Nubiart Diary - African History Month

By Kubara Zamani | Mon 25 February 2013

A different perspective on the Afrikan world

“Africans and persons of African descent must assume the primary responsibility and leadership in historical research….if we are to continue to leave practically all important historical research and writing concerning the black race to the white man, then we must be prepared to accept, uncomplainingly, the white man’s point of view.” - Chancellor Williams, African Historian

African history month is a separate entity and should not be confused with Black History Month, an annual observance in the United States, Canada, as well as, communities in Europe and United Kingdom, honoring important celebrations and events within the history of the African Diaspora. It is celebrated annually in the United States, Canada and most other places in February and the United Kingdom in October. Let us pause and give homage to Dr. Carter G. Woodson founder of Negro History Week in 1926, and the African-British history month was introduced in 1987 by Linda Bellos both are appreciated in our contemporary world. And also, we must pay tribute to countless activists, organizations and governmental agencies that commensurate and celebrate annually. African communities everywhere owe them a debt of gratitude.

However, we must not forget our ancestors and its history. If we do, we are negating thousands and thousand of years of our heritage. Africa is complex with over 2000 cultures, with different languages, traditions, and having histories of their own.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, history was written by the Europeans that was mostly, distortions and misconceptions in order to justify and maintained their dominance over the world. Therefore, it’s important for Africans from all walks of life to relearn history from their own perspective. African history month function is to address this issue, and “MONTH” will be ever month. In other words, it will begin January 1st and ending December 31st. Most importantly, existing celebrations, and histories should be unified into one cultural forum. During a year, every day, week and month will have its own importance presenting history from ancient cultures to the present-day. However, there will be two sacred days; January 1st and March 1st. Both having their own significance.

January 1st, 1804 is to celebrate the Saint Dominique slaves whom won their independence from France, declaring the Republic of Haiti, in honor of the original inhabitants. Marking, the only time in history Africans fought and won their independence from an European power.

And also, on March 1st, 1896, Emperor Menelik II and his Empress Taytu decisively, defeated the Italians on the battle field in Adowa, Ethiopia, the only African country that entered into the 20th century that escaped Colonialism.

Additionally, Ethiopia not only won independence but maintained their culture, including their written language and calendar. Indeed, these two events are special and should be recognized by Africans worldwide. Besides these sacred days, The last seven days in December will be honoring Kwanza. The other remaining days will be optional from established worldwide traditions, serving several purposes.

One is given homage to already existing holidays around the world to appreciate and recognize. The other, Africans worldwide will enlighten each other cultures.

Another, is exposing heroes that have been carefully hidden. Here are some examples; Marcus Garvey’s, mass-movement (Jamaica), Kwame Nkrumah, father of African nationalism (Ghana), and Haili Salasse, created Organization of African Unity (OAU), later became African Union (AU), (Ethiopia).

Finally, when new artifacts and contemporary events of importance will be presented under the banner of an African history month. Most importantly; this cultural forum will present the histories of the Diaspora’ and Africa under one umbrella. Before proceeding, in order to learn African history, Arab and European conquest must be understood.

However, one historical element that is hardly mentioned, was the Arab invasion of north Africa, followed by the Trans-Sahara slave trade that began earlier, and lasted longer than the European Slave Trade. Consequently, geographies of the world have been changed due to these events. In the Americas, the world recognizes current occupants are not the native inhabitants. On the contrary, the world has the impression that Arabs are indigenous to North Africa.

In the contemporary world, North Africa is the home of six Arab countries, South America, and North America was created by the Diaspora’s. And also, Africa has been partitioned into over fifty countries by the Berlin conference in 1884.

To some degree, Africans are still living these legacies because its history has been the most suppressed in the world. The deliberate distortion was design to fit in with a western perception of Africa that continues to cultivate disunity by perpetuating a view of Africa and African people as unorganized, uncivil, unoriginal, and sub-human.

Words like “Negro” and “boy” were used to dehumanize and a disconnection from Africa. This attack lasted for generations causing a devastating effect everywhere.

