Prof. Hakim Adi (Ph.D. SOAS, London University) is the author of West Africans in Britain 1900-1960: Nationalism, Pan-Africanism and Communism (London, 1998); joint author (with M. Sherwood) of The 1945 Manchester Pan-African Congress Revisited (London, 1995) and Pan-African History: Political Figures from Africa and the Diaspora since 1787(London, 2003). He has written widely on Pan-Africanism and the modern political history of Africa and the African Diaspora, especially on Africans in Britain. He has also written three history books for children. He is currently working on a film documentary on the West African Students’ Union www.wasuproject.org.uk. His latest book Pan-Africanism and Communism: The Communist International, Africa and the Diaspora, 1919-1939 was published by Africa World Press in 2013. In 2014 his children’s book, The History of the African and Caribbean Communities in Britain, was re-published for the third time.
Selim Nadi: How would you define Pan-Africanism?
Hakim Adi: Pan-Africanism can be considered both an ideology and a movement that grew out of the common struggles of those of African descent both in Africa and in the African diaspora against enslavement, colonial rule and the accompanying anti-African racism and various forms of Eurocentrism. The phrases Pan-African and Pan-Africanism did not emerge until the late nineteenth and early twentieth century but an embryonic form Pan-Africanism was in evidence in the eighteenth century with such abolitionist organisations as the British-based Sons of Africa, led by former enslaved Africans such as Olaudah Equiano and Ottobah Cugoano, which recognised the needs to Africans to unite together for common aims.