Is there an authentic African position on feminism?

http://www.msafropolitan.com/2017/05/authentic-african-position-on-feminism.html

If you are interested in pan-Africanism then chance are that you have visited the pages of the African Holocaust, “a non-profit civil society dedicated to the progressive study of African history and culture.” At least I have found useful information on the website while researching topics that have to do with African history. The platform is a veteran of pan-African thought online, however, it is hardly reflective of “progressive study”. Rather, it is regressive on many critical accounts.

For instance, in an essay subtitled “Pan-African position on Gay Rights”, the authors write that the, “Authentic African Position” is that “African culture has no place, no category and no concept that can accommodate homosexuality as a way of life because it does not fit with the view that humans should reproduce in order to be remembered for eternity”. In another essay, the authors state that feminism is a “diabolically anti-African anti-human neologism”. Instead of feminism, the essay advocates that women should choose “balance” over “tick for tack equality”, and “biological harmony”over “ownership of their sexuality, to flaunt immorality. “

There is too much at stake to allow such views to be pushed as “the authentic” African position. It may be true that if you ask a good number of Africans what they think about feminism, they will point to views such as those on African Holocaust. In fact, they might even have formed their views based on the website. And I can understand that there are things about feminism which, to an extent, do not seem “typically” African. For instance, rather than viewing femaleness and maleness as biological conditions that inherently inform our social behaviour, as many African cultures do, contemporary feminism tends to argue that we instead are socialised into our female and male gender roles.

Also, many Africans believe that their culture is historically matriarchal, and therefore insist that feminism is redundant. However, even if African societies were matriarchal in precolonial times, which wasn’t actually the case, most African societies today are governed by a global gender order, which instead is patriarchal.

Moreover, the present-day patriarchal gender order is responsible for unprecedented suffering. African women face some of the most unimaginable discrimination in the world, ranking lowest in numerous indices of gender inequality. If anything should be considered un-African, it is not feminism but the inhumane treatment that significant numbers of girls and women are subject to.

African feminist thought seeks precisely to complicate these questions and offer nuances that people of African heritage can relate to. This is why my approach when writing, speaking and lecturing about feminism is to be mindful and understanding of how and why such views are widespread, while showing that a radically progressive politics toward revolutionary, spiritual and psychological freedom has no room for them.

Last but not least, it is so belittling to suggest that there are parts of shared human culture such as feminism that are not authentically African. Africa is not a continent in outer space, it is part of the world. Not only is Africa part of the world, it is a force of resistance in the world. So long as feminism is the global movement of resistance to gender inequality, which it is, then feminism is inevitably and indispensably African.

Whether it’s feminism, gay rights, climate change, scientific development etc., we have to “Africanise” the global marketplace of ideas rather than keep secluding Africa from it. Rather than argue that feminism is not African, why not value the significant way that African feminists impact feminism with humanism and community spirit. Opposing global resistance movements is NOT the solution for restoring the dignity of African people.


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Jon Stewart and HBO Made The Right Call to Kill Their Animated Cable News Parody, and Here’s Why

http://www.indiewire.com/2017/05/jon-stewart-hbo-animated-cable-news-parody-dead-1201831177/

For Jon Stewart, the idea seemed like a natural fit: An animated daily show parodying cable news that could comment on current events in real time.

But after a lengthy development, Stewart and HBO officially pulled the plug this Tuesday. And it was probably for the best.

As part of its 4-year deal with Stewart, HBO built him an animation studio in New Jersey. He started working with 3D graphics company OTOY on the creation of short-form video projects.

READ MORE: Jon Stewart’s HBO Animated News Project Has Been Dropped

The idea: Stewart would come up with a way to produce animated shorts online throughout the day that would post almost immediately after news arises. A web destination (think “The Onion”) would be created, and the shorts would be collected into a half-hour version that would also air on the linear HBO channel.

“It allows him to comment in real time what’s happening during the day’s news events,” HBO programming president Casey Bloys told reporters at the summer 2016 Television Critics Association press tour. “He wants to get material out multiple times each day,” Bloys added. “It’s very much Jon’s voice, both his actual voice and tone.”

