I was very happy to be able to present different aspects of my ongoing research on legal education at the Socio-Legal Studies Association conference. My research, which is pedagogical as well as jurisprudential, examines what happens at the intersection of legal education, race as well as a history of changing ideas of what it means to be human.
Africa and Africans have a long history of being written into darkness. The written word has weighed heavy on us. Used to name and label and distort and deform. Used to know and unknow Africa, till all that remains is an extended history of non-recognition of personhood. We are constantly written into darkness.
This is not my first post about the Rwandan Genocide. It will probably not be my last. But this is not about the genocide, which should actually not be called a genocide (but more on that later.) This is about where it stands in the context of the world, and where the world stands in relation to it. I can still remember getting a glimpse of CNN in July 1994, I was gasping for news of the genocide, but CNN had a feature on how events in Rwanda had affected the existence of the mountain gorilla.
There is a type of person who stands at the graveside of a sleeping warrior and sneers…, Who watching the lowering coffin brings out a catalogue of all the warrior’s failings and defeats then smirks. There is a type of person who hides behind the veil of death to sit in judgment. We know your type.
We step out with painted feet into this dance.
When the drumming starts, we move our feet haphazardly to the beat of the drums, wavering yet weaving each step into the tapestry set beneath us.
[I wrote this while I was doing my Master’s degree: 2007-2008.]
Welcome to the cold. I wish you all the very best in your studies. All success shall be yours, just as soon as you are able to locate the nearest African shop. After which the library. For maximum success, there are a few things, misconceptions you will need to unlearn:
‘We have not always found comfort in killers.
We have not always found solace being rocked
in the bosoms of those who silently pray
and openly destroy.