Newman on Tubman, Jackson, and U.S. Currency


Newman writes:

“If Jackson was angry at his own eloped slave, a runaway like Harriet Tubman would have enraged him. Born into slavery in Maryland in about 1822, Tubman was beaten and whipped as a child and young woman, and one of these injuries impaired her with seizures for the rest of her life. In 1849 when her owner’s death threatened the sale and break-up of her family, Tubman decided to escape. A first attempt prompted her master to place his own advertisement in a local newspaper, eager to reclaim this valuable woman. She soon tried again, and this time made it the almost hundred miles to Pennsylvania, and she recalled that on crossing onto free soil ‘I felt like I was in Heaven.’”

Read it all: Harriet Tubman and Andrew Jackson | Runaway Slaves in Britain

Filed under: Simon Newman Tagged: african american, blogroll, essay, harriet tubman, history, memory, slavery, united states

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In the Struggle for Democracy We are All Ugandans

Ugandans have for long feasted on the politics of fear with the government drumming up a potential threat to their livelihood and wellbeing with each presidential election cycle. This has become a motivating factor to choose political leadership and condone policies and behaviour contrary to the beliefs and interests of the voters.

A myth has been sowed within our nation that asking questions of our leaders is a call for lawlessness. A false choice ingrained in our body politic rendering stability and an open society mutually exclusive.

To further escalate the politics of fear, our leaders have effectively sowed the seeds of identity politics within the populace. These group identities have cultivated fear of the other and enabled divide and conquer to flourish in Uganda.

Ugandans in the Diaspora and foreign actors have come under relentless pressure and attack. Regime loyalists have branded them agitators and opportunists who can’t relate to the predicament of Ugandans on the ground.

This is a rather misguided characterisation because Ugandans in the Diaspora are impacted by the politics and policies in the country. Many continue to hold both strong economic ties via the umbilical vessel of remittances and social ties through family and ethnicity.

The desire to leave the country in search for greener pastures is a result of a deep thirst for opportunity that has for long gone unquenched by an incompetent government. Ugandans in the Diaspora have a clear understanding of the push factors and have a stake in the future of our country.

The unconditional love for Uganda was on display as Ugandans sent ripples of hope from all corners of the globe demanding freedom, liberty, justice and free and fair elections. Ugandans left foot prints of courage and determination on the streets of Boston, Los Angeles, Washington DC, London, Sweden, Canada, Japan among others.

The voices in the Diaspora have been heard by governments and policy makers across the globe who have deemed the cause worthy. The partnership between the Diaspora and foreign actors poses a threat to the regime whose menu of greed includes an entrée of tax payer’s money with preferably a side dish of foreign aid.

The position of foreign actors challenging the legitimacy of Museveni’s election victory not only angered the regime but met significant backlash from the party loyalists. In spite of indisputable evidence of government rot, shambolic elections and overzealous policing, some have lashed out at US Ambassador to Uganda Deborah Malac and others who simply continue to articulate the truth.

It has become a tradition across Africa for governments to sing sovereignty, hug the national flag and hum the tune of Pan-Africanism while oppressing their citizens in the back room. Pan-Africanism is a great cause when executed for the right purpose. However, in the case of Uganda it has become a tactic often employed by the government to fend off accountability and answer tough questions that have been asked by Ugandans across the globe.

In order for substantial change and progress to happen in Uganda, we need to have the right diagnosis by embracing constructive criticism. Adopting a fight or flight reaction to criticism has nurtured a political climate without any form of self-reflection or accountability.

How else do you explain a nation where an election is rigged and the public doesn’t get any answers as to what happened?

How can a nation get its financial books in order when tax payer’s money is squandered and misappropriated by the State without any accountability?

How can you have a rotten healthcare system after 30 years in power when Ugandans that need critical healthcare are at the mercy of fundraising drives to seek treatment outside the country?

How do you explain a nation where government officials fly out of the country at the expense of tax payer’s money to receive healthcare?

How can law makers in a country that needs to widen the tax base pass laws that exclude them from paying taxes?

If Ugandans continue to say nothing and do nothing then we shouldn’t be surprised when our government continues to deliver nothing. We are all in this together and to sweep the garbage out of the country, we need a collective effort from all Ugandans on the ground, in the Diaspora and well-wishers who are willing to help us hold the broom.

The post In the Struggle for Democracy We are All Ugandans appeared first on Africa on the Blog.

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New Evelyn Oldfield Unit Research for Action and Influence Course 2015-16

New Evelyn Oldfield Unit Research for Action and Influence Course 2015-16

Accredited London Region Open College Network, Level 3

Are you interested in working towards a qualification whilst gaining some useful and practical skills in research and presentation skills? Then this course is for you.

Starting from October, we will run 22 half-day sessions spread over 9 months. We will support RMCO representatives to gain the skills and confidence to be able to research issues of refugee and migrant communities including education, training and employment, welfare and social concerns.

Please see the timetable and flyer

The course will be structured around a series of formal training sessions together with self-led personal projects and optional course visits.

The research module will be followed up by 8 sessions designed to support participants to act upon their findings, explore what the results mean for their organisation and also to think about the wider implications. Participants will be supported to advocate and influence at community, local, regional and national levels on the issues raised from their research.

Students will then be supported to devise a presentation to disseminate the findings at the end of project conference through a 4-session course.

Learners will be required to write a research report demonstrating their acquired competencies and a number of shorter assignment for the presentation module. This will meet learning outcomes as set by Open College Network.

The training is free.

Participants will benefit from mentor support, tutorials and one to one support from the tutor.

Eligibility and how to apply:

This is a course for refugees and migrants only. Applicants must be active in a refugee or migrant community organisation working in London (this can be paid or voluntary). English levels have to be sufficient to manage independent report writing.

Applicants will be selected based on their likelihood to have most impact on their communities and commitment to the course.

Please contact Alexandra, EOU administrator on 020 7697 4100 / for further information and/ or to request an application form.

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