Primary Source

Newspaper Report on the Fourth Pan-African Congress Meeting in 1927

"Fourth Pan-African Congress Ends Session and Issues Manifesto," The Monitor, 2 September 1927, Omaha, Nebraska

Annotation

This article comes from The Monitor, a historically African American newspaper published in Omaha, Nebraska. The article offers readers insight into the fourth Pan-African Congress meeting held in 1927 in New York City. According to the article, this meeting comprised of delegates from twenty states,  the West Indies, South America, South Africa, Japan, Germany, the Gold Coast, Nigeria, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, resulted in the publication of a manifesto. This manifesto called for Black people to have a larger presence in government, for “native rights to the land and its natural resources,” “modern education for all children,” “the development of Africa for the Africans and not merely for the profit of the Europeans,” “the re-organization of commerce and industry so as to make the main object of capital and labor the welfare of the many rather than the enrichment of the few,” and “the treatment of civilized men as civilized despite differences of birth race or color.”  The article also notes that members of this Congress argued that the United States should remove its troops for Haiti, criticized white South Africans for settling onto lands occupies by Black South African Natives, and advocated for “the cessation of interference by the United States in Central and South African countries. Connecting the fate of Black Americans to other people of African descent around the world, the Congress further noted that Black Americans should focus on “the international problems of the color line.” Members also expressed support for national independence for Egypt, China, and India thus further demonstrating a critique of colonialism.  Members of the Pan African Congress also declared themselves in favor of Black Americans joining trade unions.   

Transcription

New York.—The Fourth Pan-African Congress, ending its sessions here Wednesday night, published a manifesto in the name of its delegates “from twenty American states, from nearly all the West Indies islands, from Germany, Japan, South America, Sierra Leone, Gold Coast, Nigeria, Liberia and South Africa.” 
The manifesto states the following main desires of Negroes throughout 
the world: 
1. A voice in their own government. 
2. Native rights to the land and its natural resources. 
3. Modern education for all children. 
4. The development of Africa for the Africans and not merely for the profit of Europeans. 
5. The re-organization of commerce and industry so as to make the main object of capital and labor the 
welfare of the many rather than the enriching of the few. 
6. The treatment of civilized men as civilized despite differences of 
birth, race or color. 

 

The manifesto further demands the withdrawal of American armed forces from the black Republic of Haiti and the restoration of self-government there; condemns the attempt of the white South Africans to monopolize the land belonging to the black natives; and after touching on African conditions, says of conditions in America: “We believe that the Negroes of the United States should begin the effective use of their political power and that instead of working for a few minor offices or for merely local favors and concessions, they should vote with their eyes fixed upon the international problems of the color 
line and the national problems which affect the Negro race in the United States.” 
The manifesto urges the entrance of Negroes into trade unions in the country, and says: “We urge the white workers of the world to realize that no program of labor uplift can be successfully carried through in Europe or America so long as colored labor is exploited and enslaved and deprived of all political power.” 
 

On international affairs the Pan-African Congress expresses itself as desiring freedom and national independence in Egypt, China, and India, and the cessation of interference by the United States in Central and South American countries. Two members of the staff of the N. A. A. C. P., Robert Bagnall, Director of Branches, and William Pickens, Field Secretary, served as regular delegates to the Congress. An 
international committee has been chosen to plan the next session of the Congress two years hence. 
Commenting upon the sessions just ended, Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois, founder of the movement, said: “The 
Fourth Congress with its upwards of 200 delegates, was the largest in the series and that it had received 
the largest amount of carefully selected catalogued information concerning the peoples of African de 
scent presented to any such session. The international committee chosen to plan the Fifth Pan-African Congress was also going to work out a permanent international organization, 
said Dr. Du Bois. 

Credits

Library of Congress 

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers 

Link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/00225879/1927-09-02/ed-1/seq-1/ 

How to Cite This Source

"Newspaper Report on the Fourth Pan-African Congress Meeting in 1927," in World History Commons, https://worldhistorycommons.org/newspaper-report-fourth-pan-african-congress-meeting-1927 [accessed October 3, 2022]