Amilcar Cabral, the key figure in Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde’s independence was born in September 1924 and was assassinated in October 1973. He also had a impact far beyond his own country’s borders; see Chris Marker’s ‘San Soliel,’ historian Basil Davidson’s work and a lecture he gave in Syracuse in February 1970, for example). Like Lumumba before him and Sankara after him, Cabral was murdered in the prime of his life. Cabral was assassinated by Portuguese agents months before Guinea-Bissau declared independence from Portuguese colonial rule.
Cabral, like Fanon before him had an incredible grasp of political struggle, social movements and political outcomes. For example, he once said: “Always remember that the people are not fighting for ideas, nor for what is in men’s minds. The people fight and accept the sacrifices demanded by the struggle in order to gain material advantages, to live better and in peace, to benefit from progress, and for the better future of their children. National liberation, the struggle against colonialism, the construction of peace, progress and independence are hollow words devoid of any significance unless they can be translated into a real improvement of living conditions.”
This song and music video–“Viva Amilcar Cabral” by Paris-based rap group MC Malcriado–captures his appeal to the new generation. They’re a group of MC’s with Cape Verdean roots.) Read the subtitles. It’s good history lesson for the youngsters. They also drop some zouk at the end. Watch it here.