DYNAMIC AFRICA

African-based news, lifestyle & popular culture platform that brings you stories and information concerning Africa and the African diaspora. Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is a rich content-driven creative space with a Pan-African outlook established as an expressive platform for African experiences, African culture and African stories.


Dynamic Africa is a diverse multimedia platform, which curates global ideas, memes, attitudes and other phenomena that shape popular culture, with both a local and global African perspective.




CONTACT: dynamicafricablog@gmail.com

all submissions via email only


PLEASE EMAIL US DIRECTLY ABOUT ANY COPYRIGHT ISSUES. THANK YOU.


INSTAGRAM FEED:


Recent Tweets @DynamicAfrica
Recommended
Posts tagged "history"

The Year Algeria Made Football & World Cup History.

It’s been 32 years since the Algerian national football team caused what some have named one of the ‘biggest upsets' in World Cup history by defeating then European champions West Germany. It's also been 32 years since Algeria was sabotaged in what The Guardian calls “one of sport’s most blatant cases of match-fixing.”

Qualifying for the first time ever, Algeria’s presence at the World Cup hosted in Spain that year was already an historic feat. The African team had been placed in a group that included Austria, Chile, and West Germany who they were scheduled to play against first.

On that June day in 1982, the North African novices faced reigning European champions West Germany. Many predicted a thrashing by the Germans who in turn didn’t shy away from making boastful statements about the game that lay ahead. One German player boldly declared before the match, “we will dedicate our seventh goal to our wives, and the eighth to our dogs”, openly mocking their Algerian opponents. Even the then West German manager, Jupp Derwall, reportedly said that if the Algerians won, he would “jump on the first train back to Munich.” Algeria defender Chaabane Merzekane recalled that one of the West German players said that he would play the match with a cigar in his mouth.

Well, if Derwall had any sense of foresight, he would’ve booked a one-way ticket back to Munich immediately. Better yet, if Derwall had only done his homework on the Algerian team, he may have refrained from making such a statement. Negligence on Derwall’s part would later mean that West Germany would be in for a great surprise. It was only after the match that Derwall admitted that he was given a footage of the Algerian players in action, as is customary, but did not show it to his team as they would have mocked him had he done so. Why? Simply because the Germans, whether out of racism or ignorance, did not think the Algerians to be worthy opponents.

In 1982, most of Algeria’s national football team was comprised of players who had been teammates for years as Algerian law at the time prohibited players from leaving the country before the age of 28, something that stemmed from the FLN’s role in Algeria’s history of independence and its influence on the country’s football team. All of the players had been based at home, as a result of this law, making their bond of the field exceptionally strong and fluid. Several former FLN players were part of the coaching staff in 1982, including Abdelhamid Zouba and the co-manager Rachid Mekloufi, and the spirit of Algerian pride that had been established by these players who left France to play for Algeria was present in the team. 1982 was also the 20th anniversary of Algeria’s independence. 

Algeria had successfully beaten Nigeria to be present at the 1982 World Cup and during their first ever match at this tournament, the determination and humility of the Fennec Foxes, as well as their skill, of course, would see them through to a 2-1 victory against West Germany. This victory made Algeria the first African team to defeat a European opponent at the World Cup. Their next match against Austria saw the tides turn as they lost 2-0, but against Chile, they regained their form and won that match leaving them with four points from their three games (back when it was two points for a win).

Now, their fate of progressing became dependent on West Germany failing to beat Austria the next day. But both the Germans and Austrians both knew that if Germany beat Austria 1-0, it would result in both teams progressing to the next round at Algeria’s expense. Thus, both teams conspired to achieve this result - a distasteful case of match-fixing that forever changed the world of football. After Germany’s Horst Hrubesch put his team in the lead at the 10th minute, both the Germans and Austrians basically did nothing for the next 80 minutes. No attempts at goal, just an hour and 20 minutes of kicking the ball around.

As The Guardian points out, “the game was no longer a contest, it was a conspiracy.”

