For thousands of years, Black People in Africa had enjoyed Freedom, Independence, Self-Government and Self-Determination. When Black People came to the Americas as adventurers and explorers and established settlements here, they maintained their love for freedom, independence, self-government and self-determination. And, when Black People were brought to this land as slaves, Our most powerful motive was to regain Our freedom, independence, self-government and self-determination. From day one, Black People rebelled and sought a way-of-life that was more rewarding and beneficial to Us. We did so in 1526 by rebelling against the Spaniards in South Carolina and running to the Indians, who helped Us drive the Spanish away and experience the self-governing process again. Thus began Our quest to establish a Black nation, a REPUBLIC OF NEW AFRIKA, in North America.
To the Black People who were forced to come to this land, Black Nationalism was a top priority. Self-government was what Blacks wanted more than anything else. Between 1850 and 1860, Blacks became more daring in their determination to rule themselves. For 250 years they had expressed their nationalistic desires by rebelling against whites, terrorizing whites and establishing camps that were governed by Black People.
Throughout the Civil War Black People demonstrated a preference for self-government by taking every opportunity available to govern themselves. Black People flocked in large numbers to areas where northern armies had won battles, and confronted the military officers with situations that could only be controlled if immediate governments were established. Black People would have to to run those governments, and had a right to. In 1864, Special Field Order #15 set aside for Black People a stretch of land from Charleston, S.C. to the country bordering the St. John's River in Florida. In this area, the official order read, "no white person whatsoever, unless military officers and soldiers detained for duty, will be permitted to reside; and the sole and exclusive management of affairs [of government] will be left to the free people [Black People] themselves." Similar centers were established in Mississippi, where more than 70,000 Blacks established governments where all property was under Black government and control, and where all Black residents had the inalienable right to liberty. With such settlements as these, on land from South Carolina to Florida and Mississippi that had been declared Ours, We, Black People, settled down to manage Our affairs [and did a good job]." We wanted to continue managing Our affairs, too. For this reason We resisted efforts made later on by the federal government to take away Our land and oftentimes only gave it up after We had been defeated in battle by army troops.
In the late 1960s, a convention of Black delegates met in Detroit, Michigan and proclaimed that Black People in the United States were in fact a Nation of People separate from the American people. This convention of delegates, including Imari Obadele (who was later elected president of the Black Nation) gave that Nation of People a name, the Republic of New Afrika. The Republic of New Afrika took the concept of Black Nationalism to its ultimate stage when, in 1968, it declared Black People to be free and independent of the United States government.
The Republic of New Afrika declared Black People's independence because it "believes that Black People in Amerikkka make up a nation of people, a people separate and apart from the Amerikkkan people. The RNA also believes that as a nation of people, We are entitled to all of the rights of a nation, including the right to land and self-determination. The RNA further believes that all the land in Amerikkka, upon which Black People have lived for a long time, worked and made rich as slaves, and fought to survive on is land that belongs to Us as a People, and it is land We must gain control of because, as Malcolm X said, land is the basis of independence, freedom, justice and equality. We cannot talk about self-determination without discussing it within the context of land. Therefore, the RNA [identified the five states of Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina as Black People's land and] believes that gaining control of Our land is the fundamental struggle facing Black People. Without land, Black Power, rights and freedom have no substance.
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