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A call for Europeans to join in solidarity with African Liberation

by Penny Hess

This piece was written for an event at the University in Cologne, Germany, given by Comrade Matand Kaumba to a class of primarily German students about the African People’s Solidarity Committee. APSC is currently building in Europe as the work of the African Socialist International grows there. While this document calls for European and other white people to help build APSC in Germany, we are calling on white people everywhere to join this process to build the Solidarity Committee. For more information email

Chairwoman Penny Hess standing by the grave site of Karl Marx in Germany. The quotation of Marx that is on the wall at Humboldt University is also on his grave: The responsibility of philosophers is not just to interpret the world but to change it.


My name is Penny Hess. I am the Chairwoman of the African People’s Solidarity Committee, the organization of Europeans and North Americans (white people) that works under the leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party which leads the Uhuru Movement.

The African People’s Socialist Party’s main work is to lead the African Liberation Movement whose objective is to unite African people all around the world—wherever they have been dispersed through enslavement and colonialism—to liberate Africa from its 500-year colonial legacy.

The goal of the APSP is to destroy Africa’s borders that were imposed by colonialism and gain control of all of Africa’s vast resources so that they benefit the currently impoverished African people themselves rather than foreign countries and corporations. The Party works to unite Africa and African people everywhere under one socialist government led by the African working class.

To me this makes a lot of sense. Why shouldn’t any people that have been colonized and enslaved for the benefit of the white world have a right to their own land and own resources? Why shouldn’t they have the ability to self-govern, with their land and resources benefiting their own people? They should be able to develop their own society, free from imperialism, imposed poverty, foreign occupation and plunder.

As a white person in the United States, I have asked myself these questions:

Why were African people enslaved for nearly 500 years and what role has this played for U.S. and European capitalism?

Why are most African people in the U.S. still impoverished and oppressed while most white people have educational and economic opportunities and access to democratic rights?

Why has genocide been committed against African people, such as in the Congo under King Leopold of Belgium and in Namibia under Germany, yet no one talks about this?

Why do foreign corporations, such as Shell Oil, DeBeers Diamonds and so many others, make billions of dollars extracting the resources of Africa while millions of African people are forced subsist on less than $2 a day?

Finally, I have to ask, what is the basis for the on-going war and suffering affecting so many millions of people and the vast discrepancies between the haves and the have-nots throughout the planet?

The existence of the African People’s Solidarity Committee under the leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party allows us as white people to begin to see the world as African and other oppressed peoples experience it. It gives us answers to the questions about how things got to be the way they are and what we should do to be part of transforming the world for the better.

The African People’s Socialist Party, led by Chairman Omali Yeshitela, formed the African Peoples Solidarity Committee under their leadership based on the understanding that capitalism was born through Europe’s assault on Africa.

Beginning in the early 15th Century, when Europe was still in a state of feudalism, the European trade in African people turned the entire continent of people into a hunting ground for human beings who were transformed into commodities for sale. At that time, Europe was poor, oppressed and disease-ridden.

By the beginning of the 16th century, Europe set out to conquer most of the peoples in the world and began the genocide that wiped out hundreds of millions of indigenous people in the Americas.

As Chairman Omali Yeshitela shows, this process of violence, plunder and colonial domination over the majority of the world is what transformed Europe from poverty and backwardness to a wealthy imperial power.

This is how capitalism itself began—it was born as a parasitic system at the expense of African and oppressed peoples. If we look at history truthfully, there are no benign origins to capitalism. This is what Karl Marx called “the rosy dawn of capitalist production.” He said it was the slave trade, genocide and colonial domination—what he called the “primitive accumulation of capital”—or start-up money that created capitalism.

The reality is this European theft of labor, land and resources around the world and particularly in Africa has created the pedestal upon which the whole white population lives.

This is why 75 percent of the world’s resources are concentrated in the hands of white people in Europe and North America while half the world is forced to subsist on a couple of dollars a day.

This position of the white population of the world, sitting atop the rest of humanity, has given us a skewed perspective. We see ourselves as the subjects of history while others historically have been the nameless, faceless objects of history. We are taught that we are the guardians of civilization dedicated to reason and goodness, while everyone else is less civilized, irrational and unfit to be part of the world community.

Currently imperialism is in crisis. All over the world oppressed peoples are rising up to challenge imperialist white power domination over their lives and the verdict of colonial poverty and powerlessness.

The resistance of African, Arab and indigenous peoples everywhere is shaking the political and economic foundations of this parasitic capitalist system. It is challenging white domination as the oppressed speak out with their own voice.

Capitalism has been forever weakened through this resistance. The genie is out of the bottle; this crisis of imperialism will only deepen as time goes on, as oppressed peoples everywhere begin to see the growing vulnerability of U.S. and European imperialism. Indeed, the days of unlimited U.S. and European imperialist power are over.

What the African People’s Solidarity Committee represents is the fact that as white people we can be part of a future on the side of and in solidarity with African people and the rest of humankind. We can be part of a future that involves creating a world without oppressors and the oppressed, without the haves and the have-nots. We can jump off this shaky colonial pedestal and join everybody else.

The work of the African People’s Solidarity Committee is in the white community winning and educating others like ourselves to recognize our truest interests in breaking our bonds with our own government and ruling class and joining with the rest of the peoples of the earth in struggling against imperialism and colonialism in every form.

The work of APSC is not charity; it is genuine solidarity based on our unity with African Internationalism, the political theory of the African People’s Socialist Party.

We are not doing a favor for anyone. We are taking a stand of solidarity with African people, which is in our own interest as well. Under the leadership of the African Liberation Movement we become the anti-imperialist face of African Liberation embedded inside the belly of the imperialist monster. We become black power in white face. In so doing, we become true citizens of the world, not those who live at the world’s expense.

Our role involves reparations, turning the stolen resources back over to the African Liberation Movement. APSC holds events, conferences and demonstrations galvanizing white people in solidarity with the campaigns of the Uhuru Movement.

We have created fundraisers such as Uhuru Foods and donor campaigns to raise real reparations to African People.

Our biggest annual events are the Days in Solidarity with African people, which this year were held in four U.S. cities as well as in Warsaw, Poland!

In 2013 we will be building APSC in Europe and call on you to help build a speaking tour for us to come to Germany.

On January 6-8, 2013, the African People’s Solidarity Committee will hold our annual conference in St. Petersburg, Florida, at the Uhuru House, the international headquarters of the African People’s Socialist Party.  Organizers from around the world will convene in St Petersburg where Chairman Omali Yeshitela will be leading political education on our role as white people in solidarity with African Liberation. The conference will also sum up the work of APSC in the past year and lay out plans for our work in this upcoming period.

You are welcome to join us. For more information please email: