Sullivan Summit: African Citizenship for the Black diaspora

Africans mull citizenship for slave kin

By DULUE MBACHU, Associated Press WriterThu Jul 20, 6:20 PM ET

African and black American leaders meeting this week debated an unusual proposal to spur investment and interest in the continent - securing African citizenship for American descendants of Africans taken away as slaves.

PhotoThe idea came out of a summit bringing African governments and the U.S. private sector together in search of partnerships to end Africa's poverty. Presidents from 12 African countries attended the four-day conference, along with former U.S. President Bill Clinton and World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz.

"Just as the people of different races in America have a place they call home, I believe we should have a place we call our ancestral home," said Hope Masters, daughter of the U.S. civil rights campaigner for whom the Leon Sullivan Summit is named.

Anthony Archer, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based lawyer, is heading a committee to consider how citizenship could be awarded.

"Dual citizenship will start the process of mutual and spiritual reconciliation of differences between the two continents that came as a result of slavery," he said. "If we can feel like we really belong, we'll feel more joyful about participating."

Key challenges include determining the ancestral homelands of black Americans, Masters said. The upheaval of the slave trade left many without knowledge of their place of origin.

PhotoNigerian dancers perform at the Leon Sullivan Summit in Abuja, Nigeria Wednesday, July 19, 2006.

One possibility is granting continent-wide citizenship to slave descendants through the African Union, Archer said. Another is to work for citizenship of blocs of countries through regional organizations. It was unclear what rights would be granted under those scenarios.

A third proposal would have countries grant citizenship independently to those who seek it.

Masters said the proposal will be further developed before the next summit in 2008. She said African leaders support the concept, noting that Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has urged black Americans "to see Africa as your home."

Among the Americans attending the Sullivan meeting in Abuja were executives from companies including Chevron Corp., Coca-Cola Co., General Motors Corp., and DaimlerChrysler AG.



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Re: .Sullivan Summit: African Citizenship for the Black diaspora
Tola Odejayi posted on 07-21-2006, 10:30:29 AM
QUOTE:
If this proposal sees light of day, it will be one of the most significant event to happen to the black race in 400 years. This could be the start of reversal of fortunes for the black race. Hope it happens.

Don't hold your breath. Come on - do you think that if the idea of African-Americans and Africans working together was viewed as desirable and workable by both groups, they wouldn't be working together already? If I was an African-American who wanted to work with Africans, would I be waiting and hoping for an announcement like this to start any action? I think it is more likely that I would already have begun to explore partnerships with Africans whether or not I was made a citizen of an African country.

Great achievements never begin with conventioneers making grand pronouncements. They usually begin with passionate people actually doing something to make their passion a reality.
.Sullivan Summit: African Citizenship for the Black diaspora
Dulue Mbachu, Associated Press posted on 07-21-2006, 10:56:56 AM

Africans mull citizenship for slave kin

By DULUE MBACHU, Associated Press WriterThu Jul 20, 6:20 PM ET





African and black American leaders meeting this week debated an unusual proposal to spur investment and interest in the continent - securing African citizenship for American descendants of Africans taken away as slaves.

PhotoThe idea came out of a summit bringing African governments and the U.S. private sector together in search of partnerships to end Africa's poverty. Presidents from 12 African countries attended the four-day conference, along with former U.S. President Bill Clinton and World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz.

"Just as the people of different races in America have a place they call home, I believe we should have a place we call our ancestral home," said Hope Masters, daughter of the U.S. civil rights campaigner for whom the Leon Sullivan Summit is named.

Anthony Archer, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based lawyer, is heading a committee to consider how citizenship could be awarded.

"Dual citizenship will start the process of mutual and spiritual reconciliation of differences between the two continents that came as a result of slavery," he said. "If we can feel like we really belong, we'll feel more joyful about participating."

Key challenges include determining the ancestral homelands of black Americans, Masters said. The upheaval of the slave trade left many without knowledge of their place of origin.

PhotoNigerian dancers perform at the Leon Sullivan Summit in Abuja, Nigeria Wednesday, July 19, 2006.

One possibility is granting continent-wide citizenship to slave descendants through the African Union, Archer said. Another is to work for citizenship of blocs of countries through regional organizations. It was unclear what rights would be granted under those scenarios.

A third proposal would have countries grant citizenship independently to those who seek it.

Masters said the proposal will be further developed before the next summit in 2008. She said African leaders support the concept, noting that Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has urged black Americans "to see Africa as your home."

Among the Americans attending the Sullivan meeting in Abuja were executives from companies including Chevron Corp., Coca-Cola Co., General Motors Corp., and DaimlerChrysler AG.





..Read the full article
Re: .Sullivan Summit: African Citizenship for the Black diaspora
Big-k posted on 07-21-2006, 10:56:56 AM

Africans mull citizenship for slave kin

By DULUE MBACHU, Associated Press WriterThu Jul 20, 6:20 PM ET

African and black American leaders meeting this week debated an unusual proposal to spur investment and interest in the continent - securing African citizenship for American descendants of Africans taken away as slaves.

PhotoThe idea came out of a summit bringing African governments and the U.S. private sector together in search of partnerships to end Africa's poverty. Presidents from 12 African countries attended the four-day conference, along with former U.S. President Bill Clinton and World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz.

"Just as the people of different races in America have a place they call home, I believe we should have a place we call our ancestral home," said Hope Masters, daughter of the U.S. civil rights campaigner for whom the Leon Sullivan Summit is named.

Anthony Archer, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based lawyer, is heading a committee to consider how citizenship could be awarded.

"Dual citizenship will start the process of mutual and spiritual reconciliation of differences between the two continents that came as a result of slavery," he said. "If we can feel like we really belong, we'll feel more joyful about participating."

