Why This Country Banned His Newspaper From Black People

March 25, 2019

African activist Dusé Ali thought he was happiest at 19 years old, while entertaining English audiences on stage - and little more. 

But 26 years later, frustrated that his career had included few roles other than the stereotyped Muslim villain or a slave, he took back his dignity and found a career no one expected. 

In 1912, he created The African Times and Orient Review news publication as a platform to speak out against racism and imperialism throughout the world. 

The paper’s reporting and advocacy work opened the door for Ali to befriend Pan-African leaders, including Marcus Garvey himself.

Garvey and Ali found a common bond through journalism and public speaking. 

Ali nurtured Garvey’s theories on ways to liberate Black people across the continent of Africa and throughout Europe, before joining the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) - serving as its head of African affairs. 

Their Black liberation agenda gained worldwide adoption until the British stepped in.

In an attempt to suppress any anti-colonialism views that could lead to an uprising for independence, the United Kingdom banned distribution of the African Times and Orient Review across their colonies, including India and many African nations.

That was the powerful threat Ali’s work posed.

Being shut down by the UK didn’t stop Dusé Ali. He went on to settle in Nigeria, where - through his second publication, The Comet - he continued advocating for Black people and Black liberation.

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