"Choosing to use the United States as the stage to recognize these men and women and organizations who are working to bring the continent at par with the rest of the world is deliberate on our part since the world is given the opportunity each year to witness Africa's best and brightest showcased under the same roof. The African Times and our partners in painstakingly selecting these eminent persons who are not only Africans by birth but those who have contributed to the uplift of the continent's profile never forget that it is the responsibility of the Africans themselves to re-write their stories and change the Western media stereotype of their homeland."

The Atlantic slave trade brought Africans to Puerto Rico in the early 1500s. Some of the first slave rebellions took place on the island of Puerto Rico. Until 1846, Africanos on the island had to carry a libreta to move around the island, like the passbook system in apartheid South Africa. In Puerto Rico, you will find large communities of descendants of the Yoruba, Bambara, Wolof and Mandingo people. Puerto Rican culture is inherently African culture.

By honouring Achebe they have redressed what is seen in Africa - and beyond - as the acute injustice that he has never received the Nobel prize, allegedly because he has spent his life struggling to break the grip of western stereotypes of Africa. One of his most famous essays is an onslaught against Joseph Conrad's masterpiece Heart of Darkness, a novel about a European's descent into savagery in Africa.

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