In my previous column, 15 November, I made a couple of mistakes that I would like to correct.

First, Green Party vice-presidential candidate Winona LaDuke is a member of the Mississippi Band of Anishinabeg of the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota, however I wrote that she is a member of the Mississippi Band of the White Earth Anishinabeg reservation.

Secondly, many indigenous nations of peoples around the world have been killed completely within the past 500 years or so, though there are many that are still surviving as well.

Thirdly, I wanted to point out that though many Latinos speak Spanish, English or another European language, their ancestry is that of indigenous peoples in what is now known as the Americans, Africans, Asians and/or Europeans.

Now to this week's column. When we look at African countries today or at any other so-called Third World country in the world, we must ask ourselves why we have supported the oppression of millions within the borders of those countries as well as within our own borders.

In the late 1800s, the European powers decided to divide up the African pie, but who gave them the right to do so? Only their lust for control, power and imperial conquest gave them their presumed rights. After many years of colonial rule in African countries, by the end of the 1960s most of the nations were victorious in their independence struggles against the European colonial countries. The question that arose was whether African countries should become the United States of Africa or not. The Organization of African Unity formed to discuss that question and other issues.

The following is a selection from the Speech to the Organization of African Unity by El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X): Your problems will never be fully solved until and unless ours are solved. You will never be fully respected until and unless we are also respected. You will never be recognized as free human beings until and unless we are also recognized and treated as human beings. Our problem is your problem. It is not a Negro problem, nor an American problem. This is a world problem, a problem for humanity. It is not a problem of civil rights, it is a problem of human rights. We pray that our African brothers have not freed themselves of European colonialism only to be overcome and held in check now by American dollarism. Don't let American racism be legalized' by American dollarism.

Malcolm X's statements are still relevant today, as Africans continue determining their future, not the future determined for them by national and international governmental agencies or corporations around the world. The future that the people choose for themselves. In illustrating the struggles that are occurring today in Africa, here's a passage from Living for Change: An Autobiography by Grace Lee Boggs, Over the past 30 years transnational corporations supported by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have taken over large sections of the African continent to grow coffee, bananas, peanuts and the other commodities that consumers in the United States crave. But those governing the newly independent nations must also bear some responsibility. A mostly male elite who had been educated in the West, they have been preoccupied with achieving and maintaining state power. Their only model for economic development has been Western-style rapid modernization É Precisely because their situation has become so desperate and so hopeless, millions of villagers have been struggling during the past 10 years to take their future into their own hands and to create an African way of development. All over sub-Saharan Africa villagers are growing their own food, planting trees, creating better ways to use draft animals, discovering plants that grow more quickly, diversifying cereal, fruit, and vegetable crops, building village granaries ... In sub-Saharan Africa there are literally tens of thousands of grassroots groups that are practicing this kind of self-reliance. Everywhere women are in the majority and providing the leadership because in Africa women are the ones who have traditionally been responsible not only for raising the children but for gathering and growing food for subsistence.

In America, we must change our current consciousness to inclusivity and struggle with others to create a balanced Earth.

Irucka Ajani Embry can be reached at and is interested in hearing from anyone who has a vision for the future.

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