Olaudah Equiano, or, Gustavus Vassa, the African.
'According to his famous autobiography, written in 1789, Olaudah Equiano (c.1745-1797) was born in what is now Nigeria. Kidnapped and sold into slavery in childhood, he was taken as a slave to the New World. As a slave to a captain in the Royal Navy, and later to a Quaker merchant, he eventually earned the price of his own freedom by careful trading and saving. As a seaman, he travelled the world, from the Mediterranean to the North Pole. Coming to London, he became involved in the movement to abolish the slave trade, an involvement which led to him writing and publishing The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa the African (1789) a strongly abolitionist autobiography ... '
Of interest :- Ignatius Sancho: African Man of Letters
; Quobna Ottabah Cugoano: a Former Slave Speaks Out
; American Slave Narratives
('From 1936 to 1938, over 2,300 former slaves from across the American South were interviewed by writers and journalists under the aegis of the Works Progress Administration'); Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938
; Excerpts from Slave Narratives.
posted by plep
on Jul 17, 2003 -
Did you know that...
Aid fell in the 1990s—by nearly a third on a per capita basis in Sub-Saharan Africa? In Sub Saharan Africa, half the population lives on less than 1$ a day? At current rates Sub-Saharan Africa will not meet the poverty Goal until 2147? If all the food produced worldwide were distributed equally, every person would be able to consume 2,760 calories a day (hunger is defined as consuming fewer than 1,960 calories a day)? These and more facts can be found in the 2003 UN Human Development Report
posted by stonerose
on Jul 8, 2003 -
Photos by Martin
- a gem of a site for vicarious travelers, it features wonderful
, charming photos
and fascinating stories
from a guy who quit his job three years ago to travel the world. He credits global photojournalist Steve McCurry
as an influence. I am such a fan of these photo travel narratives, professional and amateur alike - has anyone else discivered some special favorites?
posted by madamjujujive
on Jul 8, 2003 -
Getting The Hell Out Of Africa:
An excellent article by R.W. Johnson
describes the forces now driving out many African whites and quietly despairs. Post-colonial blues are sad and riddled with guilt and lost hopes. How far does collective guilt impinge on the individual? What if there is no guilt at all? What is the white man and woman's place in 21st Century Africa? I wonder whether it isn't still too early to think clearly about the many delicate issues involved. But then an all-black Africa wouldn't be Africa. Would it?
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Jun 25, 2003 -
"Clinton was a good guy, but he did fuck all"
or so says Bob Geldof when it comes to Clinton getting aid to Africa. And he's just as critical about the EU as well ("The EU have been pathetic and appalling, and I thought we had dealt with that 20 years ago when the electorate of our countries said never again..."
) pointing out their tiny contribution to the recent aid shipments to Ethiopia. But what about the Bush government you ask? "You'll think I'm off my trolley when I say this, but the Bush administration is the most radical -- in a positive sense -- in its approach to Africa since Kennedy."
posted by PenDevil
on May 28, 2003 -
Murder, Mayhem & Disco
Sierra Leone warlord Sam Bockarie - if indeed he is dead - will be remembered for allegedly advocating a particularly horrific tactic of war: the deliberate and widespread practice of hacking off the limbs, lips and ears of his victims.
The Revolutionary United Front (RUF) - the rebel group of which Mr Bockarie was a general - also received world attention for its systematic rape of women and abduction of thousands of children who were forced to fight.
Mr Bockarie who died aged 40 was wanted by the United Nations-backed war crimes tribunal for his alleged part in the atrocities
In his time, he was also a disco dancing champion, diamond miner, hairdresser, electrician and waiter.
posted by turbanhead
on May 7, 2003 -
The Ethnographic Lens: Images from the Realm of a Rain Queen.
Between 1936 and 1938 social anthropologists Eileen and Jack Krige undertook intensive fieldwork in the north-eastern regions of South Africa among the Lobedu people whose chief Modjadji was widely acclaimed as a rainmaker.'
'In 1943 their book 'The Realm of a Rain Queen' was published and has remained in print ever since. Some of the photographs taken by the Kriges were used as illustrations in the book but many remained unpublished and little known ...' Via
of archaeological and anthropological resources from the
South African Museum.
Princess Makobo Modjadji of the Bolobedu
has just been crowned as the new
Rain Queen, Modjadji VI.
greeted the inauguration, which may be
a good sign.
The Rain Queen was the inspiration for H. Rider Haggard's 'She Who Must Be Obeyed'.
More on the world of the Rain Queen - including biographical details on the last Rain Queen, and her relationships with politicians such as Nelson Mandela in a changine South Africa -
posted by plep
on Apr 12, 2003 -
The G.I. Jones Photographic Archive of Southeastern Nigerian Art and Culture.
'This is an archive of digitized photographs depicting the arts and cultures of southeastern Nigeria. The collection includes examples from Ibibio, Igbo, Ijo and Ogoni speaking peoples. All of the photographs were taken in the 1930s by the late G.I. Jones, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge. The majority of the images are from the Igbo speaking regions where Jones conducted most of his research. The materials included here represent only a sample of the complete Jones collection. The photographs are unique for the creative brilliance of the art represented, the quality of the photography itself, and the cultural and historical significance of photographic records from this time period in Nigeria.'
Some related links :-
American Museum Congo Expedition 1909-1915.
A truly interesting site, which includes field notes, photographs, watercolours, historical maps, anthropoligical objects, and so forth.
A Clickable Map of the Art of the African Continent
, via Africa: The Art of a Continent.