At the time, Bloys said he hoped Stewart would have the animated studio up and running in time for the final months of the presidential campaign. That didn’t happen.

In November, Bloys told IndieWire that he expected the new project to launch in “February or March.” But that didn’t happen either.

“He’s building an entire animation studio,” Bloys said at the time. “It’s a giant undertaking. Once it’s up and running it’s going to be a great platform for him.”

Ultimately, HBO spent millions of dollars on the project. Stewart spent months at the studio, located in the downtown of a small New Jersey town.

It’s unclear how far Stewart got with the idea. Perhaps it wound up being not feasible from a technical standpoint. But there’s also the real possibility that a Donald Trump presidency made the idea of making fun of cable news so pre-2017.

READ MORE: Donald Trump Shakes Up the Emmy Talk Show Race, As Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee, and Trevor Noah Get In The Game

As host of “The Daily Show,” one of Stewart’s favorite targets was cable TV news – Fox News Channel in particular, but CNN (and, somewhat, MSNBC) as well. Most of that critique was justified – right up through the recent presidential election, when those networks were duped by Trump, who rode their non-stop free coverage all the way to the White House.

But once there, Trump has made it his mission to delegitimize the media, and in particular, news outlets like CNN and MSNBC that dare to cover the truth behind his many, many missteps. Trump calls them “fake news,” and threatens the very nature of a free press.

More recently, CNN and MSNBC have seen their ratings rise dramatically as they cover the early scandals of the Trump administration. Fox News, with its head in the sand, has slipped to third place.

Cable news isn’t perfect, but it’s what we’ve got. And it’s under attack as “fake.” Now isn’t the time to pile on with an actual “fake” outlet – which might accidentally help further delegitimize them. The networks did enough of that to themselves – and need to take a long, hard look in the mirror to understand the predicament they’re in. A show discussing real issues with a fake news team might prolong the problem.

Whatever the reason behind HBO and Stewart scrapping their animated cable news project, it was the right thing to do in this current environment. Now, perhaps this will free him up for what people really want to see: Stewart, in the flesh, on their TV, offering a little sanity to the insanity of the real world.

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NEWS: New Orleans removes last of four statues linked to pro-slavery era | @Reuters

https://africandiasporaphd.com/2017/05/20/new-orleans-removes-last-of-four-statues-linked-to-pro-slavery-era-reuters/

“We cannot be afraid of the truth,” said Landrieu, who along with other city leaders decided to take down the monuments in 2015, a decision that withstood challenges in federal court.

“He called them “symbols of white supremacy” and a part of a movement “to rewrite history, to hide the truth, which is that the Confederacy was on the wrong side of humanity.”

“Also on Friday, in Alabama, the legislature sent a bill to the desk of Governor Kay Ivey that would prohibit the removal of monuments on public property that have been in place for at least 20 years…”

 

Source: New Orleans removes last of four statues linked to pro-slavery era | Reuters


Filed under: See Tags Tagged: #adphd, #takeemdownnola, civil war, emancipation, history, memory, news, slavery, united states


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BLOGROLL: In Search of the Slave Who Defied George Washington – @NYTimes

https://africandiasporaphd.com/2017/05/23/blogroll-in-search-of-the-slave-who-defied-george-washington-nytimes/

NYT covers Erica Armstrong Dunbar’s new book on Ona Judge :

The costumed characters at George Washington’s gracious estate here are used to handling all manner of awkward queries, whether about 18th-century privies or the first president’s teeth. So when a visitor recently asked an African-American re-enactor in a full skirt and head scarf if she knew Ona Judge, the woman didn’t miss a beat.

Judge’s escape from the presidential residence in Philadelphia in 1796 had been “a great embarrassment to General and Lady Washington,” the woman said, before offering her own view of the matter.

“Ona was born free, like everybody,” she said. “It was this world that made her a slave.”

