Journal of African American Studies

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 268–299 | Cite as

The Sixth Zone: The African Diaspora and the African Union’s Global Era Pan Africanism

  • Rita Kiki EdozieEmail author


What lies behind the sustained idea of “Pan African Unity”, beginning with the early 1900s Diaspora Pan African congresses, through its emergence as state-centric Pan Africanism in an age of independence, and to its current dispensation as the “third stage” Pan Africanism manifest by Africa’s African Union (Murithi)? The article examines the manner that the African Union is socioculturally sculpting and re-inventing the universality of the African identity and Pan African Nation. In it, we demonstrate how the African Union (AU) is re-appropriating the idea of Pan Africanism among African and African descendent peoples around the world, and using it creatively to mobilize a reconstruction of a global “African World View”. This, perspective represents the more nuanced, subtle, invisible—though ideational—bases through which the AU exerts its political power and will to reverse its marginalized circumstance and engage geopolitically in a self-determined posture. Here, we see the role that culture plays in the AU’s global governance objectives. We argue that AU cultural globalization rather than “essentialist”, “purist”, or “racialist” (Gilroy 1993, Appiah 1992) is in effect pluralist, hybrid, transformationalist, and premised on the sustained memory of a global, trans-generational shared set of experiences that have been drawn from as well as reformulated around the idea of Pan Africanism; but that its prospects for fostering political union and assigning citizenship rights to African and African descendent peoples is still an illusion.


Pan Africanism African Union Globalization Culture Identity International organizations 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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