Over the course of nearly 20 centuries, millions of East Africans crossed the Indian Ocean and its several seas and adjoining bodies of water in their journey to distant lands, from Arabia and Iraq to India and Sri Lanka.
Called Kaffir, Siddi, Habshi, or Zanji, these men, women and children from Sudan in the north to Mozambique in the south Africanized the Indian Ocean world and helped shape the societies they entered and made their own.
Free or enslaved, soldiers, servants, sailors, merchants, mystics, musicians, commanders, nurses, or founders of dynasties, they contributed their cultures, talents, skills and labor to their new world, as millions of their descendants continue to do. Yet, their heroic odyssey remains little known.
The African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean World traces a truly unique and fascinating story of struggles and achievements across a variety of societies, cultures, religions, languages and times.
posted by infini
on Feb 6, 2014 -
"The Beydanes, also known as White Moors
, are the ruling caste in Mauritania. They are Arab Berber tribesmen whose ancestors established control in the seventeenth century. The Haratin, also known as Black Moors
, are the descendants of black West Africans conquered and enslaved by the Beydanes centuries ago." from the New Yorker story, A Slave in New York
, about a former slave who escaped in 1978, came to live in America and now works with the American Anti-Slavery Group
. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye
on Feb 6, 2009 -
From the Bookstalls of a Nigerian Market
. Onitsha Market Literature consists of stories, plays, advice and moral discourses published primarily in the 1960s by local presses in the lively market town of Onitsha
[in then-newly-independent Nigeria
]... In the fresh and vigorous genre of Onitsha Market Literature, the commoner wrote pulp fiction and didactic handbooks for those who perused the bookstalls of Onitsha Market, one of Africa’s largest trading centers.
Examples: How To Write And Reply Letters For Marriage, Engagement Letters, Love Letters And How To Know A Girl To Marry
, Learn To Speak 360 Interesting Proverbs And Know Your True Brother
, Struggle For Money [All full-text links are in pdf format, and some are quite large].
With links to additional resources
posted by amyms
on Jun 4, 2008 -
The Secret Museum of Mankind
:: "Published in 1935, the Secret Museum is a mystery book. It has no author or credits, no copyright, no date, no page numbers, no index ... The tone of the commentary is dated, and uniformly racist in the extreme, often hilariously so. It reads like the patter of a carnival sideshow barker, from a time when the world was divided between "modern" Europeans and "savages" ... Presented here is the Secret Museum in its entirety, all 564 pages scanned and transcribed-- nothing is omitted or censored ... Treat it as entertainment instead of education (don't take it seriously and don't believe a word it says!), adjust for the blatant racial bias of the time, and enjoy."
posted by anastasiav
on Feb 14, 2008 -
National Geographic has a special issue
on Africa out this month. There's also their Africa resource
posted by Gyan
on Sep 21, 2005 -
The Vagina Monologues
is, to the outrage of many, being staged at a cultural center in Kampala, Uganda, East Africa. For the past few weeks, the play has been a key topic of debate
, with many radio stations even refusing to utter the name of the play out loud, and shaming call-in listeners that do. Today, the local media council announced that “to the extent that the play promotes illegal, unnatural sexual acts, homosexuality and prostitution, it should be and is hereby banned
, citing the play as "a smokescreen for graphic lesbian pornography" and that the play's "graphic descriptions of masturbation, rape, and genital mutilation in a manner that is “abhorrent, outrageous and disgusting." Local NGOs
are even refusing to accept funds generated by the sale of tickets.
posted by Kololo
on Feb 17, 2005 -
Female genital mutilation
is a blight on women's lives in many parts of Africa. Today's NY Times
has a story
"Genital Cutting Shows Signs of Losing Favor in Africa" by Mark Lacey, that gives grounds for optimism:
Slowly, genital cutting is
losing favor. Parliaments are passing laws forbidding the practice, which causes widespread death and disfigurement. Girls are fleeing their homes to keep their vaginas intact. And the women who have been carrying
out the cutting, and who have been revered by their communities for doing so, are beginning to lay down their knives.
(If you don't want to register with the NYT, here
the Mathaba.net copy.)
posted by languagehat
on Jun 8, 2004 -
The power of Western culture
illustrated with the story of Miss World 2001. Agbani Darego
of Nigeria is single-handedly responsible for a radical change in the feminine beauty ideal in her native country: voluptuous women are out, thin girls are in. A stunning illustration of the cultural power of the West, and a good example to think about what it means - for the better and for the worse - to those under its spell.
posted by ugly_n_sticky
on Oct 3, 2002 -