The Woods Collection of African Art
, with another clickable map.
posted by plep
on Mar 27, 2003 -
to fight AIDS in Africa comes with some strings attached, it turns out. Bush is limiting the funds
that clinics which perform abortions can receive. Is it moral to politicize an epidemic?
posted by hipnerd
on Feb 17, 2003 -
The Tsavo lions
were made famous by the 1996 film The Ghost and the Darkness
. The stuffed trophies were donated to the Chicago Field Museum, where you can still see them today, in all their maneless glory
. Facinated by stranger-than-fiction stories out of Africa, like the lost tusks of Malima Temboz, the Mountain that Walks
posted by steef
on Jan 16, 2003 -
An undeclared war on latex
is apparently being waged by the Bush administration, which is taking all sorts of steps to avoid condoning their use. This is a patently ridiculous stance to take in the face of a global AIDS epidemic, but this interesting essay also raised my eyebrows:
According to figures in a report on condoms by Population Action International, the average man in Botswana gets less than one condom per year from international donors.
Uhhh...doesn't the idea of condoms as a staple of international relief seem a bit strange? Haven't governments around the world devoted any resources to their own public health? Surely donor-nations can't keep everyon else's penises safely sheathed forever.
posted by subpixel
on Jan 10, 2003 -
The Lost Boys of the Sudan
are a group of nearly 17,000 orphans whose parents were murdered and whose homes were destroyed by a government miltary turned against them. They marched on foot, without food or water, under attack from hungry predators & occasional strafing miltary fire for several years until settling in a squalid refugee camp in Kenya; nearly a decade later, the U.S. began a humanitarian policy of importing them, a few at a time, and resettling the lucky few in cities such as Chicago, Atlanta, and even Fargo, N.D. (NYTimes, reg req'd)
posted by jonson
on Jan 3, 2003 -
The South African president Thabo Mbeki
is failing to deal with his nation's unbelievable AIDS epidemic. Here
are the opinions of his chief advisor on the disease. For balance, here
is the opinion of the UK government.
Do you agree with me that Mbeki is a dangerous man, and is a terrible choice to follow his predecessor
posted by Pretty_Generic
on Dec 1, 2002 -
Israelis targeted in Kenya attacks
On the day of important primary elections in Israel as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon faces a party leadership challenge from Foreign Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ahead of January's general election, suicide car bombers have killed at least eight people at an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, just as two missiles were fired (but did not hit) at an Israeli jet that had taken off from the city's airport.
The Kenyan ambassador to Israel suspects these attacks were carried out by al-Qaeda, and this theory is being checked on as I write.
posted by tomcosgrave
on Nov 28, 2002 -
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 -
On Solidarity, Community Spirit And Going Meerkat-Mad:
They're cute, they're smart; they're funny, they're sociable; they're even considered the epitome of cooperative living
. In fact, they could probably teach MetaFilter a lesson or two. In their September issue
, National Geographic
has gone stark, raving meerkat-bonkers
- and not a moment too soon either. We're talking new desktops here, no mistake..[Flash needed for first link - definitely worth waiting for it to load - Real or WindowsMedia for some other on-site features.]
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Aug 24, 2002 -
"Do loose numbers do more harm than good?"
That's the question asked by Norimitsu Onishi in a thought-provoking article in today's NY Times
(reg req). Inflated numbers have often had an impact on policy and people's thinking, but when the truth comes out it can make a difference, for good or ill. (More inside.)
posted by languagehat
on Aug 18, 2002 -
The Axis of Medieval.
Claims of support for women and women's rights in the current regime are nothing more than hot air according to Mr. Kristof. He says their record and the facts tell a different story. The details are shocking. Kowtowing to religious fundamentalists in the US causes devastating results abroad.
Would programs like these qualify for using some of the wealthiest persons dollars instead of a tax cut?
posted by nofundy
on Aug 16, 2002 -
You're the king of a small african nation. You have an annual health budget of $15 million. Two-thirds of the people in your nation are HIV positive, and two-thirds are living below the poverty line. What do you do? Why, you buy a $31 million private jet
, of course!
posted by Reggie452
on Jul 8, 2002 -
Thanks for the cattle!
As a follow up to This Thread
, This site
was inspired by the New York Times article
about the Masai village in southern Kenya who donated 14 head of cattle to the US in sorrow over the 9/11 attacks. This is a place where you can say "thanks" to the villagers who made the donation.
"There are three cherished things that a Masai can offer as a gift -- a child, a plot of land and a cow, which is far more than a source of meat and milk to a Masai.
posted by Blake
on Jun 4, 2002 -
Maasai Present Cattle to US Ambassador
To mark September 11, people of Enoosean, a Maasai (Rift Valley Province, Kenya) village, have presented 15 heads of cattle to a visiting US ambassador, William Brencick. The presentation was organized by a Maasai medical student who was visiting New York on September 11.
Brencick said the embassy would find it difficult to ship the cattle to the United States and had decided to sell the animals to raise funds to buy beadwork made in the village for display at a September 11 memorial in New York.
posted by rschram
on Jun 3, 2002 -
Gates, Bono, unveil 'DATA Agenda' for Africa
"We have an agenda," said Bono at a news conference, "which we're calling the 'DATA Agenda': 'Debt, AIDS and trade for Africa, in return for democracy, accountability and transparency in Africa.'
As bracing as it is to see a picture of Bono with Bill Gates, there is an interesting message here. Bono compares Africa today with post-WWII Europe, describing it as vulnerable to extremism. Bill Gates is fronting the cash to improve health care and raise living standards in third-world countries.
posted by planetkyoto
on Feb 2, 2002 -
The East Coast knows...
Survivor Africa is over. You may not have noticed it ever starting...
But Kim, Lex, Ethan, or Tom won.
I'll let someone else spoil the surprise for those West Coast viewers.
posted by jacobw
on Jan 10, 2002 -