Saturday, November 18, 2017
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Casual Racism: Speaking of Africa and Blackness

AUSTRALIA, Sydney: About 40 anti-racism protesters, including local residents and cosplay enthusiasts, picket a meeting organised by nationalist political group the Australia First Party (AFP) at its Sydney headquarters on July 26, 2014. The meeting was held to oppose the number of international students at Australian universities. Many of the anti-racism demonstrators also attended a counter-protest held earlier at a Marrickville Woolworths supermarket, where another nationalist party, the Party for Freedom, attempted to stage a protest over the company's celebration of the Islamic month of Ramadan. (AAP Image/NEWZULU/KRISTEN DALY). NO ARCHIVING, CROWD SOURCED CONTENT, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Let me start by saying that the idea that racism can be casual, or unintentional or without consequence is appalling.

Grenfell Burns. We All Burn.


The history of humanity can be told in frames of people looking away,

Always looking away,

Looking away from complaints,

Looking away from warnings,

The history of humanity will be told in stories of people hiding away,

Misogynoir: Did Not Start with Saartjie, Will Not End with Serena


This was not an easy one to write. But we must confront our devils and our demons. Silence is how black women die. We fall into the world’s silences, like we fall into oceans, drown, like we fall into open graves, in the fields, like we disappear into social prisons, held there by malicious silences, and wilful blindnesses. Cold and callous. So we need to talk. We need to talk about misogynoir.

African Female Heroes: A talk by me


    A student of mine has embarked on a project to uncover fictional and non-fictional African Heroes. The video below is my contribution to her laudable project. This is followed by summaries of the life stories of my heroes figures.

    Why we go to vote


    A vote is a dangerous thing to waste. Politics is almost certainly never something to be left to politicians. And that is why we vote and fight for the right to vote. I always find it slightly amusing when people begin a statement by saying ‘Politics aside.’ Politics is never aside and politics is never an aside. The personal is always political. Those in government decide the quality of life you can aspire to, funding for schools, health, who you can marry, who you can meet, how well the nation develops, societal rights and wrongs, the quality of air, what schools you can go to, what schools teach, the food that you eat … none of these things is completely personal and none of these things is solely political. And so, we go to vote.

    Why All the Fuss about Cultural Appropriation?


    So a few weeks ago, I wrote about Afronesia and Afrotortion – the acts of erasing Africa and distorting her value. I suggested that the only way to end this toxic relationship between Africa and the rest of the world was for those of us who care to seek truth and speak out.  Damien Hirst then went to look for my trouble that I hid in a far away place. Oshisko! Alaparutu!! Atoole!!! So what did Damien actually do?

    What if the Sound of Music was Made in Nollywood?


    One day, some of my friends and I, all lovers of the original Sound of Music movie, decided to brainstorm on what the plot of SOM would have looked like if given the Nollywood treatment. The following are some of our ideas for modifications and/or rewrites. What are yours?

    Ending Afronesia and Afrotortion


    A few weeks ago I wrote about Afronesia and Afrotortion – the interrelated acts of forgetting Africa and distorting the ideological remnants of her image. In the weeks following that post, I have tried to direct my mind to how these two epistemically violent acts can be ended. For seekers, epistemic violence is the violence of knowledge production, the discourse involved in the practice of ‘othering’, using language to differentiate, demarcate, demean and ultimately dehumanise, thus inevitably creating the conditions for physical violence. When we think about it in this way, we see that Africa’s symbolisation as other, as less than human, as incompetent, has always framed African interaction with the rest of the world, whether it be on the continent or the diaspora.

    Afro-nesia and Afro-tortion


    There are two interrelated and false ways in which the image of Africa is presented to the world. In this post I explain what they are and how they connect.

    Afronesia: Look closely at most global narratives, media coverage, fiction, films, non-fictional writing etc. When the topic is of global relevance and significance, Africa is often left out or forgotten.

    We Must Always Remember That Time in April


    I can never forget the Rwandan genocide. April 1994. I was in secondary school. Still wearing the chequered frock of Junior Secondary and not yet the elegant pinafore of the Senior set. On April 6, 1994, an aircraft carrying Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira was shot down. That barely registered on my radar. The African Cup of Nations was going on in Tunisia and Nigeria would eventually go on to win it. We had also qualified for the World Cup in the USA. All-4-One’s greatest hit ‘I Swear’ was on the lips of every schoolboy. Sonny Okosuns had brought his distinct style of singing to Gospel. The Rich Also Cry was on television and we were still enthralled by Living in Bondage.