The teaching of African history during the Diaspora’s and colonialism was forbidden. Its own culture was removed and substituted with various western cultures. In the Americas, Columbus’s so-called discovery was glorified and in England, the focus was on accomplishments of Queen Victoria, and Admiral Nelson exploits, and in France, it was Napoleon Bonaparte achievements. Europeans have always robbed Africans of their accomplishments by crediting foreigners or non-Africans. Among them are the pyramids, Carthage, Moorish empire, and African kingdoms, also, great Zimbabwe and Kilwa ruins in east Africa.

Most disturbing is the continuation of specious claims even when the evidence and artifacts contradict the distortions. As far as they’re concern Africa’s history, and achievements are too magnificent for them to acknowledge despite the fact they know the origin is African. In the past, there were historians whom unravel distortions about history that is now available for everyone to appreciate. Among historians were, John Henrik Clarke, Chancellor Williams, J A Rogers, Asa Hillard II, Chekh Ada Diops. Ivan Van Sertima and many others. Today, there are scores of historians whom elect to attack these organized allegations and report history accurately.

Significantly, Africans from all walks of life must identify and learn basic events that have been grossly misrepresented. World history began at the heart of Africa and spread throughout the continent. The main method of development was its waterways of the Nile, Niger and the Congo Rivers. And the world shared from the development of farming, domestication of animals and fishing and these contributions led the development of other civilizations. There were over 300 kingdoms and Empires at both ends of the continent, some lasting only for a few centuries others flourished for millenniums.

Despite irrefutable evidence, in today’s world, on the lips of other races, even though not often verbalized, Africans has not made any meaningful contributions to modern civilization. However, these issues have been addressed generations ago by noted historians as previously stated, and also, the Internet has constantly unraveling distortions and misconceptions at an accelerating pace. In today’s world, there is no need to acknowledge these silly allegations.

Africa and its history are thousands of years old and because of modern technology it’s expanding in both directions. Everyday, new discoveries and ancient artifacts are constantly being found, and African history month can be the cultural forum to identify and incorporate them into on going presentations.

Now is the time for African’s worldwide to codify their history into one gigantic cultural forum. African history month is the inclusion of heroes, heroines, celebrations and events in all five continents.

Most importantly, hidden and less-known aspects of histories will be unveiled and presented into African global communities.

Currently, African-Americans and Africans celebrate a multitude of holidays, heroes and events throughout the world. Among them are Black History month, (USA, Canada, Europe in February and Great Britain in October), Dr. King (USA) Kwanza (Global), Zumbi dos Palmares Day, (Brazil), Saba Saba (Tanzania), Jomo Kenyetta (Kenya) or African day (Many African countries).

They’re a number of vacant days that could be used to celebrated and honor such heroes such as;
Gaspo Yanga, (Mexico) Abdias de Nasciemento (Brazil), Malcolm X (USA), Marcus Garvey (Jamaica), Olaudah Equiano (Great Britain), Patrice Lumumba (Zaire), Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana), Haili Salasse (Ethiopia) and so forth. Additionally, out of over 300 kingdoms and empires certain weeks could be dedicated.

With certainty, African History month would be a positive undertaking not only enlightening the contemporary world but also, laying foundations for the future generations. Most importantly, it would mutually benefit Africans everywhere.

This is an open invitation for collaboration with activists, organizations, religious communities, newspapers, blogs, institutions; governmental agencies, and media to garner efforts to make this event a reality. Together with modern technology, the Internet, phone and teleconferencing have made global communications affordable and accessible.

Now is the time for Africans to codify their history into one gigantic forum. Additionally, and more importantly, it will help abate constant bombardment of negative media that discharges specious allegations against Africans worldwide.

As previously stated Boy and Negro was used during western domination for obvious reasons that was exposed. In the 60’s black was substituted for Negro and now its time for another progression. The next step is to reclaim African ethnicity.

Although, Africans were forced to embrace other European cultures, it does not change ethnicity. This also applies to other cultures that migrated, for example, they’re referred to by their separate ethnic group. After scores of generations, they’re still reference by their own culture, such as, Chinese, Japanese, English, German and so on. Moreover, Diaspora victim’s exact location is impossible to identify. It sufficed to say; African should be used definitively with appropriate sub-categories. Here are a few examples: African-Brazilian, or Afro-Cuban, Afro-Mexican and African-European, and Afro-Asian. Naturally, Africans on the continent is self-explanatory; Nigerian, South African, Kenyan, Ghanaian and so forth.

