Not Yet Uhuru: Thirty Years After the Assassination of Thomas Sankara

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Which way forward for Africa and the Caribbean?

Thomas Sankara, Pan-African revolutionary and former President of Burkina Faso from 1983 to 1987 had a vision for the sustained and dignified progress of his country, the "land of the incorruptible."

During his short period of rule in Burkina Faso, the country saw an unprecedented participation of the population towards a collective goal of self-sustained development.

The former Burkina Faso head-of-state gave new hope to millions of voiceless Africans both in Africa and in the Diaspora who were weary of watching a ceaseless parade of self-enriching robber barons who pillage the coffers of their respective states. Sankara is widely recognized and celebrated in Africa and the world over as a champion of fundamental change who fought to liberate Africa from the control of international financial institutions, the deepening poverty, wars and the pillage of the continent's resources.

Addressing an audience in Harlem, Sankara boldly declared that “Black Harlem is my White House.” Unlike most men world-wide, Sankara considered women as comrades-in-arms. Said Sankara: “Her status overturned by private property, banished from her very self, relegated to the role of child raiser and servant, written out of history by philosophy, Aristotle, Pythagoras, and others, and the most entrenched religions, stripped of all worth by mythology, woman shared the lot of a slave, who in slave society was nothing more than a beast of burden with a human face.”

Sankara as a leader was an honest and humble man. His life was the blue print that could bring Burkina Faso out of the grips of neo-colonialism, and ultimately was the reason for his assassination. Sankara believed and promoted a development that focused on taking charge of one’s own destiny, to count on their own forces, and break free from domination.

Thirty years since the assassination of Sankara by counter revolutionary forces that were in collusion with imperial forces, the legacy and vision for a self-sustained Burkina Faso and Africa still live on in the hearts and activism of Africans and other people of good faith.

African nations and peoples both in the continent and the Diaspora continue to face renewed and escalating imperialist threats manifested in corporate globalization: militarization; wars; and, occupation and resource-and-land grabs. These are institutionalized through the neo-liberal blueprint of European Union’s Economic Partnership Accords (EPA) imposed on African and Caribbean countries, and the exploitative CFA currency and Africom.

In confronting these imperialist-driven structural basis of dependencies, it is critically important at this Pan-African anniversary to revisit Sankara’s vision of self-directed, self-reliant development aimed at freeing African peoples from imperialist and colonial bondage.  

In an effort to keep this legacy alive and to commemorate the life and contribution of Sankara, the Toronto chapter of Group for Research and Initiative for the Liberation of Africa (GRILA) in collaboration with partners will be holding an event in his honor on Saturday October 14th, 2017 at 6:30 PM at “A Different Booklist, Cultural Center”, located  777 Bathurst Street, Toronto (Bathurst & Bloor).

The film “Burkina Faso: A Revolution rectified” will be screened, followed by discussion. The evening will feature also a panel focusing on Sankara's vision, lessons to be learned from the revolutionary processes in the 21st century currently underway in Africa and the world and the structural basis of chains still maintaining African and Caribbean countries under domination. Sponsors: A Different Booklist, Diasporic Music.

For information  www.grila.org grilator@gmail.com (647) 607-8164. Donations will be used to support ”Different booklist.”

 

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