Although it is not generally known, a considerable amount of the public interest, sympathy, and condemnation generated throughout the world by Italy’s blatant act of aggression against Ethiopia in October 1935 emanated from black communities in the United States. As the distinguished black historian, John Hope Franklin, has indicated, ” When Italy invaded Ethiopia, they (Afro-Americans) protested with all the means at their command. Almost overnight even the most provincial among the American Negroes became international- minded. Ethiopia was (regarded as) a Negro nation, and its destruction would symbolize the final victory of the white man over the Negro. “While widespread, Afro-American interest in the Italo-Ethiopian War was concentrated n Harlem, New York, longtime intellectual and cultural centre of Black America. It was mainly there that Afro-Americans, sometimes in conjunction with liberal and radical whites, organized dozens of groups designed to raise both moral and material assistance for the Haile Selassie government in the United States. Motivated largely by their racial identification with the Ethiopians and the long-standing symbolic importance of that country in the black American community, these pro-Ethiopian societies had succeeded by the winter of 1935 in mobilizing significant levels of moral, if not monetary, support for the Ethiopian cause.
The sad truth of the matter was that while there were substantial numbers of sympathetic Afro-Americans quite willing to contribute financially to the Ethiopian war effort, there were exceedingly few at the time who possessed the means to do so. The Great Depression of the 1930’s made it inordinately difficult, indeed impossible in perhaps most instances for an aroused but impoverished Afro-American people to assist materially the beleaguered Ethiopians. Nevertheless, there is evidence that, despite the increased economic constraints imposed upon them by heightened poverty, many Afro- Americans, enraged by Italy’s assault on the world’s last remaining bastion of black power, managed some- how to make small contributions to organisations purporting to be raising funds for the Ethiopian cause.
Admittedly, such donations were usually minute sums, but they should not be scoffed at or summarily dismissed as being of no significance. Taken as a whole, these amounts may well have attained an impressive total, which certainly would have been of some, if not decisive, benefit to the Ethiopians. Unfortunately, prior to 1937, when the newly created Ethiopian World Federation assumed official control of all fund-raising activities in the United States, only a limited percentage of even these modest contributions seems to have reached its proper destination.
From the very outbreak of hostilities, black embezzlers and racketeers sought to take advantage of Afro- American sympathy for the Ethiopian people. These criminals gave the public impression that they were collecting funds for Ethiopia’s defense, but in reality, of course, they were lining their own pockets. In addition, some responsible organisations and individuals may have engaged in faulty business practices or even have mis- managed funds.
To remedy this situation and more effectively coordinate the efforts of the myriad pro-Ethiopian or- generations in New York, a number of public-spirited black citizens in Harlem formed the Menelik Club some time during 1936. This very small but active group desired to integrate all of the existing Ethiopian aid societies into one organisation officially recognised by the Ethiopian authorities. To the surprise of many sceptics, the efforts of the club actually culminated in the sending of a black American delegation to England in the summer of 1936 to confer directly with the exiled Haile Selassie about financial matters.
The mission consisted of three prominent Harlem figures, all leaders of the black organisation known as the United Aid for Ethiopia: Reverend William Lloyd Imes, pastor of the prestigious St. James Presbyterian, Philip M. Savory, chairman of the Victory Insurance Company and co-owner of the New York Amsterdam News, and Mr. Cyril M. Philp, secretary of the United Aid. In August 1936, the trio sailed without fanfare for England.
If men cannot retain and promote peace and good will in their own families how can they hope to fight successfully against an outside adversary? He who would regain the rights taken away from him by an enemy must first see to it that his own house is set in order that a deep spirit of peace and good will reigns in his own boundaries. If he secures this then he can hope to struggle successfully against the common adversary, for then his forces will be united. The principle will reign in his own home.
“If in the act of making sacrifice ye find that ye have fought against the brother, leave there the gift at the altar. First be reconciled to thy brother then come and offer thy gift.”
Spirit of Federation
The Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated sets as one of its objectives “the promotion of love and good will among Ethiopians at home and abroad.” The Federation is bound and determined to promote and insist on the growth of this spirit of love among its members and among all Black peoples.
The possession of this spirit is fundamental. It is an absolutely necessary antecedent to the realization of other objectives, including a place in the Sun for the Sons of Ham. Let the Black World set up a Kingdom of love and not one of force. Let a spirit of equality and fraternity reign. Let us remember that we seek condition in which all Black men can live comfortably. Let us denounce that peculiar state of living in which a minority of the people possesses all the wealth and the great majority starve. Let us remember that all Black men are brothers and cease fighting with each other.
It is written “he who would be chief amongst you let him be your servant.” Let us avoid conceit and so maintain the spirit of the Federation- Internal peace, goodwill, love humility, for we have much work to do.
