Is the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated relevant today? That is what one of my brethren asked me recently, of course I replied, it is more relevant today than ever before I believe! It is an organization of seventy one (71) years and what I see is an institution that was created by His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I specifically to help Ethiopia during the Italio-Ethiopian war and its best the brothers and sisters today participate in organizations such as the Nyahbinghi House, the Twelve tribes of Israel, the Bobo Shanties, the Millennium Council, the JRDC, and any of the other groups or organizations that have been formed over the past years he argued. I had to remind him that “a people without a knowledge of the their history is like a tree without roots” that is to say that many of the brothers and sisters today are caught up in the cult of personality and have not really engaged in a deep study of their recent history from the beginning of the 20th century.
I informed him that I notice that these organizations and groups he refer to were formed around a charismatic personality with a certain amount of religious rhetoric, without any clear aims and objects to sustain them once the individual who is the forerunner cease to exist. Whereas, the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated is a Legal entity formed directly by Emperor Haile Selassie I through his representative Dr. Malaku E. Bayen, the African Americans and West Indians who were living in Ethiopia before Italy attacked in 1936 and Black people in Harlem and throughout the Diaspora who were willing to stand by Ethiopia despite some of the major powers in the world at the time were willing to accept Italy as conquers.I reminded him that the Incorporators of the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated are Goulbourne M Blackett, Matthew E. Garner, Dorothy H. Bayen, Aida Bastian, Edoura Paris, Warren Harrigan and Louis Paul. I told him that some of the names associated with the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated are Dr. Lorenzo H.King, the first President of the organization and pastor of the St. Mark’s M.E Church, Col John C. Robinson of Chicago, the only American who enlisted with emperor Haile Selassie I forces and fought in the conflict to preserve the independence of the only free African nation at that period. J A Rogers, Dr. P.M.H Savory, of the Victory Insurance Company and co-owner of the Amsterdam news of Harlem, Reverend William Imes, pastor of St.James Presbyterian Church and Cyril M. Philip, Secretary of the United Aid for Ethiopia, who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to visited the Emperor at Bath England in 1936 to offer their assistance, Prince Nyabonga of Uganda who visited the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated Headquarters in October 1938, Mr. Thomas Paris and Mrs. Nancy Packwood Paris of St.Croix Virgin Islands, Parents of Edudora Paris, Amy Ashwood Garvey, the first wife of Marcus Mosiah Garvey, The Reverend W.H. Gray of the Bright Hope Church, at 12th and Oxford Streets in Philadelphia PA, Arthur A . Schomburg, one of the members of the Advisory Board of the organization in 1938, LiJ Araya Abebe, a native Ethiopian, the first Treasurer of the organization, who was sent to New York by Emperor Haile Selassie I to assist Dr. Malaku E. Bayen plus the other founding fathers too numerous to mention.
I informed the brethren that the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated presently have Local Branches in New York, Los Angeles, Montego Bay, St. Ann’s Bay, Kingston, London, Paris, Birmingham with members throughout Africa, the United States Europe and the Caribbean, that despite the difficulties the organization is facing today we have a very dedicated membership who striving to see their organization successful.He complained that the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated have not administered the land grant in Ethiopia to the Black people in the West. I had to correct him that the Land was granted by His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I to the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated after the Executive Council of the organization in New York wrote to the Imperial Ethiopian Government requesting land for its members to settle, visit and otherwise pursue ways for strengthening their relations with the motherland. He complained that the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated has no authority on the land have not done anything positive on the land in Ethiopia since it was granted in the late 1940‘s, and that other organizations, groups, the Ethiopian Government, national regional and local as well as individuals have developed, sold, confiscated and build on the land without the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated permission.
I admitted that reality exists, but to throw the entire blame on the Ethiopian World federation, Incorporated is like blaming the Native Americans for what happened to their land since the Mayflower or the Palestinians after World War II.I explained to him that the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated has a Constitution and is designed with a Federal system and Governed by Democratic principles, similar to the United States, yet when the United States was eighty eight (88) years from Independence seventy seven (77) years after adopting its Constitution it did not fight its Civil War yet. After the Civil war the United States has emerge as the most powerful nation ever on the face of the earth.
So, as I concluded with my brethren that the Ethiopian has hope, I believe we are just about at the end of our Civil war and we will emerge as a bigger, better, successful and progressive organization. I believe that the members worldwide are getting to know each other, they are trying to get in order, they are realizing that they are one, that they have the same aims and objects, that despite the challenges that the organization face.if they abide by their Constitution and Bylaws they will continue to promote love and good-will among Ethiopians at home and abroad and thereby, maintain the integrity and sovereignty of Ethiopia, disseminate the ancient the ancient Ethiopian Culture among its members, correct abuses, relieve oppression and carve for themselves and their posterity, a destiny comparable with their idea of perfect manhood and God’s purpose in creating them; that they may not only save themselves from annihilation, but carve for themselves a place in the Sun In this endeavour, they are determined to seek peace and pursue it, for it’s the will of God for man. Barrymore Tittle International President February 27th 2009]]>