Dusé Mohamed Ali


He was an early mentor of Marcus Garvey. Born today in 1866, the powerful Pan-Africanist, Dusé Mohamed Ali. He was considered by the British government to be a ‘notorious disseminator of sedition’. Ali published the first political journal produced by and for Black people ever published in Britain, the ‘Africa Times and Orient Review’. “…In 1912 Garvey came to England and experienced racism at the very heart of British imperialism. While there he became closely associated with Duse Mohammed Ali. Ali was a kind of mentor to Marcus Garvey who was a staff writer for the ‘Africa Times and Orient Review’ between 1912 and 1913.” Ali who began his career as an actor and playwright and worked as a ‘penny-a-line’ journalist would eventually become the founder and editor of The Comet, which in 1933 became Nigeria’s largest weekly, selling around 4,000 issues per week. Ali also established the Universal Islamic Society in Detroit, Michigan in 1926 (which in turn influenced the creation of the Nation of Islam by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad in 1930). Duse Mohamed Ali was born in Alexandria, Egypt to an Egyptian father, Abdul Salem Ali (who was an army officer), and a Sudanese mother. He was sent to England for schooling in 1876 and lost contact with his family because they were unable to afford his return to Egypt (as a result he lost his knowledge of Arabic). Ali would spend the rest of his life living away from Egypt, traveling widely throughout the global Afrikan community, and living in England, the United States, and Nigeria. In his early 40’s he began work as a journalist, publishing articles on Egyptian nationalism and African oppression in the New Age, an influential London-based socialist weekly literary journal. Two years later he published a short history of Egypt titled In the Land of the Pharaohs. Reputedly the first history of Egypt written by an Egyptian, the book received critical acclaim, catapulting Ali into international, and especially Pan African, prominence. Traveling and forging relationships throughout the African world were central themes of his 78-year life’s journey. Duse Mohamad Ali retired from the newspaper’s management in 1943 and died in Lagos two years later on February 26, 1945 at the age of 78

via The Thought Laboratory

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