Both the Austrian and West German teams were scorned by the public. Algerian fans in the crowd burned peseta notes to show their suspicions of corruption. Spaniards in attendance waved hankerchiefs throughout the second half in a traditional display of disdain. The following day, Spanish newspapers denounced the actions of both teams and there was outrage in West Germany and Austria too.

German commentator Eberhard Stanjek, working for German channel ARD, almost sobbed during the match and said: “What is happening here is disgraceful and has nothing to do with football. You can say what you like, but not every end justifies the means.” His fellow Austrian commentator suggested viewers turn off their TVs and he refused to speak for the last half-hour. Former West German international Willi Schulz branded the German players “gangsters”.

But these ‘gangsters’ remained unapologetic through the criticism, backlash and protesting. When German fans gathered at the team hotel to protest, the players responded by throwing water bombs at them from their balconies.

The head of the Austrian delegation, Hans Tschak, made this extraordinary racist comments about the Algerian team: “Naturally today’s game was played tactically. But if 10,000 ‘sons of the desert’ here in the stadium want to trigger a scandal because of this it just goes to show that they have too few schools. Some sheikh comes out of an oasis, is allowed to get a sniff of World Cup air after 300 years and thinks he’s entitled to open his gob.”

Not ones to stoop down to the level of their European opponents, the Fennec Foxes remained publicly unphased by these comments. As Merzekane recalls, “We weren’t angry, we were cool,” he says. “To see two big powers debasing themselves in order to eliminate us was a tribute to Algeria. They progressed with dishonour, we went out with our heads held high.”

All over the world, people called on FIFA to punish the Europeans or stage a replay, but in the end all that was done by them was to rule that from then onwards the last pair of games in every group would be played simultaneously. Algeria had come to the World Cup and made history in more ways than one. They had left an “indelible mark on football history.”

(sources: 1 | 2 | 3)

Enslaved Africans Were the First to Celebrate Ramadan in the United States.

In line with the start of Ramadan this year, its important to note how the history of Islam in America is inextricably linked with the arrival of enslaved Africans. Whilst some may think the second-most practiced faith in the United States does not have a long-standing history in the country, social scientists estimate that 15 to 30 percent, or “as many as 600,000 to 1.2 million,” slaves in antebellum America were Muslims. Forty-six percent of the slaves in the antebellum South were kidnapped from Africa’s western regions, which boasted “significant numbers of Muslims.” 

The failure to not recognize this fact is not only an ignorant viewpoint that erases both the history of early African-American presence and Islam in the US, but also sheds light on racist historical perspectives that exist both in American and Muslim societies.

With many of these individuals coming from communities throughout the Western coast of Africa, many sought to keep their faith intact as best they could, including the observation of Ramadan. Due to the harsh conditions of slavery, this was not always easily done and with time, many traditions were lost through the brutality of the system of slavery that prevented or outlawed the passing on of many significant cultural practices that were brought to the United States through enslaved Africans.

(source)

profkew:

Aaron Henry at the Democratic National Convention of 1964. ~ WARREN K. LEFFLER/LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

What Was Freedom Summer?  by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Tomorrow night (6/24/2014), you will have an opportunity to experience “Freedom Summer” the way my family did: on television. Only back then, we didn’t know whether civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner would be found alive down in Mississippi. We also didn’t know whether the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (our subject next week), without badly needed voting-rights protections, would begin to fulfill Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of a new American racial order, following a hundred years’ war between advocates for full and equal black citizenship and the architects of all the snares that had hampered black progress since the collapse of Reconstruction in 1876. What we did sense was that the movement had grown younger, more radical, more diverse and increasingly powered by what Robert “Bob” Parris Moses, the pivotal planner of Freedom Summer, has called “ ‘We, the people’ force.”

Before Sly and the Family Stone released their hit song “Everyday People,” the volunteers of Freedom Summer lived the philosophy behind it—school by school, vote by vote, blow by blow. Moses—truly one of the heroes in the history of the African-American people—compared “the language” animating this noble effort to that “of the ocean, the everyday language of everyday people.” And when its wave crashed in Mississippi in June, July and August of 1964, the reverberation was so loud and deep that we could hear it and feel it all the way up in the Allegheny Mountains surrounding my small hometown of Piedmont, W.Va.  

