A most interesting figure of PanAfricanism is Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. He seized power in Libya from King Idris, who was the first head of state for Libya, in a bloodless coup in 1969.
King Idris had been installed by the British and was a favored leader. He had supported the British in the 2nd World War and the defeat of Italy by the British and Allied Forces meant that he was to rule Libya (for the British).
While Libya gained independence in 1951, the people’s rule was not felt until 1969. However, it has been disputed – whether it really was the people’s rule.
Gaddafi upheld his philosophy of the Third International Theory, published and explored extensively in the Green Book, the constitution of Libya. It was based on ideas of Socialism, Marxism, and PanAfricanism.
In the Green Book, Gaddafi believes that Black people will dominate the world through population size and the idea of family.
Of women, the Green Book advocates for equity over equality.
“It is an undisputed fact that both man and woman are human
beings. It follows, as a self-evident fact, that woman and man are
equal as human beings. Discrimination against woman by man
is a flagrant act of oppression without justification for woman
eats and drinks as man eats and drinks; woman loves and hates
as man loves and hates; woman thinks, learns and comprehends
as man thinks, learns and comprehends. Woman, like
man, needs shelter, clothing, and transportation; woman feels
hunger and thirst as man feels hunger and thirst; woman lives
and dies as man lives and dies.”
At the time of his assassination, Gaddafi was in the process of pursuing an African currency, the Gold Dinar, a currency that was based on the historical Islamic Gold Dinar and was ultimately supposed to be African currency in the way that the Euro is a European currency.
A BBC documentary on Colonel Gaddafi (1976)
Gaddafi himself struggles to define who is a terrorist in the struggle for freedom. He stands on the fine line between hero and terrorist and history has not been kind to him. He remains a good example of how history can tell two truths.