In the United States African born blacks and their offspring exceed American born whites in many socio-economic indicators (particularly in the areas educational attainment and occupational status) in ways that resemble the gaps observed between native born white and black Americans in those same indicators (Charles, 2007; Le, 2007; Le, 2007; US Census Bureau, Census 2000. "5% Public Use Microdata Sample.") Something else to note, according to the New York Times (Roberts, 2005), for the first time in history more blacks are coming to the United States from Africa than during the slave trade. Immigration figures show that since 1990 more Africans have arrived voluntarily than the total who disembarked in chains before the United States outlawed international slave trafficking in 1807. In other words: black African achievement can not simply be dismissed as that of a “small group” of elites entirely unrepresentative of the greater continent. Moreover, the academic attainment and occupational achievements of African blacks have been documented in the UK (Li and Heath, 2006; Dustmann, Theodoropoulos, 2006) as well as in Canada (Guppy and Davies, 1998; Boyd, 2002).

Charles O. Ogindo filed the civil lawsuit in state Supreme Court in May seeking $200 million in compensatory damages and $2 million in punitive damages and attorney's fees. He is suing Binghamton University; his former adviser, Professor John J. Eisch; former chemistry department Chairman David C. Doetschman; Director of Graduate Studies Wayne E. Jones Jr.; and chemistry department Chairman Alistair J. Lees. T. Ogindo, 39, entered BU's doctoral program in 2004 after passing his course work, cumulative and oral exams, and submitting his dissertation prospectus, he said. With a timetable of defending his dissertation in December 2005, Ogindo said, he planned to receive his Ph.D. in 2006. But he never graduated. Instead, he claims the results of two experiments he implemented -- including one that was the crux of his dissertation -- were published by his adviser, Eisch, without including Ogindo as a co-author. Eisch is a distinguished professor of organic chemistry who has been at BU since 1972. Ogindo said he was then denied the opportunity to defend his dissertation for dubious reasons, which has left his academic and professional future in limbo.

Prof Watson attracted a deluge of criticism for his comments in a Sunday Times interview, reportedly saying he was "inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa" because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours - whereas all the testing says not really". He was quoted as saying he hoped everyone was equal, but that "people who have to deal with black employees find this is not true". Britain's most senior black MP, the skills minister, David Lammy, said the 79-year-old scientist's comments were "deeply offensive" and would "succeed only in providing oxygen for the BNP".

"Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory does not engage in any research that could even form the basis of the statements attributed to Dr Watson," the institute's president, Bruce Stillman, said. Dr Watson's comments were entirely his own and "in no way reflect the mission, goals, or principles of [the laboratory's] board, administration or faculty".

Neourobiologist Prof Steven Rose of the Open University, a founder member of the Society for Social Responsibility in Science, said such “racist” comments were also “genetic nonsense”. “He should recognise that statements of this sort have racist functions and are to be deeply, deeply regretted,” he said. “Making statements of that sort is certainly a great day for the British National Party but it’s a sad day for scientists and racial harmony.” Koku Adomdza, director of the black equality pressure group The 1990 Trust, labelled Dr Watson a “complete dinosaur” and pressed him to apologise to “Africa and all people of African origin”. “His very poisonously racist opinions put students and the unsuspecting public at serious risk.”

His views are also reflected in a book published next week, in which he writes: "There is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically. Our wanting to reserve equal powers of reason as some universal heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so." The furore echoes the controversy created in the 1990s by The Bell Curve, a book co-authored by the American political scientist Charles Murray, which suggested differences in IQ were genetic and discussed the implications of a racial divide in intelligence. The work was heavily criticised across the world, in particular by leading scientists who described it as a work of "scientific racism".

"There is prejudice. It is a problem and I can't go along any more with brushing it under the carpet," said Streatham's most famous export as far back as 1997. "This business is about selling, and blonde and blue-eyed girls are what sells." Saying this sort of stuff takes guts, no matter who you are; Campbell is not so much biting the hand that feeds as ripping it off at the wrist.

Knowledge Project

Africa Knowledge Project is an academic resource that offers journals and databases. Check them out.

 Upcoming Deadlines



LivewireRasta Livewire is a leading blog that provides in-depth viewpoints from Rastas in Africa and African Diaspora.

Africa Knowledge Project (AKP) publishes peer-reviewed journals and academic databases.

Ojedi is an online retailer of fine art and exceptional handcrafted pieces from around the world.

Africa House is an Africa and Diasporian gallery. Africa House accepts proposals for submission on a rolling basis.

African Event Posters show posters of events at Africa House.

African Gourmet Dinners shows images of African gourmet dishes.