Notably, when black Africa is used, it’s presupposing that there is a white Africa. Most importantly, when referencing ethnicity, the descriptive word should ALWAYS be “African.” The usage of African is essential because it reconnects culture, at home and abroad. When examining black closely, it’s only a color that promotes division. And also, when accepted it is an imposed division among Africans because it has no connection to land or culture. Contrarily, when using African, it recognizes all aspects of its culture.

Once more, the usage removes the contention that ancient civilizations and ruins in Africa are not black. When Africans take charge of their ethnicity, these specious allegations will be ignored. And also, when black is accepted and replaced, it would be ridiculous saying Egypt, Carthage or Great Zimbabwe are not African when their origin is located on African soil.

One last point, every culture throughout the world defines their own ethnicity, and Africans should not be an exception. Especially, when the Japanese, Chinese or Koreans are never questioned. Significantly, these three cultures are distinctly different. Nevertheless, not one identifies themselves as being yellow. They’re recognized as Asians.

Finally, ownership would negate the non-sense, Egypt, Carthage, Great Zimbabwe, Ethiopia or the Moorish civilizations are not African. We have rejected Negro and now it’s time to put aside black, and reclaim African ethnicity.

Why African History Month?
In today’s world, we’ve accepted foreign cultures, different ideologies and embraced new identities. The whole dynamics of Africans, its people, and victims of the Diaspora have dramatically changed. A new geography has been created in North and South America, together with the partitioning of Africa into over fifty countries, and other Africans are scattered around the world. Consequently, modern history is a reflection of the European conquest, according to their interpretations. Therefore, it is an inherit necessity for African History Month.

By Sabamya Jaugu

‘Destruction of Black Civilization: Great Issues of Race from 4500 B.C. to 2000 A.D.’ - Chancellor Williams

‘Christopher Columbus and the Afrikan Holocaust: Slavery and the Rise of European Capitalism’ - John Henrik Clarke

‘When We Ruled: The Ancient and Medieval History of Black Civilisations’ - Robin Walker

‘Marcus Garvey and the Vision of Africa’ - John Henrik Clarke

‘How Europe Underdeveloped Africa’ - Walter Rodney

‘Capitalism and Slavery’ - Eric Williams

‘A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas 1492 to the Present’ - Ward Churchill

‘The Mis-education of the Negro’ - Carter Woodson

© African History Month 2012-2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

[Editor’s Note: Since our groundbreaking in-depth interview with Akyaaba Addai Sebo about the origins, intent and future of ‘Black History Month’ in Britain we have been in favour of getting on and making everyday Afrikan History Month without acrimony over who should take precedence for celebrating in whichever particular month. We repeatedly asked Addai Sebo about the differences and similarities between the US and British versions in terms of when it is celebrated and how it is projected and portrayed. We at Afrikan Quest / Nubiart Diary concluded then that we would designate and support: October as British Afrikan Heritage Month; February as International Afrikan Heritage Month; May as Afrikan Liberation Month; August as Mosiah Month (including the Emancipation Days and the Bwa Kaiman ceremony on Aug 22-23; Dec 26-Jan 1 for Kwanzaa; Mar 1 as Battle of Adowa Day; Mar 2 as Black People’s Day of Action; June 10 as the day Marcus Garvey passed away; June as British Black Music Month; June 16 as Soweto (Afrikan) Youth Day; July 7 for Saba Saba Day; and Sep 12 as Steve Biko Day. We would also mark important days in the Afrikan political, traditional spiritual and cultural calendar both from the mainland and in the diaspora and give cognisance to important days in the Rastafari and Orthodox Church calendars. We decided not to ‘debate’, argue with or attempt to ‘convert’ anybody to share those days but to get on and operationalise it and in the words of The Wailing Souls, ‘who noh waan come can stay’.]

NUBIART: Focus on arts, business, education, health, political developments and the media.

