Pan-Africanist And Black Power Movement

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Redefining Blackness
During the twentieth century, black people began to redefine what ‘blackness’ was and what it meant to be ‘black’ by reconnecting with African history and culture. This was a period of reflection and reconstruction of the black consciousness, and although the twentieth century didn’t produce a solidified interpretation of ‘blackness,’ it created the groundwork necessary to form an identity that was independent of the racist notions instituted by slavery and/or other systems of oppression. As a result, black people across different ethnicities, customs, and nations began to view themselves as a collective group systematically terrorized by similar forces of oppression, as evidenced through various sociopolitical and cultural
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Marcus Garvey’s United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) epitomizes the Pan-Africanist movement. The UNIA espoused the tenants of the Pan-Africanist movement through its call for black economic nationalism, racial pride, and the formation of an independent black nation in Africa. The UNIA aimed to unify people of African descent, and it was founded on the belief that members of the African diaspora were connected through their common histories under colonialism and the white supremacy. To combat these forces, black people should, according to the UNIA, look to each other and their ancestral roots for sociopolitical and socioeconomic support, as systematic oppression would always work against black people. Therefore, to truly reconsider and redefine what it meant to be black in the twentieth century, black people would have to look into their shared history and the diaspora as a whole. Like the UNIA, the Nation is emblematic of the larger movement to redefine ‘blackness’ as a sociopolitical movement. The Nation would, for instance, give its members an “X” or an equivalent variable to represent the African surname lost through the process of enslavement. The use of the “X” is representative of the larger desire to reconnect with Africa and African history, and also the desire to …show more content…
The study of epigenetics can greatly contribute to redefining ‘blackness’ and grafting a greater understanding of the history of the African descended peoples. Epigenetics is the study of genotypes and coded genotypic messages that have been influenced by external and environmental factors. Epigenetics has the power to map out the movement of African descended peoples, and also uncover the overlooked consequences of colonialism, enslavement, and white supremacy on them and their descendants. This can help add to the history of the movement of African people, to understanding the shared history of the African diaspora, and it can further connections within the African diaspora. Genetic data can also track and find African-descended peoples ancestors’ ethnic origins through comparisons of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). African descended peoples, during times of oppression, were often stripped of their individual ethnic identities through the suppression of African culture and the forced assimilation of Euro-American culture. Igbos and

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