Aims and objects
To promote love and good-will among Ethiopians at home and abroad and thereby to maintain the integrity and sovereignty of Ethiopia, to disseminate the ancient Ethiopian culture among its members, to correct abuses, relieve oppression and carve for ourselves and our posterity, a destiny comparable with our idea of perfect manhood and God’s purpose in creating us; that we may not only save ourselves from annihilation, but carve for ourselves a place in the Sun: in this endeavor, we determine to seek peace and pursue it, for it is the will of God for man.
In Loving Memory of Our Fellow Ethiopian World Federation Incorporated Member, Honourable Ras Seymour McClean.
We, the People of the Ethiopian World Federation Incorporated are aware of the British expedition and atrocities Inflicted nearly 150 years ago against The Ethiopian King, Emperor Theodore, and the blameless people of Ethiopia, especially during the European racially motivated so-called scramble for Africa and African colonialization.
Your SIGNATURE and SUPPORT is urgently Needed to Demand and Obtain The Immediate Return and Restoration of The MAGDALA ARTIFACTS to The Ethiopian People. Achieving This Goal Will Be A Sign of Good Will and a Movement Towards A Better Day and A Better Tomorrow.
The Ethiopian World Federation Incorporated will be holding its Jamaica Summit at the Ras Tafari Andahnet Center, previously known as Windsor Lawn, St Ann’s Bay Jamaica. This will be a 3 day event from 24th to 26th May 2019, to commemorate the 1966 visit of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie to Jamaica. Watch this space for more Information to follow. or contact the address below………..
On 4th May 1940, the Ethiopian World Federation lost one of its brightest shining stars, and founding member, Dr Malaku. E. Bayen to lobar pneumonia. His death came almost four years to the very day of the Italian entrance into Addis Ababa and one year prior to Haile Selassie’s triumphant return to the Ethiopian capital.
Of Dr Bayen Haile Selassie in his Autobiography wrote “In the month of May 1940, we heard of the death, in America, of our loyal servant Dr. Malaku Bayen. When we were told of his death, we mourned him at our residence in Bath. Dr Bayen was our palace servant whom we raised up from childhood. Realizing his diligence and farsightedness, we sent him to be educated in America in 1921, and hardworking as he was, he became a medical doctor. When the Italians invaded Ethiopia, he came to serve his country and his Emperor, and marched to Maychew with us. He had a strong desire to help wounded soldiers and we have heard about the service he rendered operating on them. Dr. Malaku Bayen came to England with us after the war. Them he proceeded to America, where he worked hard to help Ethiopia in any way possible. He did a commendable job of mobilizing and organizing African Americans in supporting Ethiopia’s cause”……………. Haile Selassie I.
The Battle of Adwa was fought on 1 March 1896 between the Ethiopian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy near the town of Adwa, Ethiopia, in Tigray. This climactic battle of the First Italo-Ethiopian War, was a decisive defeat for Italy and secured Ethiopian sovereignty. As the 20th century approached, Africa had been carved up among the European powers at the Berlin Conference of 1884–85. The two independent exceptions were the Republic of Liberia on the west coast, which had begun as a settlement of repatriated American slaves. These slaves were sent by the American Colonization Society, who believed blacks would face better chances for freedom in Africa than in the United States. The second independent nation being Ethiopia, or then still commonly known as Abyssinia. Italy was a relative latecomer to the imperialist scramble for Africa. Italy’s only possessions were African territories: Eritrea and Italian Somalia. Both were near Ethiopia on the Horn of Africa and both were impoverished. Italy sought to improve its position in Africa by conquering Ethiopia and joining it with its two territories.
Yonas Tadesse/AFP/Getty Images
Tue 20 Feb 2018 09.00 GMT
The Addis Ababa massacre or Graziani massacre, in which 20,000 to 30,000 Ethiopians were killed by Italian occupying forces on 19 February 1937, is commemorated at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in the Ethiopian capital
Two Ethiopian war veterans sporting military regalia walk down a path during a memorial service in Addis Ababa commemorating the massacre
Ethiopian war veterans sporting military regalia attend the memorial service
Ethiopian war veterans and priests at the memorial service at the Kidist Selassie, or Holy Trinity Cathedral, a cathedral of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo church
An Ethiopian war veteran walks to the memorial service for the civilians massacred in reprisal for an attempt to assassinate Rodolfo Graziani, the colonial governor of Italian East Africa
A priest blesses war veterans
Marshal Rodolfo Graziani was one of Benito Mussolini’s commanders in the Italian colonial wars in Libya and Ethiopia before and during the second world war. He ordered the three-day massacre after an attempt on his life