By Biko Agozino

How to Free the Enslaved

Dear Children,

You may be wondering why I sent you the Willie Lynch speech for discussion. The reason is that some people believe that his fear-envy-distrust methods still work today to prevent black men from being true men and to prevent black men and black women from building healthy families. There are no chains around our feet (as Bob Marley sang) but if we suffer from mental slavery, then we are not yet free from slavery. The key to freedom is therefore the mind or the awareness that we are not yet free. The speech emphasized that the way to maintain slavery is to weaken the mind of the men and keep them physically strong.

Read more: Willie Lynch Failed

By Biko Agozino

Naipual's problem is primarily that of ingratitude which he probably inherited from his father. According to the literary theorist and former Principal of the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies, Dr Bho Tewarie, if Mr Biswas was a little more grateful to all the people who were trying to help him instead of constantly griping against them, he may have been a more successful person in life. The son is similarly dismissive of his debts to the Caribbean, to Oxford ('Oxford taught me nothing'), to his parents, wife, and partners, to India and to Africa. The lesson for younger writers is to learn the habit of gratitude and eschew the white-superiorism that might interfere with their writings because even good prose would not be enough to attract and retain significant readership when the personality and ideology are obnoxious and turn-offish.

Read more: Naipaul's Ingratitude

By Damola Awoyokun

As the United States deadline to pull out its troops from Iraq approaches, I give myself grounds to recall my efforts to bring forward that date. As the sun woke up on that Thursday, March 21, 2003 announcing the darkness that has enveloped Iraq and beyond, spruced up in an aso oke agbada over jeans, and dog-eared cap, I commenced a protest march from Maryland in lagos to meet the representatives of Bushmen in Nigeria taking conspicuous parts of the expressway with the hope that from my demonstration somebody gets infected and inspired somewhere. Detailed on my posters as I set out to join and to give an African dimension to the global anti-war flow were: 'BUSHmen are weapon of mass destruction'. 'Those who kill by the sword will die by the sword', 'Tony Blaring Noise: it is a foolish fly that follows the corpse to the grave', 'It is Iraq today it could be Niger-Delta tomorrow'. 'Disarm BUSHmen now'. Someone nearly die; someone just die. Police dey come army dey come…

Read more: A Protester at the American Embassy

By Augusto Nunes

Vice-ministro da Cultura, Luís Candjimbo, em entrevista a O PAÍS, fala das actividades alusivas ao 25 de Maio

África 46 anos depois, como se pode definir hoje, se comparada com outros continentes?

Houve grandes avanços. Muitos poderão dizer que não há evidências e avanços. Referem-se apenas a questões de ordem económica, aos níveis económicos. Devo dizer que ao longo desses anos tive¬mos a concretização dos ideais, em primeiro lugar do pan-africanismo, de que a própria Unidade Africana é expressão.

Read more: Africa em Debate no País

Editorial (July 22, 2010)

Nobody involved in the Shirley Sherrod scandal emerged with reputation intact — except, of course, for Sherrod herself. But although key players Andrew Breitbart, Tom Vilsack or Benjamin Jealous all deserve a measure of scorn, we're even more distressed by a political culture that, despite the promise of a "post-racial" society after Barack Obama's election as president, has clearly made little progress in coming to terms with the issues that divide our multiracial nation.

Read more: Shirley Sherrod and A 'Post-Racial' America

By Peter Nicholas and Kathleen Hennessey, Tribune Washington Bureau (July 21, 2010)

The Obama administration issued an extraordinary public apology Wednesday and offered to reinstate a federal official who was fired after she appeared to make racial comments on a misleading snippet of video.

When it became clear that her comments had been taken out of context, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke to Shirley Sherrod by phone to apologize and to ask if she would return to the department.

Read more: White House Apologizes to Fired USDA Worker

This is an illuminating interview with Haile Gerima about his experience as an Ethiopian filmmaker, and discusses issues faced by independent filmmakers, lack of distribution, including the hostile reception and rejection by American press from Washington Post, Time, New York Times, National Public Radio (NPR) and others for his film Sankofa until the film was embraced by the Black community. Additionally, Sankofa was the only independent film that was in competition with major Hollywood movies at the international film festival. The interview was conducted by Lee Thornton for  "A Moment with..." at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Read more: Haile Gerima on His Experience as an Independent Ethiopian Filmmaker

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