What did the Pan-African Conference hope to achieve by sending this petition to the Queen of England?

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thetall's profile pic

thetall | (Level 3) Educator

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The First Pan-African Conference held in London was organized to open discussions about grievances and find resolutions to the problem of racism, colonialism in Africa and political rights for African Americans. During the period of the conference, Africans were suffering throughout the world either through racial discrimination, forced labor or suppressed development opportunities for the race. The petition to the Queen sought to address the issue of oppression by the whites against Africans in South Africa. The issues brought forth include:

  • Forced labor or the compound system which was being introduced in parts of South Africa and Rhodesia
  • Laws that advanced the implementation of African segregation by whites
  • The legalized nature of African bondage by colonialists
  • Africans were not accorded rights to fully own property

The Queen responded positively to the petition first through the Secretary of State for Colonies then through her private secretary.

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I assume that you are asking about the petition that was sent to Queen Victoria of England by the delegates of the Pan-African Conference that was held in London in 1900.  The purpose of this petition was to try to get colonial powers in Africa to treat their African subjects more humanely.

The petition asked the Queen investigate and to work to ameliorate the plight of Africans in African colonies.  It asked her to look into laws and customs that discriminated against them.  It also asked her to investigate things like the working conditions that they faced in the colonies.

Overall, then, the goals of the petition was to get the colonial powers to be more humane and to bring the injustices that Africans faced to the attention of the general publics of the colonial powers.

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