One thing was for sure: None of us would ever be the same. Nor would America. To me, Freedom Summer’s greatest legacy is the counterintuitive philosophy behind it. After decades of a “top down” organizing strategy, Moses and Ella Baker flipped the script, galvanizing everyday people to learn and lead themselves. And it is—it always will be—a blueprint for change. 

The Roots of Freedom Summer

Local branches of the NAACP led the way in Mississippi, beginning in the 1950s, with Amzie Moore, Aaron Henry and Medgar Evers (who would be assassinated in his own driveway) in the forefront. The mountains those pioneers had to climb were steep and jagged. African Americans in Mississippi, when they had jobs, were typically stuck working as sharecroppers or domestics, and they lived in a segregated society without any political power. “In 1962,” Lisa Clayton Robinson notes in her entry on Freedom Summer in Africana“only 6.7 percent of African Americans in the state were registered to vote, the lowest percentage in the country.” And, as the 1955 murder of Emmett Till demonstrated, white violence was an omnipresent threat.

Organizers from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) started pouring into the state in the early 1960s. As President John F. Kennedy said about the country as a whole, “ … the torch ha[d] been passed.” Among the young new leaders, none played a more pivotal role than the brilliant but soft-spoken visionary Bob Moses, in Mississippi to spearhead a voter registration drive. Moses may not be as well known to the wider society today as King is, but he should be. Without him, there would have been no Freedom Summer, and without Freedom Summer, there would have been no Voting Rights Act a year later.

Read more here.

nprfreshair:

This summer marks the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, a movement to open the polls to blacks in Mississippi and end the state’s white supremacy. 
Freedom Summer was organized by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which recruited 700 college students—mostly white students from the North—to come down to Mississippi to help African Americans register to vote. 
A new documentary called Freedom Summer airs on PBS tomorrow. The film’s director Stanley Nelson, and longtime journalist and one of Freedom Summer’s organizers Charles Cobb joined Fresh Air to discuss the movement. Cobb explains how SNCC trained the students for their entry into the violent South: 

Charles Cobb: We could show people how best to try and protect yourself from actual physical [harm] – what to do if you’re attacked by a mob, how to cover your body, how to protect somebody who you’re with without engaging in fistfights or whipping out a pistol… We could show people how to do that. We had some experience in that because we all came out of the sit-in movement and were used to being surrounded by mobs of hostile whites.

nprfreshair:

This summer marks the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, a movement to open the polls to blacks in Mississippi and end the state’s white supremacy. 

Freedom Summer was organized by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which recruited 700 college students—mostly white students from the North—to come down to Mississippi to help African Americans register to vote. 

A new documentary called Freedom Summer airs on PBS tomorrow. The film’s director Stanley Nelson, and longtime journalist and one of Freedom Summer’s organizers Charles Cobb joined Fresh Air to discuss the movement. Cobb explains how SNCC trained the students for their entry into the violent South: 

Charles Cobb: We could show people how best to try and protect yourself from actual physical [harm] – what to do if you’re attacked by a mob, how to cover your body, how to protect somebody who you’re with without engaging in fistfights or whipping out a pistol… We could show people how to do that. We had some experience in that because we all came out of the sit-in movement and were used to being surrounded by mobs of hostile whites.

From the number of arrests to the number of African Americans who registered, The Root breaks down the statistics of Freedom Summer’s effect.

schomburgcenter:

Today is Juneteenth, which commemorates the ending of slavery in Texas on June 19, 1865. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, it was not enforced in the state of Texas due to a lack of Union troop presence and enforcement in the confederate state.

 

However on June 19, 1865, Union soldiers led by Major General Gordon Granger and his regiment  entered Galveston, Texas to override the resistance to the law and to enforce the Executive Orders. Union Major-General Gordon Granger read General Orders, No.3 to the people of Galveston. It stated:


"The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere."


Since 1865 black Americans have regarded June 19th as the official emancipation day, and on January 1, 1980, the state of Texas proclaimed June 19 an official state holiday thanks to the African American state legislator Al Edwards.

