Did Pan-Africanism beget Nationalism? Race and Territory in the Discourse on Pan-Africanism

  • EA Ifidon


The paper interrogates the tendency in the discourse on pan-Africanism to consider nationalism (the movement towards statehood in Africa) as a consequence of pan-Africanism, that is, diasporan pan-Africanism, and to discern a continuity and causal connection between diasporan pan-Africanism of the early twentieth century and continental pan-Africanism of the 1950s that resulted in the establishment of the Organization of African Unity. To be valid, such a position must explain how a movement based on race was transformed into another based on territory. The paper contends that there was in fact no such passage as the subsisting principles of the two pan-African movements were in conflict: early nationalism in West Africa, as exemplified by the nationalist politics of Joseph Ephraim Casely Hayford of the Gold Coast, conflicted with American/Caribbean pan-Africanism.

Lagos Historical Review Vol. 8 2008: pp. 113-131

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eISSN: 1596-5031