|...The tide which is sweeping Africa today cannot be stayed.|
No power on earth is great enough to halt or to reverse the trend.
Its march is as relentless and inexorable as the passage of time....
|Today, Africans and friends of Africa everywhere are celebrating Africa Freedom Day. Observance |
of this Day testifies to what is undoubtedly one of the most significant phenomena of this post-war
world the liberation from the bonds which have so long fettered the millions of Africans to whom,
but a short time ago, freedom and independence were but distant dreams Within the post-war
period, the number of independent African nations has - more than doubled; next year, additional
states will achieve their independence; and each year that follows will see ever increasing numbers
of Africans enjoying these most precious of Almighty God's gifts.
The tide which is - sweeping Africa today cannot be stayed. No power on earth is great enough to
halt or reverse the trend. Its march is as relentless and inexorable as the passage of time. The day
is long overdue for a change of attitude on the part of those nations which have heretofore sought
to hinder or impede this movement or which have been content in the past to remain passive in the
face of the impassioned cries for freedom, for justice, for the right to stand with their fellowmen as
equals, which have gone up from this Continent. It is time for them to enlist their sympathetic
efforts on behalf of the struggle of the African peoples to gain the place in the world which is their
God. given birthright. Those who hail or refuse to do so, those who lack the vision and foresight to
realize that Africa is emerging into a new era, that Africans will no longer be denied the rights
which are inalienably theirs, will not alter or reverse the course of history, but will only suffer the
inevitable consequences of their refusal to accept reality.
What is there to be learned from the events now occurring on the African Continent? It must be
recognized too, that Africa, its people, its present and its future, are of vital concern to everyone, no
matter how far removed geographically. In the past, America has too often been content to remain
relatively unconcerned about events in Africa, too ready to stand on the sidelines of African history
as a disinterested observer. This policy will not serve today, and the attitude which the American
people and Government now adopt towards Africa indicates that they too realize that a new Africa
has emerged on the world scene. As a result, however, Americans have been largely uninformed
about us, our peoples, our problems. Among other peoples, more and more is gradually coming to
be known, but mainly, We would venture, because the peoples of Africa have forced the rest of the
world to pay heed to them and to harken to the stirrings and reverberations which have resounded
throughout this Continent in the last decade.
Africa and U.S.A.
The American people can make a significant contribution to guaranteeing that a deep and abiding
friendship exists between Africa and the United States of America. Learn more about us; learn to
understand our backgrounds, our culture and traditions, our strengths and weaknesses. Learn to
appreciate our desires and hopes, our problems, our fears; If we truly know one another, a solid
and firm basis will exist for the maintenance of the friendly relations between the African and the
American peoples, which - We are convinced - both so ardently desire. You may be assured that
there will be no failure in the warm and brotherly response from our side.
In the midst of the strife and turmoil which marks Africa today, the African peoples still extend the
hand of friendship. But it is extended to those who desire the progress and the political and
economic freedom of the African people, who are willing generously and without thought of selfish
gain to assist us to our feet that we may stand by their side as brothers. We are convinced that
there are countless millions of such to be found throughout the world. We know that those to
whom we send this message, who are today assembled in New York City to join in the celebration
of Africa Freedom Day, are numbered among them. To them, we send Our warmest greetings and
Our prayers that the purpose which today unites them may be soon realized.
We must thank the American Committee on Africa which has made it possible for us to send these
words to you today. The cause which you espouse is a noble and just one and, with the help of
Almighty God, will triumph.
September 18, 1960