(via thefemaletyrant)

African labor was ideally suited for this task. A two-way exchange of sugar for labor began. As demand for sugar increased, so did the demand for African slave labor. The first shipload of sugar from Cuba arrived in Spain in 1515. In 1518, the first shipload of slaves arrived in Cuba from West Africa.


Sugar processing yields molasses as a by-product. Fermented molasses yield rum. Molasses were processed into rum in the factories that sprang up in New England, as well as in England, Holland and France. Much of the rum was consumed in Europe. From there, some of it found its way to West Africa. European merchants paid for the slaves with rum, guns, horses, and industrial products from southern Spain, and fine muslin cloth imported from India. Guns were in demand by the African slave agents who used them to hunt for more slaves. Both guns and rum were destabilizing factors in West Africa. It was a recipe for men to get drunk and kill each other. There were enormous profits to be made at each stage of the sugar-molasses-rum-gun-slave transaction. In the process, Europe and America grew rich as Africa bled in agony.

Prof. Dr. Nazeer Ahmed, PhD on the crucial role that sugar played both in the destruction of West African societies and the wealth of Europe and America, through the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade.

More African history.

In spite of its strong Crusader underpinnings, there was nothing unusual about the African slave trade until 1492. It fit a pattern that had existed for centuries wherein slaves from Europe were sold in Egypt, Central Asia and India, while slaves from sub-Saharan Africa were sold in North Africa, Spain and India. The slave trade declined towards the end of the 15th century because the European market was saturated. Lisbon had about ten thousand Muslim and African slaves and could use no more.


The discovery of America changed this picture. It transformed what was up till then a small trade in ivory, gold and slaves into an intricate global web of trade, piracy and politics. The initial objective of Spain in her American colonies was gold. In their hunt for precious metals, the Spanish obliterated the ancient civilizations of the Aztecs of Mexico, the Mayans of Guatemala and the Incas of Peru. Ninety percent of the men were killed while the women died as a result of slavery and diseases brought in by the Europeans. Within a span of ten years, from 1500 to 1510, the population of Cuba decreased from about one million to twenty thousand. When the Mayan gold was exhausted, the Spanish went after the silver mines of Mexico. The residual indigenous population was enslaved and put to work in the silver mines. Working conditions were so harsh that by 1520, the American colonies were almost drained of their native manpower.

It was about this time that a new crop, unknown in the Americas up until then, was introduced into the New World. The discovery of America had resulted in a vast interchange of agricultural products between the New World and the Old. The potato, tomato and red pepper traveled from the Americas to Europe and Asia, while sugar and cotton went in the other direction.

The introduction of sugar transformed America, Europe and Africa alike. Its impact on history was far greater than that of Mayan gold treasures or the rich silver mines of Mexico. To understand how it happened, it is important to know the process of sugar extraction. The word sugar derives from the Sanskrit word su-ka-ra, meaning a sweet substance. Sugarcane is a tropical crop, which originated in the Indo-Gangetic plains in ancient India. Until the 16th century, it was imported in small quantities into Europe by Muslim merchants and their Venetian partners, and found its way to the dining tables of the rich. When direct European contacts were initiated with India (1496), it became more readily available. Demand multiplied. The islands of the West Indies, and some in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa, were ideally suited to grow sugar cane, a crop that is labor intensive. Native American labor had been exhausted. Moreover, the Native Americans were not suited for the kind of backbreaking work required on the sugar plantations. So, labor had to be imported.

An extract from Prof. Dr. Nazeer Ahmed, PhD on the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade and how it relates to Muslim people and Muslim history in Africa.

More African history.

It is not commonly appreciated that the first target of slavery in West Africa were the Moors (the Portuguese and the Spanish referred to all Muslims regardless of racial differences as Moors). A description of the first raids has come down to us through the writings of the Portuguese writer Azurara. In 1441, a certain young Portuguese captain Golcalves sailed along the coast of southern Morocco and Mauritania gathering ivory, animal hide and sea lion oil for sale in Lisbon. In a chance encounter, he met up with a Muslim couple, wounded the man with a javelin and took them both aboard ship as slaves. At that time the jurisdiction over the Portuguese colony of Tangier was with Prince Henry, an enthusiastic supporter of a naval thrust along the Atlantic seacoast to outflank the Maghrib. The couple was presented to Henry. Sensing an opportunity to capture more slaves, he authorized an ambitious raid the same year under a seasoned and experienced captain Tristao who was familiar with the Atlantic coast of West Africa.