Key challenges include determining the ancestral homelands of black Americans, Masters said. The upheaval of the slave trade left many without knowledge of their place of origin.

PhotoNigerian dancers perform at the Leon Sullivan Summit in Abuja, Nigeria Wednesday, July 19, 2006.

One possibility is granting continent-wide citizenship to slave descendants through the African Union, Archer said. Another is to work for citizenship of blocs of countries through regional organizations. It was unclear what rights would be granted under those scenarios.

A third proposal would have countries grant citizenship independently to those who seek it.

Masters said the proposal will be further developed before the next summit in 2008. She said African leaders support the concept, noting that Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has urged black Americans "to see Africa as your home."

Among the Americans attending the Sullivan meeting in Abuja were executives from companies including Chevron Corp., Coca-Cola Co., General Motors Corp., and DaimlerChrysler AG.



..Read the full article
Re: .Sullivan Summit: African Citizenship for the Black diaspora
Nkire posted on 07-21-2006, 11:01:01 AM
"Great achievements never begin with conventioneers making grand pronouncements. They usually begin with passionate people actually doing something to make their passion a reality." SLB

While the above summation by Shoko makes sense and I agree with the underlying thought, however, we should not forget that in life, some people are pioneers and trailblazers while others are followers and doubting Thomases.

What I mean is that there are some African-Americans (AAs) who are already doing business with Africans in the continent. However, more will join if they know they truly belong over there. More importantly, AA parents can educate their young ones of this fact and the potential inherent in it. What a better way to tell someone that they belong than to make them a citizen. Many of us are already citizens here as a sure way to guarantee our stay and obtain access to whatever society has to offer in order to achieve for ourselves and society.

I believe that it can help AAs as it will give them a choice in life, a sort of Plan B, the same way I am raising my little ones. We all know that life is better when you have a choice - potentially lucrative alternative course of action. Life is also easier when you know for certain where you belong. For most of us here, one of the advantage that we have that AAs don't have is that we know where we come from and this singular fact [including the cultures we absorbed growing up] is part of what has enabled us to achieve some levels of success in this society notwithstanding the road blocks, race and all.

Having African diaporans in our mist will also help in our social and economic areas. There is a website I reviewed one time [I think it was posted by Obugi about these AAs from Houston, Texas with a thrieving real estate business in Ghana - building American style houses with green lawns, garages and fenced-in structures that looks like my current neighborhood. I was impressed.

Anyway, I think it is a good idea. I hope it happens. I will be glad to show one that is serious a piece of land in my village to call home.

Btw, we should all realize that if this is done in its full capacity, its not just AAs. We should include Africans in Brazil, Caribeans, etc.

Hey, you never know, may be the blackman may one day gain his freedom afterall.
Re: .Sullivan Summit: African Citizenship for the Black diaspora
Picasso posted on 07-21-2006, 11:03:04 AM
The idea is good although I doubt that the average African-Americans, even if and when they adopt an African citizenship will relocate to Africa. I just dont see it happening but hey, you never know.
Re: .Sullivan Summit: African Citizenship for the Black diaspora
Rose posted on 07-21-2006, 11:22:49 AM
QUOTE:
They were always welcomed. One of them who came back with Nkruma and Zik was a Chief Justice not too long ago. As long as they mix well, they have no problem of acceptance. But they have problems with Africans in America, thinking that they are entitled owners of everything an African achieve.

I see this exact scenario only in reverse.
Re: .Sullivan Summit: African Citizenship for the Black diaspora
Rose posted on 07-21-2006, 11:26:37 AM
QUOTE:
The idea is good although I doubt that the average African-Americans, even if and when they adopt an African citizenship will relocate to Africa. I just dont see it happening but hey, you never know.

Although I think it's a good idea symbolically, I agree they won't be relocating.
Re: .Sullivan Summit: African Citizenship for the Black diaspora
Exxcuzme posted on 07-21-2006, 11:58:00 AM
There are many AA that would love to relocate to Africa, if the atmosphere in the continent is conducive. Since most Africans cannot find the continent liveable (see many Africans dying in Morrroca plus those now stuck in Malta etc tryin to cross to the west), how can we convince AA and others to relocate or or invest in Africa.

Most of the continent is without security and basic amenities to attract people in diaspora that have never experienced the hardship.

If this summit was by a true leader that has provided basic amenities for his citizens, then we can take it serious. ObJoke is only joking and was just having an owanbe party as far as I am concern.
Re: .Sullivan Summit: African Citizenship for the Black diaspora
Big-k posted on 07-21-2006, 12:13:38 PM
I dont think AAs have to relocate. But just thinking of Africa as ancestral home would do a lot for their psyche in America. Then just imagine what it will do to Africa's economy if 10% (just 10%) of African Americans travel down every year? Did you notice how much buzz was generated recently about nollywood just because Wesley Snipes showed interest? One of the best things thats about to happen in Nigeria is direct flights to Trinidad and Tobago. The Guyanese presidential palace is called Ilaro Court, yet most Guyanese dont know Ilaro from Illinois etc etc etc etc etc The point is that this idea is a win-win.
Re: .Sullivan Summit: African Citizenship for the Black diaspora
Emj posted on 07-21-2006, 12:20:04 PM
"Dual citizenship will start the process of mutual and spiritual reconciliation of differences between the two continents that came as a result of slavery," he said. "If we can feel like we really belong, we'll feel more joyful about participating."


The if word------"if we can feel like we really belong". That is loaded.

Well exxcuze me, i share your sentiments about conducive environment etc etc, but then nothing is impossible. If nigeria gets it's acts together, more and more African Americans will not only invest but will have a second home in any part of the nation. But as it is, most of them feel more comfortable in Ghana and South-Africa
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