A Daughter Of An Ethiopian Hero And A Nephew Of The 1st African American Winner Of The Nobel Peace Price Honored Pan-African Veterans On Miazia 27 ( Cinco De Mayo ) In U.S. Capital City.
Washington D. C. ( Little Ethiopia )-The District of Columbia ( sister city of the Capital City of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa ) experienced the celebration of the commemoration of Miazia 27 ( Ethiopia’s Cinco De Mayo.) It was an historic day that marked the defeat of an European power that made a second attempt to colonize Ethiopia on “ Miazia 27 “ like it’s name sake “ Cinco De Mayo “ means May 5. It was also the day Emperor Haile Selassie I returned to his throne after 5 years of exile in England. The honorees to present a wreath for the occasion were Ethiopia’s Ms. Mulumebet Wolde and African America’s Mr. Stephen Davis. Ms Wolde is the President of the 1700 member organization of “ All For One Association “ and the daughter of an Ethiopian hero who fought in the Italo-Abyssinian War of 1935-41. Abyssinia is the ancient name for Ethiopia. Mr. Stephen Davis is a former staff attorney/Professor and the nephew of the 1st African American winner of the Nobel Peace Price in 1950. They both together placed a wreath infront of the African American Civil War Memorial accompanied by a distinguished past honoree Rick Lee.Their aide de camp were members of armed forces ( re-enactors ) from three nations, Ethiopia, United States and the Caribbeans.
PHOTO-President Mulumebet Wolde In Red Ethiopian Dress posing for picture after placing a wreath infront of the memorial with Professor Stephen Davis ( 2nd left ), Major General Makonnen ( left -A Caribbean Enactor ), Sergeant Ashenafi Kebede ( Former Imperial Ethiopian Bodyguard ) and private Edward Gantt-U.S. colored Troops 23rd Regiment-PHOTO-Matt Andrea
The 13th anniversary event by an Ethiopian group was held in Washingyon D.C. in a city that prides itself of welcoming the iconic Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie I seven times from 1954 to 1973. While he was visiting DC he was presented the key to the city by the then commissioner in his 1st State visit. The historically black University of Howard also bestowed upon him an honorary Doctorate degree.
The emperor gained prominence and reverence around the world after he made a prophetic statement at the League of Nations in 1936 “ It is us today and you are tomorrow “ when he did not get strong supporters from them. True to his statement within three years Europe started burning and the 2nd World War began. Selassie entered combat when his country was invaded by fascist Italy’s forces coming from Eritrea in the north and Somalia in the East. On 3 October, forces under General Emilio De Bono's command crossed into Ethiopia from Eritrea ( the North front ). On 6 October his forces took Adwa, officially avenging the humiliating 1896 Italian defeat, entered the historically significant city of Axum riding a white horse.
The General who invaded Ethiopia from the east ( the East Front ) Rudolpho Graziani was promoted as the Viceroy of Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia and began his racial policy against a nation that never was colonized. An attempt was made to assassinate by bomb failed on February 19, 1937 and he ordered the massacre of over 30,000 innocent Ethiopians in retaliation.
In article posted by Huffington Post under the caption “ The Forgotten Fight Against Fascism “ the Zinn Education Project written by William Loren Katz in 2014 states about the Italo-Abyssinian War of 1935-41 as follow “ Mussolini, seeking an “Italian Empire” in Africa, threw his army and air force against Ethiopia in October 1935. Fascist planes bombed and dropped poison gas on villages. Emperor Haile Selassie turned to the League of Nations and speaking in his native Amharic described fascist air and chemical attacks on a people “without arms, without resources.” “Collective security,” he insisted, “is the very existence of the League of Nations,” and warned “international morality” is “at stake.” When Selassie said, “God and history will remember your judgment,” governments shrugged. “
Over 17,000 African Americans volunteered to fight along side with Ethiopia but were denied permission by the government. William Loren Katz highlights that comradery as follows
“ However, in the midst of a worldwide “Great Depression,” citizens in the distant United States were aroused to help Ethiopia. Black men trained for military action—an estimated 8,000 in Chicago, 5,000 in Detroit, 2,000 in Kansas City. In New York City, where a thousand men drilled, nurse Salaria Kea of Harlem Hospital collected funds that sent a 75-bed hospital and two tons of medical supplies to Ethiopia. W. E. B. Du Bois
and Paul Robeson addressed a “Harlem League Against War and Fascism” rally and A. Philip Randolph linked Mussolini’s invasion to “the terrible repression of black people in the United States.” A people’s march for Ethiopia in Harlem drew 25,000 African Americans and anti-fascist Italian Americans. “
An African American author William Scotts of The Sons of Sheba’s Race: African Americans and the Italo-Ethiopian War, 1935-1941, which examined the role of African Americans in the U.S. Ethiopian defense and aid movement, and ways in which the Italian invasion of Ethiopia affected African American thought and behavior on the eve of World War II.
The Africana Educational and Cultural activity promoted by Little Ethiopia D.C. uses the wreaths laying ceremonies to teach the young generation to learn their history and the sacrifice they ancestors paid to keep Ethiopia/Africa free from occupation by European imperialists.
We commemorate the two victories of the two wars fought for freedom for the black peoples of the world in Africa annually twice in March and May. The African Americans got their “ freedom “ from President Abraham Lincoln by fighting in the American Civil War. The Ethiopians stopped the total scramble of Africa that was hatched in the Berlin conference in 1985 by decisively defeating the Italians in 1896 ( Battle of Adwa ) and again 1941 ( Miazia 27 or Cinco De Mayo )
We like our readers to participate in the upcoming wreath Laying ceremonies in 2019.
For details, please contact us at littleethiopia@gmail. com