Read the rest


Filed under: Erica Armstrong Dunbar Tagged: #adphd, blogroll, book, gender, George Washington, history, maroonage, resistance, slavery, united states, women


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Roger Moore Dies: Celebrities React to the Death of Their Favorite James Bond

http://www.indiewire.com/2017/05/roger-moore-dies-celebrities-react-reactions-james-bond-1201830629/

The film community is mourning the loss of Roger Moore. The British actor, best known for playing James Bond, passed away on Tuesday in Switzerland after a short battle with cancer. Moore’s children, Deborah, Geoffrey and Christian, confirmed the news via Twitter. The actor was 89.

“The love with which he was surrounded in his final days was so great it cannot be quantified in words alone,” read the statement. “We know our own love and admiration will be magnified many times over, across the world, by people who knew him for his films, his television shows and his passionate work for UNICEF which he considered to be his greatest achievement.”

READ MORE: Roger Moore, Iconic James Bond Actor, Dead at 89

Moore was the third actor to play the famous spy, after Sean Connery and George Lazenby. He starred in seven Bond movies between 1973 and 1985, including “Live and Let Die” and “The Spy Who Loved Me.” In 2003, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his charity work, which included serving as a UNICEF Goodwill ambassador. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2008.

Actors and filmmakers have taken to social media to express their condolences and pay tribute to Moore. See some of the tweets below.

Instagram Photo

Also, Duran Duran, the band that performed the theme song for Moore’s last Bond film, 1985’s “A View to a Kill,” paid tribute to the actor by sharing the poster from the movie. “RIP Roger,” the band tweeted.

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‘District 9’ Director Neill Blomkamp to Release Experimental Short Films On Gaming Site Steam

http://www.indiewire.com/2017/05/district-9-director-neill-blomkamp-short-films-steam-games-1201830599/

District 9” director Neill Blomkamp’s Oats Studios will experiment with selling short films on gaming website Stream as a way to develop feature film ideas. Many shorts will also be available on the Oats Studios YouTube channel, but a few will be exclusive for purchase as a way to see if the ecosystem works for film, Blomkamp said.

READ MORE: ‘Kill Switch’ Teaser Trailer: Dan Stevens Stars in Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Thriller — Watch

The director, also known for “Elysium” and “Chappie,” floated the idea on twitter: “If I sold experimental short films on [Steam Games] as tests for potential full feature films, would people watch them?” He added that concept art, 3-D assets, and Maya scene files would be available for download through Steam. “I want to have direct open dialogue with audience going forward,” said Blomkamp, before debuting this teaser from a short called “RAKKA.”

Originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, Blomkamp is best known for the dystopian sci-fi film “District 9,” which he co-wrote with his wife, Terri Tatchell, and was produced by Peter Jackson. “District 9” received widespread critical acclaim and box office success for its creative use of fictional found footage and political allegory to apartheid. It was based on a short film, “Alive in Joburg.” Steam is a popular online gaming platform developed by Valve, the video game developer behind “Half-Life” and “Left 4 Dead.”

READ MORE: ‘Alien’ Day: Neill Blomkamp Celebrates 4/26 by Releasing Newt Concept Art From Upcoming Film

The Oats Studios YouTube is still pretty sparse, but it’s clearly a place for Blomkamp to test out short ideas, like this presidential motorcade that looks like something out of “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Check it out:

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NEWS: Richmond leaders debate whether slavery memorial should be named after man who ran notorious jail 

https://africandiasporaphd.com/2017/05/21/news-richmond-leaders-debate-whether-slavery-memorial-should-be-named-after-man-who-ran-notorious-jail/

Via Richmond.com:

“Historical accounts of Robert Lumpkin’s slave jail in Shockoe Bottom describe brutal and cruel conditions: confining shackles, fetid air, meager meals.

“So why, wondered Richmond City Councilman Parker Agelasto during a budget hearing this week, does the city’s effort to create a slavery memorial at the site seem to also memorialize Lumpkin by using his surname in the project’s title?

“Agelasto proposed an amendment that would add references in city documents to the name black residents used at the time to refer to the place: “The Devil’s Half Acre….”

Read more: http://www.richmond.com/news/local/city-of-richmond/richmond-leaders-debate-whether-slavery-memorial-should-be-named-after/article_86214de1-acdf-56a8-b975-c5074880ac9e.html


Filed under: See Tags Tagged: #adphd, history, memory, news, slave trade, slavery, united states


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