African Liberation Day

On April 15, 1958, in the city of Accra, Ghana, African leaders and political activists gathered at the first pan-African conference held in Africa. This conference, under the auspices of Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, was attended by representatives of the governments of Liberia, Morocco, Libya, Sudan, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Ghana, and the United Arab Republic, as well as by representatives of the National Liberation Front of Algeria and the Union of the Cameroonian Peoples. In celebration of the first collective presence and call for action of this nature on African soil, April 15 was celebrated as African Freedom Day for 5 years. Then, on May 25, 1963, the leaders of 32 independent African states met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and at this historic and significant meeting, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), currently known as the African Union, was formed and chartered, and the independence of two-thirds of the continent from colonial rule was celebrated. Since that meeting, May 25 has been celebrated everywhere as African Liberation Day (ALD).
The idea of African Liberation Day was initially born to combat colonialism and the oppression of African people, and its meaning has since broadened to embrace the fight against all of the injustices imposed on people of African descent throughout the world. The spirit of this day is to promote awareness and encourage organization worldwide to fight against inherently racist foreign and domestic policies and socioeconomic conditions facing people of African descent.
African Liberation Day was born to honor the legacy and continue the struggle of the ancestors, celebrate annually the initial plight of the founders of the day, continue the progress of the liberation movement, and symbolize the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination, exploitation, and all forms of oppression resulting from colonization and white supremacy. African Liberation Day was influential in the defeat of colonialism and apartheid in South Africa and has helped to expose imperialism imposed by the United States. Currently the supporters and coordinators of the commemoration of African Liberation Day fight against dictatorial and corrupt governments, ethnic cleansing, AIDS, exploitation, and various forms of subjugation imposed on people of African descent.



Further Reading

  • Hakata, Michelle.African Liberation Day Marked in Style. New African (18) 12–17 (2001). This article celebrates the 43rd commemoration of African Liberation Day, in which the keynote speaker Vivene Younger, a member of the central committee of the All Africa People's Revolutionary Party (AAPRP), addressed the continuing political struggles of Africans throughout the world. New African follows selected commemorations of ALD annually.
  • This Web site provides historical information on the origins of African Liberation Day and highlights the main objectives of the movement.
  • This Web site is a resource for obtaining historical information surrounding the founding of African Liberation Day. It also contains updates on the current political debates and issues for people of African descent and information on the key leaders and freedom fighters who have contributed to African struggle for liberation.