Frantz Fanon was born on July 20, 1925 and died on December 6, 1961. He was, amongst other things, a Marxist-Leninist, Pan-Afrikanist visionary, author and master strategist. His revolutionary works include: ‘Black Skin, White Masks’, ‘The Wretched of the Earth’ and ‘Towards A Dying Colonialism.’ He brings great relevance and incisive insight to our appreciation of and approach to colonialism; capitalist imperialism, white supremacy and neocolonialism. His legacy continues to inspire black resistance struggles aimed at attaining the total freedom of blacks world wide.
The date of birth and death of Queen Nefertiti are unknown. As queen, alongside Pharaoh Akhenaten from 1353 to 1336 B.C, she was one of the most powerful women in ancient Egypt. She is also believed to have ruled Egypt after her husband’s death. Queen Nefertiti was instrumental together with her husband Akhenaten for displacing Egypt’s Chief God Amon and subsequently reorienting Egypt’s religious and political logic and structure around the worshipping of the Sun God Aten.She wasconsequently instrumental in inspiring a social, cultural and political renaissance.
Yaa Asantewa “Queen Mother of Ejisu” (1900)
In the final Ashanti-British War Nana Yaa Asantewaa agitated and organised the Ashanti traditional leaders to rise up against the British in battle. This war, the Yaa Asantewaa War, was from 1900 to 1901. She was in her 60s when she led the Ashanti people into battle against the White colonizers. This war, the Yaa Asantewaa War, was from 1900 to 1901. She is known for practically rallying Asante resistance using a gender lens and her sharp oratory skills. When the Ashanti Chiefs held a secret meeting at Kumasi, Yaa Asantewaa was present. They discussed how they should fight the British. Yaa Asantewaa saw that some of the chiefs were afraid to rise up against the British colonisers. They prefered to instead beg the British to return their King Prempeh who was forced into exile by the British. Yaa Asantewaa then made the following speech to the Ashanti Chiefs which stirred them up into battle with the British colonizers.
“Now I have seen that some of you fear to fight for our King. If it were in the brave days of old, the days of Osei Tutu, Okomfo Anoyke and Opulu Ware, Ashanti Chiefs would not sit down to see their King taken away without firing a shot. No white man could have dared speak to Ashanti Chiefs in the way the Governor spoke to you chiefs this morning. If you men will not go forward, then we the women will. I will call upon my fellow women. We will fight the white men until the last of us falls in the battlefields.”
Yaa Asantewa and other leaders were eventually captured by the British and sent into exile.
BLF dedicates August 9 to Yaa Asantewa “Queen Mother of Ejisu”.
On 12 September 1977, Stephen Bantu Biko was killed in detention by the apartheid regime. Steve Biko gave us black consciousness. Black consciousness calls for a total overhaul of the anti black system, as a medium for the realization and achievement of the freedom of blacks, and replacing it with a system that is responsive to the total needs of blacks. It involves a process of the transcendence of black self-hatred through the principled united action of blacks (African, “Colored” and “Indian”) It is also the realization that freedom can only be attained by ending the black condition and the concepts by which such a condition is structured.
On 23 September 1828 Shaka Zulu was killed. He was a resilient leader of his people. To this end he was also one of the greatest military leaders in history. Through his radical legacy he inspired the victory of the battle of Isandlwana which was led by King Cetshwayo against the British invasion of Zululand in 1878.
On 9 October 1967 Ernesto Che Guevara was executed by a CIA operative in Bolivia after his guerrilla fighters were defeated in combat. Che’s political thought and ideological perspective includes focus and expansion on the questions of: struggle against the bureaucracy; the economic significance of imperialism; the military tactics of guerilla warfare, and; the role of the party and cadres In the building of socialism.
On October 19, 1977 18 black consciousness organizations were banned by the apartheid regime.The death of Steve Biko on 12 September 1977, threatened to unleash the fury of the people (in a new wave of protests) as a mighty force for revolution. The apartheid regime responded on October 19, 1977 by banning 18 black consciousness organizations.
Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe was born on December 5, 1924. He was a founding member and leader of the Pan-African Congress. His great legacy can be located in his courage and ability to move the dispossessed colonized people to revolt as evidenced by the Sharpeville protest which exposed the brutality of the white supremacist regime. Sobukwe died in Kimberley, Northern Cape on February 27, 1978.
On 17 December 1663 Queen Nzinga (Nzinga Mbande) died. Queen Nzinga was the monarch of the Mbundu people of Angola from 1626 to 1663. She was a brilliant tactician and revolutionary leader who led the resistance against the Portuguese slave trade in Central Africa
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870 – 1924) was born on April 22, 1870 and died on January 21, 1924
The struggle of the Socialist October Revolution of 1917, which overthrew Russian capitalism and landlordism, was led by the V.I. Lenin. Lenin was exemplary as a leader of the working class and of the oppressed masses in general and to this end demonstrated his grasp of Marxism which included revolutionary strategy and tactics as well as the building of the mass movement in the development of the struggle. His leadership was characterised by his ability to meld theory with practice. Lenin maintained that there can be no revolutionary movement without revolutionary theory, and that revolutionary theory delinked from the organized mass struggle is to no revolutionary end.