Captains Golcalves and Tristao netted more than a dozen Muslims and enslaved them. Elated, Henry wrote to Pope Eugene IV who gave a decree that capturing the Moors as slaves was a part of the Crusade and whoever sailed south in this pursuit would receive ablution of his sins (1442). This was the origin of the slave trade, which began with Portuguese piracy on the Moroccan coast in 1441. The process was systematized in 1444 when the Portuguese Lagos Company was chartered under the patronage of Prince Henry.

An extract from Prof. Dr. Nazeer Ahmed, PhD on the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade and how it relates to Muslim people and Muslim history in Africa.

ETA: The Portuguese explorer named in this post is Antão Gonçalves, the first recorded European to buy and bring enslaved Africans to Europe.

More African history.

The Encyclopaedia Of African Wisdom.

The rescue mission of the African culture starts in a small village in Cameroon. Chief Gaston Donnat Bappa was born here. He is an IT specialist with more than three decades of experience in different companies and institutions and is currently the General Coordinator of the ITSUD (Information Technologies for Sustainable Development), an NGO in Song-Mbengue in the rural area of Cameroon, and institution that fights the digital divide, in African rural areas notably.

The 56-year-old is creating a site that he hopes will become the first port of call for African arts and crafts, food, laws, medicine, music, oral storytelling, religion, science, sport – anything that can be defined as tradition, dating back millions of years. A prototype is open for contributions, with early entries including Myths and Legends of the Bantu, and Concepts of Social Justice in Traditional Africa. The name: African Traditions Online Encyclopaedia (ATOE).

The idea grew from Bappa’s passion for beliefs and customs from a young age on in his village, Ndjock-Nkong, as well as his traveled to more than 20 African countries as a senior IT engineer, consultant and bank executive. Bappa:

I saw that even in my tribe traditions are beginning to disappear. When I was going to other countries in Africa I saw it was the same. It’s not because young people don’t want to learn about them but because they don’t have the access in urban areas.

Gaston Donnat Bappa embodies the combination of old and new: He inherited the title of clan chief from his great-grandfather, grandfather and father 22 years ago but has 34 years of experience in computer technology. He hopes to bring the two worlds together in his project.

People think traditions don’t belong with information and communications technology because traditions are so far behind us and ICT is so far ahead of us. But if you don’t know who you are, you don’t know where you are going.

The ATOE will use wiki applications for volunteers to input, change or remove content in collaboration with others. Bappa is operating from Yaoundé and working to raise worldwide awareness of the project, which he will formally unveil at next year’s eLearning Africa conference. He plans to approach Microsoft and other potential sponsors in an attempt to raise 400,000 Euro for the initial phase.

Bappa:

It is not only for Africa. It will be open to all worldwide, Africans and non-Africans. It is for the whole of humankind because Africa is the cradle of humanity. We are going to ask Wikipedia if they can transfer all the information on African traditions to our database, and they’ll be very happy to do so, I’m sure

Have a first look at the encyclopaedia here.

The iconic images that came to define the Soweto Uprising of June 16th, 1976.

This series of images depict scenes of a tragic moment that has come to symbolize this day in South African history.

As planned on June 16th, 1976, students from schools around Soweto began to gather and protest against a policy by the South African government that, through a system they called ‘Bantu Education’, that forced black students from the 7th grade onwards to be taught lessons in Afrikaans. Not only was this policy impractical as many students had little to no knowledge in Afrikaans which made learning subjects in high school difficult, Afrikaans was a language that symbolized oppression and the racist authority of the apartheid government.

Armed mostly with their new found confidence and attitudes of defiance cultivated by the Black Consciousness rhetoric sweeping the country, the students had planned that these protests would be a peaceful demonstration. The mass rally had been planned in secret by the Students formed an Action Committee (later known as the Soweto Students’ Representative Council) on June 13th, 1976, with student Teboho “Tsietsi” Mashinini as the main leader of the protests.

