DYNAMIC AFRICA

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.




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Posts tagged "history"
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)
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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)

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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)

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All Africa, All the time.

If you are ever visit Colombia and want to see the richness of Afro-Colombian culture at its fullest, then attending the Petronio Álvarez Festival held in Cali, south-west Colombia, is a must.

Every August, Colombia hosts the worlds largest Afro-Latino festival in the country’s Pacific Coast region. Over a period of four days, bands from across the country play and compete for various prizes, dancing becomes an all-day activity, and there’s much food to be savoured at the event. All of this is part of a way in which Afro-Colombians recognize and celebrate their heritage, and their contributions to Colombian society and culture, that would otherwise be forgotten or unacknowledged by the greater population.

The festival is named after late Colombian musician Patrick Romano Petronio Álvarez Quintero, born on October 1, 1914 in Cascajal Island and passed away in 1966.

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All Africa, All the time.

A Brief History of African Presence in Colombia.

Today, Colombia is a country that hosts the third largest population of African descended people outside of the African continent, and the second-largest after Brazil. As with most stories of Africans living in this part of the world, Afro-Colombians are the descendents of enslaved and kidnapped Africans from the west coast of Africa.

During the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in 1500s, enslaved Africans were brought to what was then New Granada by the Spanish. They were forced to work on plantations and gold mines where they pioneered the extracting of alluvial gold deposits and the growing of sugar cane. Africans became an essential part of the economy in this region of the world and a large portion of Colombia’s wealth was built on the backs of enslaved Africans.

From the moment Africans arrived in Colombia, Africans began to fight for their freedom and in 1530, the first slave revolt in Colombia occurred in Santa Marta. The town was torched and completely burnt down, and after being rebuilt the following year, it was again burnt down in 1550 during another revolt.

In 1545, a group of enslaved Africans working in the mines of present day Popayán escaped and took over the town of Tofeme. They killed twenty whites and carried off 250 Indian hostages to the mountains. In 1555 and 1556, Popayán was also the site of more slave revolts. The Popayán revolt of 1598 had a devastating impact on Spain and it’s revenue from New Granada. 4,000 enslaved Africans destroyed the gold mine of Zaragoza, one of the most profitable and productive mines. In 1557, an expedition led by Juan Meléndez de Valdés retook the mine and slaves who were recaptured were executed. 

Once again in Popayán, in 1732, fugitive enslaved Africans formed a free Black African town called a palenque near the town of Castillo. Unable to destroy the palenque, the local government had to option but to give the enslaved Africans amnesty, as long as no new fugitive slaves were accepted into the town. This requirement was ignored by the Africans who gave refuge to any Africans who could escape their masters. As a result, in 1745 an expedition was launched to destroy the town. Their dwellings were destroyed but the freed Africans once again escaped and founded another encampment.
By the 1770s, 60% of Colombia was made up of free people of color who had formed a number of palenques where Africans could live as cimarrones - free people. Very popular cimarrón leaders like Benkos Biojó and Barule fought for freedom. African people played key roles in the independence struggle against Spain. Historians note that although he initially did not accept black people into his independence army, three of every five soldiers in Simon Bolívar's army were African. Afro-Colombians also participated at all levels of military and political life.
However, much like during the American War of Independence, some say that part of Bolívar’s reason for allowing black people to fight in his army was to reduce the casualty of white soldiers whilst simultaneously reducing the population of black people in Colombia. This would also ensure that more white and non-black people would enjoy the fruits of a free Colombia. The white elite was in constant fear of a large black population taking over, a fear that Bolívar harbored. To him a revolt by blacks would be “a thousand times worse than a Spanish invasion”. Part of this fear may have stemmed from Haiti’s successful fight against the French, gaining their independence in 1804. Colombia gained theirs in 1810. 
Although a law declaring all children born to an enslaved woman and her master as free was passed in 1821, it was not enforced. Slavery in Colombia was not abolished until 1851, and even after emancipation, the life of the African Colombians was very difficult. Some African Colombians were forced to live in jungle areas as a mechanism of self-protection, whilst others became squatters on land they had fought for. Many were excluded from Colombian life with little access to resources such as education, healthcare, and property ownership. 
From as early as the mid-1800s, the Colombia government began making efforts to whiten Colombia and eventually rid the country of any and all black people by promoting the idea of miscegenation as a way to wash out the existence of black people. In 1922, Law 114 was passed banning immigration of peopled deemed “inconvenient” for the development of the Colombian race and nation. This law encouraged white immigration. In 1928, the president Laureano Gomez stated, "The black is a plague. In the countries where he has disappeared, as in Argentina, Chile, and Paraguay, it has been possible to establish an economic and political organization on a strong and stable basis."
In 1945 the department of El Chocó was created; it was the first predominantly African political-administrative division. El Chocó gave African people the possibility of building an African territorial identity and some autonomous decision-making power.
Today, most Afro-Colombians, who make up around 10.6% of the country’s population, live in urban parts of the country in places such as Quibdo, Cali, Cartagena and Barranquilla. Many still experience a high degree of racism, prejudice and discrimination and are largely absent from the elite and political spheres of the country. In Colombia’s ongoing internal conflict, Afro-Colombians are both victims of violence or displacement and members of armed factions, such as the FARC and the AUC. Despite making considerable contributions to many facets of Colombian culture, Afro-Colombians have gained little from the state.
(sources: 1 & 2)
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All Africa, All the time.

Every Thursday, we here at Dynamic Africa get a little nostalgic and turn back the hands of time on Africa’s past. 
Today is #TBT and we’re all about history. From vintage photographs to victorious feats, follow our blog, pinterest, twitter and facebook accounts for your weekly dose of African history. View all our history posts here. 
View all our vintage posts here.

Every Thursday, we here at Dynamic Africa get a little nostalgic and turn back the hands of time on Africa’s past.

Today is #TBT and we’re all about history. From vintage photographs to victorious feats, follow our blog, pinterest, twitter and facebook accounts for your weekly dose of African history.

View all our history posts here.

View all our vintage posts here.

(via dynamicafrica)