The French are going, but the war in the Sahel continues
Captain Ibrahim Traoré, who leads the Burkinabé government, came to power through a coup d’état in September 2022. He ousted Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, who had himself come to power through a coup in January 2022. Neither of these coups was a surprise.
Becoming Kwame Ture
In Guinea, doors fly open at the mere mention of Kwame Ture’s name. A senior government minister met me within a few hours’ notice.
Portugal: The Unfinished Revolution
Ronald H. Chilcote. The Portuguese Revolution: State and Class in the Transition to Democracy. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2010. xix + 316 pp. $79.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-7425-6792-4. The Portuguese Revolution that brought regime change on April 25, 1974, did not bring about a revolution: the popular revolutionary elements that tried to move the […]
Big City Superintendents: Dictatorship or Democracy? Lessons from Paulo Freire
During my teaching career I’ve worked under nine different superintendents. I’ve taught for nearly 30 years, so the average reign of a Milwaukee superintendent has been a little over three years, about normal for big city school districts. While some people, including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, decry these short tenures as a […]
Vernacular Politics in Africa
1 The republication of Jean-François Bayart’s classic book-length essay, The State in Africa: The Politics of the Belly, is an opportunity to reflect on the hypotheses he raises and their application to Sudan and especially Darfur. Bayart’s book mentions Sudan only in passing but the scope of his ambition is certainly relevant to Sudan […]
Nation-States as Building Blocks
Paul Nugent. Africa since Independence: A Comparative History. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004. xix + 620 pp. $99.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-333-68272-2; $35.95 (paper), ISBN 978-0-333-68273-9. This is a masterful work of usable academic history. By sharply delineating diverse trends in scores of countries, it applies expert analysis to sub-Saharan Africa, “the continent which has been […]
William Minter, Gail Hovey, and Charles Cobb, Jr., eds. No Easy Victories: African Liberation and American Activists over a Half Century, 1950-2000. Trenton: Africa World Press, 2008. xvii + 248 pp. Illustrations, maps, notes, index. $29.95 (paper), ISBN 978-1-59221-575-1. This is a remarkable and often insightful collection of essays and reflections, many of […]
From Black Power to Ethnic Politics: Class Contradictions of Black Nationalism
Cedric Johnson. Revolutionaries to Race Leaders: Black Power and the Making of African American Politics. University of Minnesota Press, 2007. Cedric Johnson‘s Revolutionaries to Race Leaders traces the ideological cooptation of one of the twentieth century’s most vibrant social movements. The Black Nationalist resurgence of the 1960s and 1970s demanded nothing short of self-determination, […]
Xenophobia, Neo-liberalism, and NEPAD: The End of African Unity?
Introduction In August and September of 1974, people across the length and breadth of South Africa celebrated the coming independence of Angola, Guinea-Bissau, and Mozambique. People like Mamphela Rampele led massive rallies honoring the success of the liberation movements in these countries. There was even spontaneous dancing in the streets, and the air was filled […]
Ousmane Sembène: The Cineaste Who Has Not Finished His Mandate: At 84, the Senegalese Director Continues to Shoot Films [ Ousmane Sembène : Le cinéaste qui n’a pas encore fini son mandat A 84 ans, le réalisateur sénégalais continue de tourner des films]
« Qu’est-ce que cela peut faire que je lutte pour la mauvaise cause, puisque je suis de bonne foi ? Et qu’est-ce que ça peut faire que je sois de mauvaise foi, puisque je lutte pour la bonne cause. » — Jacques Prévert A 84 ans, il reste un éternel jeune homme. Ce Casamançais de […]