[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.
The Middle Passage…
Such innocent sounding words for a 400-year campaign of catastrophe against African bodies…
Today is international women’s day. And while I understand why we have to have such a day, it is sometimes hard to celebrate its existence. Just yesterday I was listening to MP Mhairi Black reading out vile and misogynistic abuse she receives day in day out, because she is a woman. MP Diana Abbott’s staff say reading Ms Abbott’s correspondence brings them in contact with the N word with alarming frequency.
There are going to be a million think-pieces on Black Panther – negative and many, many positive. I am going to throw mine in the ring anyways. If you have something to say, there is no reason to be silent, just because other people are also speaking. I am not a cinema-going person. My visit to the cinema to watch Black Panther marked the end of a 5-year drought of cinema non-going and will probably mark the beginning of another 5 year hiatus. I am going to be discussing themes from the movie here. So if you have not watched it. Go and watch it and come back. Because here be spoilers….
One of the things we constantly seem to debate is who is right or who is wrong. What side of a argument is morally right? Who holds the moral high ground in a difference of opinion. We seem to suggest that inherent in humanity is something irretrievably humane. We seem to suggest, if even only subconsciously, that if we search long enough, we will find the world’s moral compass embedded in one side of the artificially constructed divide.
Often when we talk about atrocities we perceive to be ‘historical,’ we are presented with one of two views about them. The first is the idea that this all happened a long time ago. So we should forget and move on. The other, put simply is… it happened. This horrifying, unimaginable terror actually, actually happened. It was conceived in human hearts and minds and was carried out by human hands, sometimes over a long period of time, but it happened. It. Happened.
When shithole-gate landed (or opened), the intial furore was about whether the words had been said or not. The debate that followed swiftly after that was an argument about whether or not African countries were in fact, actually shitholes.