On the day, between 10, 000 - 50, 000 students began to make their way, as planned, to the Orlando Stadium in Soweto. Many of the participants were only notified of the rally on the day of the event. According to his sister, Antoinette Sithole, 13-year-old Hector Pieterson found himself there more out of curiosity out of anything else. Unfortunately, it was at this time that things began to take a violent turn. Police, who were heavily armed, began releasing their dogs on the crowds. But the crowd was large and many protestors overpowered the animals. After this, the police began to shoot into the crowd of unarmed students. One of the first causalities recorded on that day was the young Hector Pieterson.  

More and more victims were killed on that day, and one such individual was Dr. Melville Edelstein, a white social worker in Soweto who had devoted his life to providing healthcare to many in the area. Unfortunately, Dr. Edelstein was the “victim of the consequences of the apartheid system – a racist system which socialized South Africans to impulsively judge and respond to one another not as individuals with individual qualities, but according to a stereotypical image based solely on skin colour.”

Taken by South African photographer Sam Nzima, the first image was published in newspapers around the world the following day and has become one of the most iconic images of South African history.

A Brief History on the Presence of Africans in Chile.

Most of Chile’s black population are descended from enslaved Africans brought to the South American country by Spanish colonists, specifically from Angola and Congo in the 1600s. Many quickly began to integrate into Chilean society and by 1620, a free black man Anzúrez and a fellow friend who was also a freed man were elected as majors of Arica. Arica was a cities that hosted a large population of enslaved Africans. However, six months later, an order by Peru’s viceroy, don Francisco de Borja y Aragón, declared these nominations to be void.

During Chile’s War of Independence, several black men fought against the Spaniards. The most noted were a group of Africans that were members of the 8th Regiment of The Andean Liberation Army - an army organized in Argentinian territory and led by San Martin to liberate Chile - that fought the Spaniards in Chacabuco. San Martin’s reasoning behind including black men in his army was because he believed black people were more suited to fighting in the infantry component of the army. As foot soldiers, black fighters faced a higher risk of danger.

Though they were granted their freedom after their successes in battle, many were never recognized or given benefits by the Chilean government. Chile was granted their independence on September 18th, 1810. The following year, in 1811, Chile banned the enslavement of any child born to a free person. Slavery was later abolished in 1823. 

(source)

Afro-Costa Rican writer Eulalia Bernard is one the most notable and central figures in Afro-Central American literature and education.
Born in 1935, Bernard is the daughter of Jamaicans who migrated from the country to Costa Rica in search of work at the beginning of the 20th century. Bernard grew up in Puerto Limon, the youngest of seven children born to Carolica Little Crosby, a teacher, and her father Cristopher Bernard Jackson, a tailor. She is fluent and writes in three different languages, Mecatelio (Mek-a-tell-yu, the Creole of Limon - a coastal province where large numbers of black migrants settled), English and Spanish. In 1972, Bernard earned her Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Costa Rica, later going on to study at the University of Wales and the Centre de Recherche Pedagogique in Bordeaux, France.
An educator, diplomat and television producer by profession, Bernard has held several important posts. She served as Costa Rica’s cultural attache to Jamaica, director of educational television programs for the Ministry of Public Education, special delegate to the United Nations, and Professor of English at the University of Costa Rica where she introduced the first course in Black culture of the Americas.
With the publication of her first book in Ritmoheroe in 1982, Bernard became the first Costa Rican woman of African descent to publish a collection of poetry. Prior to its release, Bernard had written a collection of 27 poems in her 1976 work entitled Negritud (which would appear in print at a later stage). In addition to these works, Bernard published two other collections of poetry, My Black King and Cienga. 
Through her poetry, Bernard explores the complexities of her African origin, black consciousness, gender roles, and the relationship of black people with Latin American history and culture.
(sources: 1 & 2)
Follow Dynamic Africa on:
Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Google+ | Mixcloud
All Africa, All the time.

