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African American Multigenerational Trauma & Issues of Violence

This course focuses on the suffering and traumas associated with the African experience in America inclusive of the periods of capture, transport, enslavement, emancipation leading up to current times. Multigenerational patterns of adaptive behaviors passed along through generations will be explored with an emphasis on assessment and interventions using evidence based, culture specific, and social justice models. The course will provide practical tools that will inform practice and empower individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities throughout the change process. Dr. Joy Degruy Portland State University View Syllabus

Black Panther and Unforgivable Radicalism

By Christian Rozier

Without an image of tomorrow, one is trapped by blind history, economics, and politics beyond our control…Only by having clear and vital images of the many alternatives, good and bad, of where one can go, will we have any control over the way we may actually get there in a reality tomorrow will bring all too quickly.”—Samuel R. Delany

Bubbling up from the primordial soup of the Mississippi Delta mud, warbling and otherworldly notes of transcendence emerged from the dusky throats of sharecroppers and the guitar strings of convicts to transport the spirits of their communities to some dimension of eternity in which they were momentarily and ecstatically free from the daily humiliations and hardships of daily life.Delta blues musicians including Geeshie Wiley and Charlie Patton used their haunting voices to construct rocket ships to a new promised land. Earlier, enslaved Africans in 18th century New Orleans gathered each Sunday in Congo Square and with drums, bells, and bodies, conjured chariots for their spirits to escape the temporal and touch the eternal plane. From Alice Coltrane to Octavia Butler, George Clinton to Janelle Monae, the Black Imagination is the principal scaffolding of liberation. As Clinton and Eddie Hazel remind us, first you gotta free your mind, and your ass will follow.

Black Panther: A Spoiler-free Blerd (Black Nerd) Review

By Marquise Griffin

For the next three weeks, Praxis Center will publish three different takes on the highly anticipated film Black Panther. In a Good Morning America interview, Chadwick Boseman was asked what he hoped people would take away from the film. His response was both simple and profound: you’ll get from the film what you take into it. In other words, each person will have a perspective that is unique to their background and position. In this spirit, we will be sharing three different perspectives—from a comic book geek, a filmmaker geek, and a black identity geek. All three writers are black and have particular ways of viewing and thinking about this film. We will start with Marquise Griffin, a self-described “blerd” (black nerd) and former student of mine, who entered the film with great apprehension as an enthusiastic comic book geek. Next week we’ll share a review from Christian Rozier, a filmmaker and film studies professor. After that, I will wrap up this Black Panther mini-series with thoughts on what the film offers to us on the issue of Pan-African black identity. —Stephanie Shonekan, Contributing Editor, Music, Art and Pop Culture

Sawubona (I see you): Memory and Social Justice in South Africa

By Lisa Brock, Senior Editor

This piece is dedicated to my comrade and friend Ahmed “Kathy” Kathrada, who passed away earlier this week. As one of the Rivonia Eight, he spent 25 years in prison with Mandela. In 2009, he shared his Robben Island story with our group from Columbia College Chicago and in that same year shared a meal in my home in Chicago. I will never forget his commitment, his intelligence and his wit. He, and his cohort, had a way of spinning hardship and repression into funny stories. Go Well, Great One!

Making Violence Visible: From #BlackLivesMatter to #StoptheBleeding Africa

By Emily Williams and William Minter

In June 2015, a coalition of six Pan-African activist networks launched #StoptheBleeding Africa in Nairobi, Kenya to curb the hemorrhage of resources from the African continent. As the #BlackLivesMatter movement continues to gain strength in the United States, this Pan-African coalition came together to expose and mobilize global support to end illicit financial flows – money that is illegally earned, transferred or used. Estimates of illegal transactions in Africa show a loss of at least $50 billion to $80 billion in wealth every year, a figure that would be incalculably more if transfers made legal by loopholes and unfair treaties were included. Some flows are only seen as “legal” because the laws are written and interpreted by those profiting from the system. Nevertheless, the outflow of clearly illegal funds is far greater than the estimated $40 billion a year that Africa receives in official development assistance.

“Sold To Africa”: Remembering Patrice Lumumba

By Keisha Blain | African American Intellectual History Society

Fifty-five years ago, on January 17, 1961, Patrice Lumumba, the first democratically-elected prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was assassinated in a coordinated transnational effort backed by the United States and Belgium in order to maintain imperial control in the region. Born on July 2, 1925 in the village of Onalua in the Congo’s Kasai Province, Lumumba became one of the leading African nationalists of the twentieth century.

An uncompromising political leader, Lumumba advocated African unity, economic self-sufficiency, and true independence for Africa. Unlike many of his counterparts, Lumumba was unwilling to accept a counterfeit independent government for his own economic and political gain. He was, according to revolutionary philosopher Frantz Fanon, “sold to Africa” and thus could not be bought by any imperialist power. A political visionary, Lumumba was committed to securing and maintaining the independence of the Congo and actively supported nationalist movements in Rhodesia (modern Zimbabwe), South Africa, and other parts of Africa. According to Fanon, the charismatic Congolese leader envisioned “the liberation of the Congo [as] the first phase of the complete independence of Central and Southern Africa.”2 

IF AFRICA HAD RULED EUROPE

By Beverly Hawk | Journal of Opinion After years of colonial trade, international business speaks an African language. You have to polish your African language to get a good job. Africans do not deign to speak English–except for a few anthropologists and linguists who are curious about native customs. The best way to get ahead is to convert to an African religion. It helps your language skills, and the African missionaries stationed here can get you into African schools. The most prestigious schools are African. People prefer them because they are the best; they are the best because people prefer them. These schools get the very best minds from the former colonies and settlements around the world. They say they do not discriminate by race, religion, or national origin. Of course, you must be qualified. A degree from an English-speaking school wont get you a job, so your own institutions…

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