~ 9 Mar: ‘North Afrika and Sahel War Round-Up’


~ ‘WARATO’O’ – Narasirato [Smash Corporation – Out Now]

“Warato’o is the truth, warato’o is love, warato’o is friendship, warato’o is power, warato’o is working together, warato’o is sincerity, warato’o is present, warato’o is punctual. All these things are warato’o and we live in that, when we play music, when we work in the garden, when we do fishing, when we go hunting in the bush, anything at all, we have warato’o in us, and we live by that.” – Donation Manu’asi, Musical Director and lead panpipes, Narasirato

Narasirato are a group of Are’are farmers and fishermen from the Solomon Islands playing hand-made bamboo drums, panpipes and keyboards. Members of the cultural troupe can trace their lineage back 100 generations. Originally set up in 1991 to give disaffected youth the chance to learn about their Melanesian culture and their unique music which brings peace and gives strength they disbanded in 1999 before reforming in 2007.

This is an excellent album by members of the Afrikan diaspora who travelled east to the Pacific Ocean but maintained their culture through millennia. Some of the standouts include: the title track, ‘Warato’o (Prophetic Words)’, which tells of the Are’are spiritual belief system, their faith in nature and mystical power. ‘Hariharina (Being Enemy)’ relates to the tensions that fractured the Solomon Islands from 1998-2003 leading to the initial break-up of Narasirato and the need to build bridges so people can live peacefully. Our favourite track ‘Horoa Warita (Once Upon A Time)’ tells how the Are’are inherited their music from their ancestors. ‘Totoraha (The Culture)’ is the Are’are word for culture and the traditions they inherited from the ancestors – it is essential to do and be Totoraha. ‘Painaha Ni Are’are (Leadership in Are’are)’ celebrates the leadership roles past down by the ancestors. ‘Roromera (Lullaby)’ is based on a traditional lullaby and gets the dub treatment on the bonus track.

We will only review books we have read and DVDs we have seen and that are available at reasonable prices online or in shops or libraries. However, given the nature and current state of Afrikan publishing and production there may be books and films on this list that are worth the extra effort to track down.

~ ‘THE CAUSES & EFFECTS OF SKIN BLEACHING USE’ - KenyaSue Smart [Evelyn Oldfield Charitable Unit & African Education Trust] This is an initial study into the practice of non-essential skin bleaching / lightening / whitening especially among the Afrikan community in Britain. The overall purposes of the report were: to find out who uses the products; their influences and motivations; to raise awareness and identify diseases caused by bleaching; to explore the ideals of race and beauty, particularly in the media; the role of racism; and to initiate a campaign over public authorities responsibilities and duty of care to protect community from trafficking of illegal substances.

The research was carried out across the three London boroughs of Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark which also act as a unified health authority. Trading standards departments were approached to help in the study but never took up the offer of collaboration. However, Dr Olajide, from Cares of Life at Maudsley Hospital SLAM, and who features in two documentaries on skin bleaching - Dami Akinusi’s documentary ‘Bleach My Skin White’ and a CNN profile – is interviewed in-depth about the prevalence and damaging effects of bleaching.

The issue has particular significance for us as we have a family member who wanted us to go into one of those ‘plastic / horse / dead hair shops’ because we lived in London to purchase bleaching creams for them. We refused outright to the point where the person got upset and stopped talking to us for a period of time. Asking us was a clear sign of the psychologically damaging effects of bleaching as we at Nubiart are ‘cultural roots from we were born’ and completely denounce the practice unless you are an individual with a genuinely medically diagnosed case of vitiligo.

Bleaching products include mercury and tropical cortisones to remove melanin from the surface of the skin. Hydroquinone is the main ingredient for melanin inhibition. Symptoms of the damage caused by bleaching include: swelling of the face and back, bleached-out (panda) look, large concentrated patches of melanin, ochronisis on surface of skin, acute acne, sun sensitivity, irritability, nervousness, fluid retention, thinning of the skin, bleach burns, cancer, collagen damage, susceptibility to infections, liver damage, organ failure and extreme pain and mental health and psychological problems such as feelings of isolation and self-hate.

The creams, lotions and pills are bought from shops or obtained from friends or online. The report has a list of: Products Containing Tropical Steroids 20*; Skin Lightening / Whitening / Bleaching Products With Mercury; and Skin Lightening / Whitening / Bleaching Products With Steroids.

