Thursday, October 18, 2018
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Steven Biko: Dying for an Idea That Will Live

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Stephen (Steve) Bantu Biko was born in Kingwilliamstown, Cape Province, on 18 December 1946, the third child of his parents. His father died when Steve was four. Biko completed his high school education in Natal at the Roman Catholic Mariannhill. In 1965, he began medical school in the Non-European section of the University of Natal. And it was here that he formed the South African Students’ Organisation (SASO) in 1968.

FACE 2019 and You

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In light of the unparalleled success of our launch event, we the organisers of FACE, (Forever Africa Conference and Events), are now turning our hands to planning FACE 2019. [Some of the points here are included in the previous FACE post, but it occurs to me that only the strong will read that post all the way to the bottom!]

Why We are Teaching Law & Race at the University of Bristol

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‘Education does not change the world. Education changes people. People change the world.’ — Paulo Freire, Brazilian Philosopher and Educator

In the 2018/2019 academic year, Yvette Russell and I will be (for the first time) teaching a unit called Law and Race. It is a very exciting prospect, not least because there are very few law schools in the UK who teach Race in any direct or focused way, and much fewer have a unit dedicated to Race.

Pan-Africanism, Afrofuturism and Decolonisation

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I will be delivering this talk as part of Bristol Students’ Union Black History Month programming.
In this talk, I will be discussing what I consider to be the true significance of Black History in the context of a university sector where conversations about decolonising the university and curricula have gained increasing volume. 

Patrice Lumumba: May Africa breathe the air of freedom

TRIGGER WARNING: This article contains information, description and pictures about extreme physical violence.

Patrice Émery Lumumba was born on the 2nd of July 1925 in the Kasai province of what is now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was once a postal clerk and also a travelling beer salesman. Tall, slim, and handsome, Lumumba had a dazzling smile, and piercing eyes that glittered through a signature pair of spectacles. He had 3 wives and many relationships. But it was when he got into politics that Lumumba became truly dangerous to the old colonial order.

Palm Trees in the Snow:

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I am constantly looking for films set in colonial Africa. For some reason they are very rare. I wonder why? There is an old movie starring Pierce Brosnan (one time 007). Mister Johnson. And not many more. However, I found one recently on Netflix. ‘Palm Trees in the Snow‘ It is a lovely Spanish language historical romantic drama set on Bioko Island in Equatorial Guinea [not Guinea Conakry, and not Guinea Bissau, and definitely not Papua New Guinea].

Thomas Sankara: Daring to Invent a Future Africa

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Born Thomas Isidore Noël Sankara on 21 December 1949, in what was then called Upper Volta, Sankara was the 3rd of 10 children. He is remembered as a Pan-Africanist, a revolutionary, a president, a musician and an upright man. His parents wanted him to be a priest, he wanted to be a doctor, but when corruption prevented him from getting into medical school, he became a soldier. He was a very talented musician, who believed the power of music as a force for building community.

‘Nigeria’ was never colonised

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I often hear people say that Nigeria should be recolonised. I argue here that Nigeria was never colonised. Come with me on a short journey as I explore how use of language affects how we differentiate truth from the fiction of the past, how we perceive present reality and how we trace out a future from our yesterday’s tomorrows. 

The Meaning of ‘Together’

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‘Together’ is the rhythm of all African music,

‘Together’ is the hidden meaning in every African’s name,

Africa and her diaspora,

The other and her other,

Together at last,

Together.

Difference, Equality and Creating the ‘Other’

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One of the tragedies of humanity is that people often think that equality means sameness and so people do not want or seek equality for those who are not the same as them. This is the politics of the other. This is the politics which means inferiority is ascribed to those who are not the same as those who have taken power from themselves as the natural order of things. Which is why everything is political. Apoliticalness is inscribed in the absence of struggle, the absence of subjugation. Sometimes silence is the loudest sound.