your energy is not your own

| March 24, 2008 - 10:45 pm

Tags: Africa, apartheid, energy, Mozambique, South Africa

Earlier this month I wrote about how South Africa's war into Mozambique has contributed to Mozambique checking in at one of the poorest countries in the world. It seems that the apartheid past is still too close at hand to allow Mozambique ample space to regain its footing.

when the rubber hits the road: rolling on the misfortunes of marcus garvey

| March 23, 2008 - 12:21 am

Tags: Africa, Liberia, Marcus Garvey, rubber, UNIA

What do you know about Liberia? Or do you even care?

Americans pay little attention to Liberia, and most Europeans think of the country as a joke. […] In case of apparently friendly relations between that country and European powers there has usually come to the surface some design to deprive Liberia of its territory or to secure some economic advantage. The American’s endorsement of the Firestone invasion of that African area shows that on this side of the Atlantic the same attitude has developed.

(Azikiwe 352)
The above quote best exemplifies what happened in Liberia in the 1920s in regards to the selling out of elite Liberians to US capitalist interests. Exploring the past is key to understanding how and why the exploitation of Liberians continues to happen today. Beginning as a colony for African-American settlement on the continent of Africa, Liberia grew from a small community of hopefuls into a nation rife with exploitation and a class system that denies the existence of, as Marcus Garvey might say, a “United Negro State.” With much help from the U.S. the new nation of Liberia was established and it started its long journey into the world of nations. (Pham 12) As it embarked on this journey it was not without the typical bumps and bruises. As Liberia encountered financial troubles it turned its back on the country’s founding principles. Thus the economic interests of the U.S. and the black Liberian elites superceded the facades of black-nationalism and Garveyism in the ‘black nation’ of Liberia.

Note: Written in 2006 as a research paper for a 2nd semester college writing course.

Getting my hands dirty in Africa

| March 8, 2008 - 7:39 pm

Tags: Africa, AIDS, AIDS epidemic, children, internship, orphans

It is easy to take the statistics, even one of an epidemic,
and never fully understand them as anything else other than numbers. No emotion
goes into reading numbers, no humanity is necessary to analyze graphs, charts,
or percentages. But there is some emotional baggage that comes with hearing the
stories of those individual people who are affected by something like HIV AIDS.
There is something deafening, something biting, something ultimately
frustrating and scary that comes with choosing to take a walk on the human side
of a figure like: "Some 15 million children under age 18 have lost one or
both parents to AIDS," or " projections that expanded access to

what apartheid has done with affordable transportation

| February 27, 2008 - 10:34 pm

Tags: Africa, apartheid, CIA, FRELIMO, Mozambique, RENAMO, South Africa

A week of riots and clashes sparked in the capital as the government attempted to raise fuel prices by 50%. Mozambique is often unheard of in international news, but a week of violent riots in Maputo leaving 100 injured and four dead were enough to bring the world's poorest country to the headlines. The fuel price jump was proposed as a response to the 14% rise in diesel fuel costs. Food prices have also experienced an increase due to the rise in fuel costs. The reason that riots erupted was not only because of rising fuel costs, but mainly because of the low wages that people in Mozambique make. The more interesting question may be why is Mozambique so poor and why would the government seek a 50% increase in price to meet the demand?

Call for Papers - Articulate.

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Ode to My Ancestors

| February 21, 2008 - 3:49 pm

Tags: Africa, African-Americans, heritage, Native American, race, religion, YP4 Summit

In my travels across the internet, the vast expanse of
nothingness that it is, I stumbled upon something very interesting. The
following names:

Burt Reynolds, Cher, Kim Bassigner, Jessica Biel, Benjamin Bratt, Rita
Coolidge, Cameron Diaz, Shannon Elizabeth, Ava Gardner, Val Kilmer, Della
Reese, Maria Tallchief, Tina Turner, Johnny Depp, Keanu Reeves, Tommy Lee
Jones, Heather Locklear, Chuck Norris, Demi Moore, Elvis Presley, Della Reese,
Quinten Tarrantino, Billy Bob Thornton, Carmen Electra, Buffy Sainte-Marie,
James Earl Jones, Wayne Newton, Mykelti Williamson…

more on politics in kenya

| February 16, 2008 - 4:15 pm

Tags: Africa, Kenya, Kofi Annan, politics, President Bush

Relative calm has returned to Kenya, the Rift Valley saw nearly 1000 people killed and 170,000 flee to their ancestral homes. Business are reopened, roadblocks removed, and armed police patrol the streets. Those who have fled may not face the violence any longer, but life in the camps is made no less difficult by the recent rains. The taxi service has resume, but access to food and medications is a rising issue. The armed patrols that used to be known for ruthless brutality are now seen as protectors. Kisumu, which saw widespread rioting, is back to calm. Maseno University is still not open because it cannot ensure security to its students. The Nairobi slums have remained mostly calm as the negotiations with Kofi Annan are taking place, however the slums saw the worst of the post-election violence. There are some reports that say the slums are now divided by ethnic lines. Mombasa, contributing 15% of Kenya's economy through tourism, saw no real trouble except for tourists canceling their vacations. While the calm has returned the hopes of the country seem to teeter on Annan's ability to forge a coalition government. What cannot be forgotten as these talks begin is the political and colonial history of Kenya (read more here).

Continue story below.

african slaves brought more than their bodies

| February 15, 2008 - 2:41 pm

Tags: Africa, Carolina Gold, culture, music, Rice, slavery

Besides being the workhorses of a growing young nation, African slaves brought with them their music, art, culture, and food. All modern music can be traced back to roots in slavery and Africa: country, rock, jazz, and especially hip hop. The influences of African artistic expression and shared culture can easily be seen, but what is often looked over are the not so easily recognizable economic influences of African slaves.

Her: A creative piece for the masses

| February 1, 2008 - 2:47 pm

Tags: Africa, art, creativity, poetry, study abroad, visual



I never imagined it would take
eighteen hours to get to Her--Her name I cannot say just yet.

chinese exodus of influence

| January 30, 2008 - 2:32 pm

Tags: Africa, China, development

In the early days of African discovery soldiers, missionaries, and explorers led the way towards the attempted understanding of and preceding conquest of Africa. This push came from the world powers of the day in Western Europe - now we see a new wave of settlers moving in on the African continent. However, this exodus should not be a surprise. Lured by the increase in wealth, property, and life style, Chinese migrants are starting new lives in Africa. Approved by the Beijing government, the migrants are involved in agriculture reform, construction (which is a huge Chinese business in Africa), and trade.