Tag: Africa

Africa “Without Amnesia”

Responses to the idea of a “post-racial” society usually follow a certain script. In most progressive circles in the US, the notion is dismissed as fantasy or delusion. In southern Africa, and ...

Somalia and Italy across a Century

The United Nations Refugee Agency has calculated that, by the end of 2016, there were almost 68 million “persons of concern” (refugees, asylum seekers, and other vulnerable groups) living on this ...

Cursed Masculinity

Masculinity is a curse. This, at least, is the driving conceit behind Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s Ugandan epic, Kintu, published in Kenya by the Kwani Trust in 2014, and in the US by Transit Books ...

Atlantic Got Your Tongue

Safia Elhillo’s poetry comes to us exactly when we need it, in the era of the travel ban and the border wall. The richness of feeling and formal inventiveness of her work open up an alternative ...

Afrofuturism: Everything and Nothing

Whence the “Afro” in “Afrofuturism”? In the 1994 interview with Samuel R. Delaney that inaugurated the term, Mark Dery defines Afrofuturism as “speculative fiction that treats African American themes ...

Harare in Four Pharmacies

Village Pharmacy in Harare’s upper income Borrowdale Shopping Centre is clean and quiet. There’s a faint antiseptic smell. Its shelves are neatly stacked with imported bath foam ...

Can Child Soldiers Be Saved?

Everybody loves stories about child soldiers, it seems, as long as redemption is involved. A memoir about Sierra Leone’s civil war, for example, is not exactly the feel-good stuff you’d expect to see ...

Why Boys Must Cry

In contemporary Nigerian literature, muscular heroes of postcolonial independence have lost their swagger. Today’s patriarchs read like quaint fogies, stomping their feet about government, money, and ...

Stunt Double: Twice Fallen

The wounds of civil wars last. You can forgive a stranger, but family and neighbors, that’s another story. In America, the Confederate flag still raises old myths and divisions. In Algeria, the ...

My Heart Laid Bare in Lagos

In the 1850s the French symbolist poet Charles Baudelaire began expanding the scope of his vision to include details of life previously banished from the work of well-educated and well-heeled ...