Quote of the week
'..The friends we have lost do not repose under the ground...they are buried deep in our hearts. It has been thus ordained that they may always accompany us...'- Alexandre Dumas - Diaspora
Bim Afolami – follow up

We spoke about Bim  recently (https://african-century.org/bim-afolami-a-great-disappointment/ ) but overlooked a small matter. We were desperately trying to be as charitable as possible. We attributed some foolish comments to Club table talk. But there were some statements in that interview which cannot be excused so easily. In defence of Cecil Rhodes’ statue he said that it should be remembered that  several Black Africans have become recipients of the Rhodes scholarship! Cecil Rhodes, a staunch believer in white supremacy and that…

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Bim Afolami – a great disappointment
Bim Afolami

I had such high hopes of Bim. He is bright , personable and engaging. Quite an ambassador. Today, 23 June 2020, on the BBC he revealed a rather shallow side of his nature. Asked about  the tearing down of statues he commented that  if we tore down statues of  all racist imperialist politicians there would be none left in UK. He smiled and thought he had made a witty point, not a huge gaff. Let me show where this…

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Cornel West – prophet or turncoat?
Prof Cornel West

Cornel West was once considered part of a triptych including  Skip Gates, and Anthony Appiah, representing the Black Academy. This triptych can be viewed as  either the leading edge of the Black Academy or a rogue’s gallery. Let us put this in context so as to understand the connection with Trump.  We need to understand the historical dynamics that generated this context.  For several decades ‘the conservative moment’  involved suppressing dissent of both left and right  by denying it…

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Follow up – Turkish Airlines

We wrote of the prejudice and mistreatment of Africans by Turkish airlines.  I wrote at that time to the senior directors to complain. I recently travelled again on Turkish Airlines (the only flight available at the time). I am pleased to state that the treatment of Africans was punctilious and fair. I could not see any difference in treatment of African travellers from non-African. I thought my communications had been ignored as no acknowledgement was received. But better than…

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Dr Umar Johnson – Does the FBI pay him?

There is a popular video travelling around the internet of Umar Johnson . ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVhBOcUv4QY ) He is advocating anti Chinese views and race hatred against other races in the name of Black nationalism. He even goes so far as to advocate ending inter racial marriage. First thing: this is full of outright lies. So let us identify the outright lies: he states that Mandarin is an official language of South Africa – untrue, and that Xhosa and Zulu…

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Covid-19: Dr Fauci to Black America – WE DON’T CARE!

This is important and we need to parse Dr Fauci’s statements carefully. Quote A: ‘Jacqueline Policastro: New data shows  African Americans  are dying of coronavirus at higher rates. What can you tell us? Dr Fauci: Yeah, unfortunately that’s not surprising and the reason is there is a health disparity as we call it, that African Americans disproportionately suffer from diseases diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and even some cancers like prostate cancer in African American men. One of the problems…

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Visions of prejudice and hatred – noughts and crosses -Malorie Blackman
portrait Blackman

This series by BBC based on novellas by Malorie Backman is an interesting challenge. There are those who may feel that  heavy analysis of this work is more than it deserves, that it is in fact light entertainment. I seriously disagree.  One must address the issue of production, context and reception for artistic creation as Stuart hall so well educated us. A fundamental issue is that the perspective on life presented here turns the political into the personal. To…

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Larry Amponsah’s latest exhibition at 50 Goldbourne
larry speaking

exhibition title:  “when a stone cracks we don’t stitch.” -5 Oct 19 artist: larry amponsah gallery: 50 Goldbourne Went to Larry Amponsah’s latest exhibition at 50 Goldbourne on Saturday 5 Oct 2019. This exhibition covered works done in the past year which show considerable development in his  artistic trajectory or his practice as he prefers to call it. His command of visual language has increased remarkably. What we have now is  beautiful, layered images suffused with a quality of…

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Update on Boston MFA – good news!
director fo MFA Boston

We have received, dated 12 July, a warm reply from  the director of Boston MFA, Matthew Teitelbaum. A clear and concise explanation of the appropriate steps being taken to remedy matters and a clear statement that the  audio track was unacceptable. It is not always we can say an effort was worthwhile but also a great thank you to Matthew for taking these matters seriously.

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Phyllis Wheatley – blue plaque unveiling 16 July 2019
mpment of unveiling

Attended the unveiling of a blue plaque to Phyllis Wheatley. This famous African poet had to come to London from the US in 1773 to find a publisher for her poetry. She was born in The Gambia  and by the age of 15 was fluent in Latin, Greek and English and was publishing her poetry in her teens. No publishing house in US would touch her work. She met Granville Sharp among many British dignitaries and also Benjamin Franklin….

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