Afro-Costa Rican writer Eulalia Bernard is one the most notable and central figures in Afro-Central American literature and education.

Born in 1935, Bernard is the daughter of Jamaicans who migrated from the country to Costa Rica in search of work at the beginning of the 20th century. Bernard grew up in Puerto Limon, the youngest of seven children born to Carolica Little Crosby, a teacher, and her father Cristopher Bernard Jackson, a tailor. She is fluent and writes in three different languages, Mecatelio (Mek-a-tell-yu, the Creole of Limon - a coastal province where large numbers of black migrants settled), English and Spanish. In 1972, Bernard earned her Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Costa Rica, later going on to study at the University of Wales and the Centre de Recherche Pedagogique in Bordeaux, France.

An educator, diplomat and television producer by profession, Bernard has held several important posts. She served as Costa Rica’s cultural attache to Jamaica, director of educational television programs for the Ministry of Public Education, special delegate to the United Nations, and Professor of English at the University of Costa Rica where she introduced the first course in Black culture of the Americas.

With the publication of her first book in Ritmoheroe in 1982, Bernard became the first Costa Rican woman of African descent to publish a collection of poetry. Prior to its release, Bernard had written a collection of 27 poems in her 1976 work entitled Negritud (which would appear in print at a later stage). In addition to these works, Bernard published two other collections of poetry, My Black King and Cienga.

Through her poetry, Bernard explores the complexities of her African origin, black consciousness, gender roles, and the relationship of black people with Latin American history and culture.

(sources: 1 & 2)

Follow Dynamic Africa on:

Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | InstagramGoogle+Mixcloud

All Africa, All the time.

A Brief History of African Presence in Costa Rica.
Although a small percentage of the Costa Rican population at between 4-8%, there are two waves of African presence in the country. The first was through the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade where enslaved Africans from Western and Central regions of the continent were brought to the country by Spanish conquistadors in the 17th century. Many came from ethnic groups such as the Wolof, Ashanti, Malinke, Yoruba and different Congolese communities.
In the late 18th century, after the abolishing of slavery in the 1820s, migrant workers began coming from other parts of the Caribbean, namely Jamaica. Costa Rica has the largest Jamaican diaspora in Latin America after Cuba and Panama. Many worked on coffee and banana plantations, as well as in railroad construction.
Despite their long presence in the country, it was not until 1949 that Afro-Costa Ricans obtained full citizenship. Taking after its name, Costa Rica is the wealthiest Central American state and also the oldest democratic nation in the region. But despite the country’s seemingly progressive policies towards minorities, most Afro-Costa Ricans have largely been excluded from the country’s elite and political (until recent years) circles, and consequently the country’s wealth.
Today, most of this population live in Costa Rica’s Atlantic Coast region.
(sources: 1 | 2 | 3)
Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Google+| Soundcloud | Mixcloud
All Africa, All the time.

A Brief History of African Presence in Costa Rica.

Although a small percentage of the Costa Rican population at between 4-8%, there are two waves of African presence in the country. The first was through the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade where enslaved Africans from Western and Central regions of the continent were brought to the country by Spanish conquistadors in the 17th century. Many came from ethnic groups such as the Wolof, Ashanti, Malinke, Yoruba and different Congolese communities.

In the late 18th century, after the abolishing of slavery in the 1820s, migrant workers began coming from other parts of the Caribbean, namely Jamaica. Costa Rica has the largest Jamaican diaspora in Latin America after Cuba and Panama. Many worked on coffee and banana plantations, as well as in railroad construction.

Despite their long presence in the country, it was not until 1949 that Afro-Costa Ricans obtained full citizenship. Taking after its name, Costa Rica is the wealthiest Central American state and also the oldest democratic nation in the region. But despite the country’s seemingly progressive policies towards minorities, most Afro-Costa Ricans have largely been excluded from the country’s elite and political (until recent years) circles, and consequently the country’s wealth.

Today, most of this population live in Costa Rica’s Atlantic Coast region.

(sources: 1 | 2 | 3)

Twitter | FacebookPinterest | Google+Soundcloud | Mixcloud

All Africa, All the time.