The role of racism and colonialism is explored. ‘Mulattos’, created in slave households by the rape and sexual predation, received favourable treatment and a higher sale price. The subject cannot be addressed without reference to the outstanding analysis conducted by Frantz Fanon, the late great Afrikan psychiatrist and political activist. He pointed out that to escape or dream of escape from oppression the colonised tends to imitate the coloniser, especially the upwardly mobile who can afford to acquire status symbols what he calls white masks. The Jamaican government launched its ‘Don’t Kill Skin’ campaign in 2007. However, this did not stop the Dancehall DJ Vybes Kartel, who uses Jamaican Blue Soap, launching his brand of bleaching products to a devoted coterie of followers. Scientific racism in anthropology, psychology and eugenics were used to justify colonialism and enslavement. The legacy of these doctrines continues in academic institutions and schools of medicine.

The report found that survey participants who used bleaching products were often embarrassed but frequently rejected offers of advice. The use generally starts as young as 14. Creams are getting stronger and much publicity was given to news of a woman in Zimbabwe who died from taking bleaching pills. Bleaching does mean that tattoos show up clearer on Afrikan skin. The rise in the number of Afrikans getting fashion tattoos as opposed to for traditional spiritual or cultural reasons can often have a symbiotic relationship with those Afrikans who bleach their skin.

Will the bleachers ever be satisfied with their skin colour, ‘tone’, and general outward appearance or is the psychological damage so all-encompassing that they are losing a proper sense of proportion? Michael Jackson unbelievably claimed ‘vitiligo’ was responsible for the lightening of his skin during the 1980s. None of his siblings suffer from the disease although there is much evidence of several of his family members engaging in skin bleaching and plastic surgery. KenyaSue found that overall there was limited research on users’ expectations and the financial, social and employment pressures that bleachers claim make it necessary and worthwhile to engage in this practice.

Survey participants who did not bleach themselves would not report it to the authorities if they knew someone was bleaching their children’s skin. Although one participant did see it as a child protection issue. It was felt that info on law and reporting limited and there was a need for wider health promotion campaign. The Medicines Health Regulatory Authority (MHRA) to be more effective and accountable.

Southwark Council provided lists of traders (mainly Asian) prosecuted but most only received a fine and are still trading. In one of the most notorious cases Yinka and Michael Oloyemi (Yinka Bodyline and Beauty Express) received 9 months suspended jail sentences, a five year ban from business and a £70,000 fine in 2005.

You can download ‘The Causes & Effects of Skin Bleaching Use’ (Items 8.9 & 10) at: or e-mail KenyaSue at:

Chancellor Williams: The Destruction of Black Civilisation

Nubiart Diary

~ ‘THE 1980S: BLACK ART AND SOCIO-POLITICS’. Dr Rina Arya, University of Wolverhampton will be looking at black visual art in the 1980s in Britain to examine the collaborations that occurred and the work that was being produced in reaction to the socio-politics of the day. On Tues 26 Feb at 6-7.30pm at Court Room, First Floor, Senate House, University of London, Russell Square, London, WC1. Adm: free. E-mail:

~ SOAS HISTORY DEPARTMENT, CENTRE FOR MIGRATION AND DIASPORA STUDIES, CENTRE FOR MEDIA AND FILM STUDIES, CENTRE OF AFRICAN STUDIES, IN COOPERATION WITH THE INSTITUTE OF COMMONWEALTH STUDIES, THE EUROPEAN NETWORK OF EURESCL: SLAVE TRADE, SLAVERY, ABOLITION AND THEIR LEGACIES IN EUROPEAN HISTORIES AND IDENTITIES (7THPCRD) AND THE CIRESC ‘CENTRE INTERNATIONAL DE RECHERCHES SUR LES ESCLAVAGES, ACTEURS, SYSTÈMES, REPRESENTATIONS’ PRESENT HISTORY ON FILM: ‘SLAVERY & THE AFRICAN DIASPORA FROM A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE’. Film series and panel discussions with filmmakers to make visible people of Afrikan descent in India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Brazil, Benin and along the Swahili Coast in East Afrika. By including films from the South Atlantic World, Indian Ocean World and Africa, we aim to throw light on the points of origin and destination of slaves. Rarely in the history of slavery has it been possible to correlate the trajectories of the home societies of slaves and the slave regime at the destination. Slavery has also been all too often studied in isolation from Africa. The focus has mainly been on the North Atlantic World.

