, Africana Studies or African History?
  • BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) or AAME (African, Asian, Minority Ethnic)?
  • Racism, Afriphobia, or Anti-Black Racism?
  • Caribbean or West Indian?
  • Black History Month or African History Month?
  • Slave or Enslaved?
  • Slavery or Chattel Enslavement?
  • Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade or Trans-Atlantic Trafficking of Enslaved Africans?
  • Slavery Memorial Day, International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, or International Day of African Resistance Against Enslavement
  • #BlackLivesMatter or #AfricanLivesMatter ?

The body that organised the 1900 Pan-African Conference was the African Association, which was led mainly by African-Caribbean people.

Marcus Garvey simultaneously set up the UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association) and the ACL (African Communities League) as sister organisations in 1914.

When the likes of John Archer and John Alcindor co-founded the African Progress Union in 1918, it was meant to be “an Association of Africans from various parts of Africa, the West Indies, British Guiana, Honduras and America.”

In America, when they talk about Black, that’s in reference to a person of African heritage. But is the same true in Britain? No.

Should we consider an alternative?

Finally, when Marcus Garvey was asked ‘Are you an African or a Jamaican?’ he replied ‘I will not give up a continent for an island.’

See also TAOBQ (The African Or Black Question) Manifesto 2020+ and The Politics Of Racism, Terminologies And Imagery.

The will be African-centred bespoke mugs on sale. Any purchases made during the event will be post free.

The event is part of marking Marcus Garvey/UNIA-ACL 80:100 and UN’s International Decade For People Of African Descent (IDPAD) initiative.

Register here 


Illustration by: Rob Dobi

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