They wash dishes in restaurants, clean toilets and look after elderly incontinent people in the West. That makes the majority of the 30 million who have emigrated from Africa. Some are much luckier, they work in subaltern management positions in corporate America or in public institution in Europe. Few are real stars, successful with high pay and social status. Regardless of their current fate, they all share one thing in common: most of them want to return to Africa.
The recent medias’ drumbeat about “Africa is Rising” is making them restless and hopeful because most of them have quite a petty life in the West. They are constantly harassed by the state police, crushed by daily racism from their neighbors and strangers, economically and politically isolated, and with very little hope for a near-future improvement.
Unfortunately their dream to return home is painfully held back by deep fears and unanswered questions. Here are the top 10 fears of the African diaspora about Africa, and also the top 10 questions most of them are confronted with.
posted by infini
on Apr 28, 2013 -
As Americans, we pick a place to live and then figure out how to get where we need to go. If no way exists, we build it. Roads, arterials, highways, Interstates, and so on. Flexible and distributed transportation networks are really the only solution compatible with that way of thinking. Trains, which rely on a strong central network, never had a chance. We were destined for the automobile all the way back in 1787, when we first decided to carve up the countryside into tidy squares. Town, Section, Range, and the Transportation Psychology of a Nation [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee
on Nov 30, 2012 -
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films
were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating
, preparing for being drafted
, and shyness
, as well as to children on following the law
, the value of quietness in school
, and appreciating our parents
. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health
, what kind of people live in America
, how to keep a job
, supervising women workers
, the nature of capitalism
, and the plantation System in Southern life
. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives
as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Nov 1, 2012 -
Control of Robert Smithson's earthwork masterpiece Spiral Jetty (360° panorama - QuickTime required)
is now in dispute. Last week, a spokesperson for the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands announced that the New York-based Dia Foundation, which was given stewardship over the work by the artist's estate, had been tardy in making its annual $250 payment
on the 10 acres of land and had also failed to respond to an automatically generated notice that the 20 year lease had expired. (The Dia Foundation disagrees
.) Consequently, it will now be "managed like any other sovereign land" - which may be of interest to the energy companies
that have sought to explore the area. (previously)
posted by Trurl
on Jun 17, 2011 -
alike are struggling with the decision to bail out the under-performing American automakers. But what will happen to the cities and towns of the Midwest
if the automakers fail? Flint, Michigan
provides an interesting template. In the 1960s and 70s, Flint had a population of 200,000 and was home to some 80,000 autoworkers. Today, after many plant closures, relocations, and worker buyouts
, only 8,000 autoworkers remain. So, what are we to do
with cities like Flint? There have been lots of ideas, like demolishing dilapidated houses
, renovating brownfield sites like Chevy-in-the-Hole [pdf]
, downtown business renovation
, and increasing community participation by giving ownership of vacant lots
to local homeowners. [more inside]
posted by billysumday
on Dec 5, 2008 -
In 1910 African-Americans owned 16-19
of land in the United
States, much of it rural farmland. Today, that figure has dropped to less
million acres overall, and less than 2 million farm acres
? In some cases, violence
would forcibly take farmland, a homestead, or a home from the black
residents, who were often powerless to fight back in the face of systemic
racism, threats of retaliation, and the 'enforcement' of the thefts by
the Ku Klux Klan. More perniciously, many of these losses were the result
of forced partition land sales
scholars and activists
are working to reverse
trend. [some pdfs]
posted by miss tea
on Dec 16, 2007 -
After winning a landmark eminent domain ruling from the Supreme Court, the New London Development Corporation now wants to pay residents based on value they held in 2000, rather then 2005, which would leave them unable to buy equivalent new home in today's real estate bubble.
Then also want to charge back rent. In some cases up to $300 thousand. Susette Kelo herself now owes $56k.
posted by delmoi
on Aug 19, 2005 -
"e-filing" your land transactions - could it streamline
a process that is quite cumbersome? 11 of the 21 counties in New Jersey are working to convert their current paper-based system of filings to an electronic format. Some say it would lower mortgage costs and time constraints because of the movement of paper. Some say it's a disaster waiting to happen. I think it would be an excellent move and would give NJ some first mover status (I think?) to be proud of.
posted by djspicerack
on Dec 23, 2002 -
Farmland for sale.
$80-100 trillion. Russia's lower house of parliament on Wednesday passed a bill that would allow the sale of Russian farmland for the first time since the days of the czars, but would bar foreigners from buying it.. foreign companies could still purchase Russian land through subsidiaries that are majority Russian-owned.
posted by stbalbach
on Jun 26, 2002 -
This saturday is the 2002 National Day of Action
Online communities have done a good job of covering stories about big corporations abusing their powers online to squelch the efforts of programmers, researchers, designers, music enthusiasts, etc. But what about their offline agenda? Masquerading beneath the guise of the Adventure Pass program
is an attempt to extend corporate control to our public lands.
From the press release:
"Among others, primary sponsors of the fee demo and Adventure Pass are Walt Disney Corp., KOA Campgrounds, and Coleman Co. If the fee demo becomes law, the legislation will allow these companies and other to develop
commercial enterprises on public forest lands in partnerships with the Forest Service."
posted by johnjreeve
on Jun 13, 2002 -
Honk Kong's reclaimation efforts for Disney are killing its fishing industry.
Is this the proper way to reclaim land? It looks like HK would happily trade away its dwindling fishing industry for a Disney business opportunity. I can't decide if this is economic progress or a very risky trade between a market that produces goods (fish) and one that produces a service (entertainment). I can't read this and not think of Paris' Eurodisney disaster. I wonder how the one in Tokyo is doing.
posted by skallas
on Nov 23, 2001 -