Indeed, the cultural dimension of Diasporas has long been observed in the North Atlantic World, but it has received only scant attention within the context of emancipated slave communities elsewhere. By combining the two oceanic worlds, the films and the discussion panels aim at questioning these biases. They examine the processes of integration and assimilation in the different Afrikan Diasporas, and how these communities produced diasporic cultural spheres which today surely constitute memoryscapes of the history of slavery.

- ‘Transmission of Cultural Heritage of Slavery in the Indian Ocean on Film’. Films: ‘A Hidden Guarantee: Identity and Gule Wankulu between Mozambique and Somalia’ by Francesca Declich (2008, 17 mins); ‘Sidis of Gujarat: Maintaining Traditions and Building Community’ by Beheroze Shroff (2010, 53 mins); ‘Maldives: African Migration and Bodu Beru (Big Drums)’ (5 mins); and ‘Sri Lanka: Afro-Sri Lankans and their Musical Traditions’ (5 mins). Introduced by Shihan de Silva. Followed by discussion with Marie Rodet (SOAS) and Francesca Declich. On Wed 27 Feb at 5pm at SOAS, University of London, Khalili Lecture Theatre, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London, WC1 0XG. Web:

~ ‘IS THIS THE OLDEST LIVING CIVILISATION?’ The oldest relations to the first human beings are still living today in central and east Afrika. There is strong suggestion that the Ancient Egyptians were descended from this civilisation. London-based cultural researcher and writer Felicity Heywood travelled to Uganda earlier this year to hear and record some of their stories. Come and hear her reports of the Batwa, a people who are landless, and trying hard to keep their original culture alive amidst external pressure to conform. On Thurs 28 Feb at 5.15pm at Rm 4421, University of London, Khalili Lecture Theatre, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London, WC1 0XG. Adm: Free. Web:

~ ‘MIGRATION ACROSS THE OCEANIC WORLDS: DIASPORAS & DISCOURSES’. This event explores the drivers of commerce and migration and the knock on effects of diasporas on the local cultural scene through historical narratives, oral accounts and the voices of the migrants themselves and those affected by transculturation and postcolonial innovations. Chair: Dr Michael Kandiah (King’s College London)

5.45-6.15pm. ‘A War of Words: Discourses of Slavery and Abolition in French Writing on the Indian ‘Mutiny’ (1857-58)’. Dr Nicola Frith (University of Bangor, Wales)

6.15–6.45pm. ‘Ancestral Links: Voices of the Sidis’. Film & discussion with producer Beheroze Shroff (University of California, Irvine, USA).

6.45–7.15pm. ‘Ballads and Bailas: Postcolonial Innovations in Sri Lankan Popular Music’. Dr Shihan de Silva (Institute of Commonwealth Studies).

7.15–7.30pm ‘Ceylonese Dances: Kaffrinha Music’ Piano Recital with Natasha Senanayake (King’s College London)

On Thurs 28 February at 5.45-7.30pm at Room G22/24, Ground Floor, South Block, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. Adm: Free. RSVP to: Web:

~ INTERIM NATIONAL AFRIKAN PEOPLE’S PARLIAMENT ‘NATIONAL BLACK PEOPLE’S DAY OF ACTION: REBIRTH OF A NATION’. Speakers: Ekua Stanford-Xiosei, Co-Chair, iNAPP; Jendayi Serwah, vice-chair, iNAPP; and iNAPP Youth Core. Artists: Mikel Ameen, Native Sun and Maskelah. On Sat 2 Mar. March assembles at 9am at the Moonshot Centre, Fordham Park, Angus Street, London, SE14 6LU. Convention at 1pm at JK Banqueting Hall, 15a Perry Vale, Forest Hill, London, SE23 2NE. Tel: 020 8539 2154 / 07908 814 152. E-mail: Web:

~ NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BLACK SATURDAY SCHOOLS AND BLACK HISTORY WALKS PRESENT 1834 SLAVERY COMPENSATION: WHO GOT THE 20 MILLION POUNDS? In 1834 when the British abolished slavery in the Caribbean the government paid 20 million pounds in compensation to the owners of the enslaved Afrikans. The Afrikans got nothing. Many people have wondered who exactly got that money and what they did with it. Which islands and plantations benefited? What houses were built? What institutions were established? What was the cultural and economic legacy of this massive payout? Can it be identified and quantified? A team of scholars from UCL have been researching exactly these questions and more. Over the last 3 years they have collated research on several thousand beneficiaries and created a searchable, user-friendly website that covers: Which individuals received monies; How much they received; Which houses they lived in; What they bought with the money; Which cultural / educational institutions they established or supported with the money; What islands/plantations/ individuals in the Caribbean were compensated; Exactly how banks and financial institutions used the money to further the needs of empire; The role of slave-owners as writers and historians; The connections between the compensation, finance companies and political parties; Physical legacies; buildings, statues, parks, docks, railways, bridges, libraries; and how to use the website to expand your own personal or professional or genealogical research

Professor Catherine Hall, Dr Nick Draper, Keith McClelland, Kate Donnington and Rachel Lang will share their research, demonstrate how to use the website and take extended questions on both topics. On Sat 2 Mar at 2-6pm at Room B36, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet St, London, WC1E 7HX. Adm: Free. Web: / /


- ‘Mary Seacole Fights Back!’ On Sun 3 Mar. This third lectures features: Antoinette Kwegan a Phd student at Queen Mary University and managing consultant at Genesis Youth and Community Ltd. ( speaking on how the third sector raises educational achievement; and Professor Elizabeth Anionwu, PhD CBE FRCN, formerly head of the Mary Seacole Centre for Nursing Practice (Faculty of Health and Human Sciences at Thames Valley University). She is also vice-chairperson of the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal. Prof Anionwu will speak on: The real history of Mary Seacole; Her relevance to history,education and nursing; The facts behind the recent controversy; The status of the statue appeal; and The institutional attack on black history and how it can be resisted.

- ‘Is there a movement for African Reparations in the UK?’ On Sun 10 Mar. This lectures features Esther Stanford-Xosei, Reparations Activist and PHD student, who will take us beyond the usual discourse about theories on the deservedness of reparations for Afrikans to how reparations has been envisioned and is currently being advocated in practice. She was a co-organiser of the 2002 African and African Descendants World Conference Against Racism in Barbados.

Both events at 3-6pm in Rm B36, Birkbeck University, Malet St, London, WC1E 7HX. Adm: Free / Donations, Web: and

- ‘Women as Leaders: Power, Progress and Participation in Africa’. On Mon 4 Mar at 6.30-8pm at Committee Room 9, Houses of Parliament, London, SW1.

Panel discussion co-organised and hosted by the Africa All Party Parliamentary Group. Speakers: Dr Olubunmi Ajayi (CEO, The African Commission for Local Government Improvement); more TBC. Chair: Baroness Kinnock, Vice President of the Africa All Party Parliamentary Group. Female representation in Africa has seen the fastest growth in any region of the world. But gender disparity in political participation in the continent is also the most severe. UN Women reports that the average percentage of female parliamentarians in lower houses of Sub-Saharan Africa is approximately 16%, with individual countries ranging vastly from 3.7% in Nigeria to 56.3% in Rwanda. With recent and upcoming elections Kenya, Ethiopia, Mali, Rwanda and Zimbabwe, 2013 has the potential to be a year of political change. As part of the Africa APPG’s Democracy & Development Inquiry, this event aims to explore the link between women’s political participation and increased gender rights and development. Focusing on the two dominant democratic systems that support female representation - reserved seats in national legislatures and party specific quotas - as well as on the role of women as voters and agents of change, our panel of experts will discuss some of the achievements made and challenges remaining in promoting female representation on the local, parliamentary and national level.

- ‘Beyond Aid: Britain, Africa and Higher Education - Who benefits?’ On Tues 5 Mar at 6.30-8.30pm at Jon Snow Lecture Theatre, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, WC1E 7HT.

