Monday, April 6, 2020
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Black History, Knowledge, Memory & Future II


This is a continuation from Part 1: In the previous post, I explained how African (Black) history is mostly a history of distortion and is mostly missing. We talk of the fallen antelope and not the lion that killed her and continues to feed on her. We fake-cry over a burning building and ignore those who set fire to it. We talk of Africa without knowing her. And to not know Africa is to not know the world. You do not study the world if such a massive part of it is missing from your knowledge base. You do not study the world.

Black History, Knowledge, Memory & Future I


This post is an amalgamation of two talks I gave in the last half a year:


  • Getting to the Future by Revisiting the Past: Law, history, education, knowledge in Africa, The International Students Conference for Africa (TISCA) 2019, University of Lancaster, 5-7 April 2019

I have divided this into two parts.

The Casualties by John Pepper Clark


John Pepper Clark-Bekederemo  was born 6 April 1935. He is a Nigerian poet and playwright, who often publishes as J. P. Clark and John Pepper Clark. His poem, “The Casualties” is essentially about the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970). When the Eastern part of Nigeria named itself Biafra and seceded from Nigeria, in the resulting conflict there were there were about 100,000 overall military casualties, while between 500,000 and 2 million Biafran civilians died of starvation. Most of them children. “The Casualties” emphasises the very widespread fallout of war. Nigeria has not come to terms with this tragedy and atrocity. (Note: I have deliberately not included pictures of starving children below, though they are readily available. It is my personal belief that it is disrespectful to share pictures of children in this way)

The global South is changing how knowledge is made, shared and used by R Morrell

by Robert Morrell, University of Cape Town

Globalisation and new technology have changed the ways that knowledge is made, disseminated and consumed. At the push of a button, one can find articles or sources from all over the world. Yet the global knowledge economy is still marked by its history.

FACE 2019: Building the Pan-African Inspired Multiversity


Tickets: Free

Dress Code: Pan African

All: Welcome

Theme: ‘Building the Pan-African Inspired Multiversity.’

Register here:

Universities in the Global North & Legacies of Slavery


Within the last decade, a number of universities in the Global North have begun to come to terms with the complicity of the academe in the legitimisation, perpetuation and erasure from intellectual memory of the Transatlantic Slave trade and attendant practice of slavery. Particular interest is being paid to financial gains, direct and indirect, as well as in some cases the use of actual labour of persons enslaved.

The Essence of Freedom


I have also been quite motivated by varying perspectives on the nature of freedom. Followers of African Skies may have read one or all of the following pieces I have written on freedom. It would be fair to say that I am very preoccupied with the idea of freedom, what it entails. When we know we have got it. What it means. How we define freedom. The thing is that we often think of freedom as an absolute – We are either free or we are not. I do not agree with this. Which is why I describe freedom as a becoming.

A few things that bother me about rom-coms


Ok, so I love and hate romcoms… Due to the nature and content of my research, I often need something light to step away from the darkness of human injustice. So I love rom-coms. I have watched Love Actually at least 10 times, and the Sound of Music owes at least £1000 worth of their revenue to my viewing alone. However there seems to be this misconception that they should be held to a lower standard and can dispense with logic, verisimilitude and connections to reality. So I am here to share some of my personal gripes:

Come Fly Nigeria With Me

Ogun State

Apparently it still needs to be said. Africa is not a country. It is the second largest continent in the world. Europe and the Americas can comfortably fit into its landmass. Simultaneously. Africa is 55 countries and 2 disputed territories (I am counting Somaliland as a country. The whys and wherefores of that are a whole different article. I can’t shout.)