Interactive panel debate in partnership with the London International Development Centre (LIDC) and the Canon Collins Trust. Speakers: Professor Graham Furniss, Research & Enterprise Pro-Director, SOAS; Dr Mpalive Msiska, Lecturer in English & Humanities, Birkbeck; Lesley Coldham, External Relations Manager, Tullow Oil; Kwalombota Kwalombota, Public Health Consultant & Canon Collins Alumnus; and Professor Colin Bundy, Trustee, Canon Collins (TBC). Chair: Jeff Waage, LIDC Director.
Higher education (HE) in a development context receives considerably less attention than primary education. Yet HE is crucial for the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the overall economic development of low and middle income countries. In the 2010/11 academic year, there were 36,710 African students enrolled at universities across the UK. Almost half of the African students in the UK were from Nigeria - third country of origin after China and India, surpassing the United States.

Tel: 020 3073 8337. Web: / / Twitter @RoyAfriSoc

~ NOH BUDGET FILMS PRESENT ACTIVE INQUIRY. Do you like being creative? Would you like to be part of a group who solve community problems through performing? ACTive Inquiry are inviting you to join our weekly participatory performance workshops exploring Current Affairs. The AI group carries out sketches, scenes, skits and other social commentary performances to raise awareness about problematic social issues. The stated goal of these performances is to make the public ‘think and ask questions’ and expose the lies around these injustices. Every Thurs at 6.30-9.30pm at Stockwell Park Community Trust, Crowhurst House, 21 Aytoun Place, Stockwell, London, SW9 0TE. Adm: £5. (Suggested donation to help cover room hire costs and refreshments but we would hate cost to be a barrier to participation so please pay what you can afford). Web:

~ THE SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL GALLERY (IZIKO MUSEUMS OF SOUTH AFRICA) AND INIVA PRESENTS ‘WIND BLOWING ON THE CAPE FLATS’. A major retrospective and first substantial exhibition in the UK of paintings, drawings and collage by the internationally acclaimed artist, Peter Clarke. Curated by Tessa Jackson (Iniva) and Riason Naidoo (ISANG). Until Sat Mar 9 at Iniva, Rivington Street, London, EC2.

- ‘The Iman and I’. On Sat 9 Mar at 11am. Dir: Khalid Shamis. Rediscovery of one man’s heroic campaign against apartheid South Africa set in Cape Town’s Muslim community.

- ‘Maluala’ and ‘Jende Ri Palenge’. On Sat 9 Mar at 2pm. Dir: Sergio Giral / Santiago Posada. ‘Maluala’ is a drama about Palenque (maroon) communities in a violent struggle for rights in Cuba’s eastern mountains. ‘Jende Ri Palenge (People of Palenque)’ looks at a Palenque village in Colombia with a celebrated unique oral and musical traditions recognised by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

All films at BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, London, SE1. Adm: £5 each. Box office: Web:

~ RECONNECT AFRICA IN COLLABORATION WITH THE CENTRE FOR AFRICAN STUDIES, SOAS, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON PRESENT ‘MASTERCLASS: AFRICA’ Masterclass 1 - ‘Your Career in Africa’; Masterclass 2 – ‘Planning your Business in Africa’; and Masterclass 3 – ‘Making the Move to Africa (Case Study: Ghana)’. If your focus is on moving your career into Africa, these Masterclasses will provide invaluable information to help you plan for a successful transition with: An overview of career opportunities in Africa today; An understanding the African job market; Identifying your skills and competencies for a new market; Developing a job search strategy for Africa; Marketing your skills and experience into Africa; Issues to consider in moving your Career to Africa; practical advice on planning a move to work in Africa to start a business, and insights into opportunities for investment and career progression. Guest Speakers, including: Eric-Vincent Guichard, CEO, Homestrings on ‘Entering the Investment Arena: Opportunities for the Diaspora’ and Carol Hondonga, Principal Adviser, Talent Management (Talent and Learning Global Practice), Rio Tinto on ‘What Matters to Employers Recruiting for Africa’. On Sat 9 Mar at 9.30–5pm at Room: B102, Brunei Gallery, SOAS, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG. E-mail: Web:

Contact: Kubara Zamani, Afrikan Quest International, PO Box 35165, London, SE5 8WU. Tel: 07811 494 969. E-mail: Web:

Afrikan Quest International

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If we as Africans continue to leave practically all important historical research and writing concerning our race to the european, then we must be prepared to accept, uncomplainingly, the white man’s point of view

Chancellor Williams, African Historian

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