Tuesday, 29 September 2015

82nd birthday of Samora Machel

(Born 29 September 1933, Madragoa, Mozambique)
Nurse, brilliant and highly accomplished commander of Frente de Libertação de Moçambique, Mozambique Liberation Front, which frees Mozambique from nearly 500 years of the Portuguese conquest and occupation, June 1975, and becomes first African president of the victorious republic


FWD: Historian Hilary Beckles, chair of Caricom Reparations Committee and vice-chancellor (president) of the University of West Indies, writes David Cameron, British prime minister, on reparations from Britain for the centuries of enslavement of African peoples in the Caribbean (Jamaica Observer, Kingston, Monday 28 September 2015)

                                            (Hilary Beckles)
Dear Honourable Prime Minister
(David Cameron)
I join with the resolute and resilient people of Jamaica and their Government in extending to you a warm and glorious welcome to our homeland. We recognise you, Prime Minister, given your family’s long and significant relationship to our country, as an internal stakeholder with historically assigned credentials.

To us, therefore, you are more than a prime minister. You are a grandson of the Jamaican soil who has been privileged and enriched by your forebears’ sins of the enslavement of our ancestors.

As we prepare for you a red carpet befitting your formal status we invite you to cast your eyes upon the colours of our national flag that symbolise the history we share. You are, Sir, a prized product of this land and the bonanza benefits reaped by your family and inherited by you continue to bind us together like birds of a feather.

Be assured, Prime Minister, that you will find no more generous people on our planet Earth than those who will greet you with golden hearts and civilised consciousness. I urge that you embrace the sincerity of our salutations. It is born and bred in the cauldron of our enslavement by your family and society.

Consider it a golden gift of friendship and not simply the empty expression of protocols relevant to the events you will attend. It is furthermore, an overture to an expectation of a dialogue of reparatory justice that can redefine for us a new intimacy for this long 21st century on which we are embarked.

Your advisors would have informed you that beyond the boundary of the affairs of State, civil society welcomes you without reservation, though with a qualification that bears the burden of our tortured past within the historically textured present. I speak of outstanding and unresolved matters that are relevant to our sense of mutual respect as equal nations dedicated to the cause of furthering humanity's finest imagined destiny.

I speak, Sir, of the legacies of slavery that continue to derail, undermine and haunt our best efforts at sustainable economic development and the psychological and cultural rehabilitation of our people from the ravishes of the crimes against humanity committed by your British State and its citizens in the form of chattel slavery and native genocide.

In this regard, I urge you to be aware that the issue of reparatory justice for these crimes is now before our respective nations, and the wider world. It is not an issue that can be further ignored, remain under the rug, or placed on back burners, as your minister who recently visited us so aptly described your agenda for Jamaica and the Caribbean.

It will generate the greatest global political movement of our time unless respected and resolved by you, the leader of the State that extracted more wealth from our enslavement than any other.

The Jamaican economy, more than any other, at a critical moment in your nation's economic development, fuelled its sustainable growth. Britain, as a result, became great and Jamaica has remained the poorer. Jamaica now calls upon Britain to reciprocate, not in the context of crime and compulsion, but in friendly, mutually respected dialogue.

It is an offer of opportunity written not in the blood of our enslaved ancestors, but in the imagination of their offspring and progeny who have survived the holocaust and are looking to the future for salvation.

As a man, a humane man, with responsibility for the humanity of your nation, we call upon you to rise to this moment as you realise and internalise that without the wealth made by your enslaving ancestors, right here in our Jamaica, we would not be enchained together, today, called upon to treat with this shared past.

Successive governments in this land, a place still groaning under the weight of this injustice, have done well during the 53 years of sovereignty, but the burden of the inherited mess from slavery and colonialism has overwhelmed many of our best efforts. You owe it to us as you return here to communicate a commitment to reparatory justice that will enable your nation to play its part in cleaning up this monumental mess of Empire.

We ask not for handouts or any such acts of indecent submission. We merely ask that you acknowledge responsibility for your share of this situation and move to contribute in a joint programme of rehabilitation and renewal. The continuing suffering of our people, Sir, is as much your nation's duty to alleviate as it is ours to resolve in steadfast acts of self-responsibility.

In the four corners of Kingston there are already whispers that your strategy will be to seek a way to weaken Jamaica's commitment to Caribbean reparations in a singular act of gift-granting designed to divide and rule and to subvert the regional discourse and movement.

You, Sir, are a Briton, not a Greek, and we have no reason therefore to fear what you bear. But we do ask that you recall the Caribbean region was once your nation’s unified field for taxation, theatre for warfare, and space for the implementation of trade law and policy. Seeing the region as one is therefore in your diplomatic DNA, and this we urge that you remember.

Finally, Sir, I write from the perspective of an academic bred in Britain and reared in the University of the West Indies, an institution your nation planted in Kingston in 1948 with a small but significant grant. It would honour us to show you what we the people have reaped from this single seed.

We have created a flourishing federal farm that now cultivates the minds of millions, a symbol of our collective determination to take seriously our self-responsibility and to place our dignity as an emerging nation before any other consideration. From this singular seed we have grown one of the finest universities in the world crafted by our hands and inspired by our dreams.

This story, Sir, can guide your reflection as to who we are and what we expect of you. We urge you then, in this light, to indicate your nation's willingness to work towards a reparatory justice programme for the Caribbean, with a view to allowing us to come together in order to come to closure, put this terrible past behind us, and to leave it to us to continue the making of our future.

Kindest regards

Hilary Beckles
Chairman, Caricom Reparations Commission

Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

FWD: Jamaica calls on Britain to pay billions of pounds reparations for the enslavement of African peoples (The Guardian, London, Tuesday 29 September 2015)

David Cameron is facing calls for Britain to pay billions of pounds in reparations for slavery ahead of his first official visit to Jamaica on Tuesday.

Downing Street said the prime minister does not believe reparations or apologies for slavery are the right approach, but the issue is set to overshadow his trade trip to the island, where he will address the Jamaican parliament.

Ahead of his trip, Sir Hilary Beckles, chair of the Caricom Reparations Commission, has led calls for Cameron to start talks on making amends for slavery and referenced the prime minister’s ancestral links to the trade in the 1700s through his cousin six times removed, General Sir James Duff.

In an open letter in the Jamaica Observer, the academic wrote: “You are a grandson of the Jamaican soil who has been privileged and enriched by your forebears’ sins of the enslavement of our ancestors ... You are, Sir, a prized product of this land and the bonanza benefits reaped by your family and inherited by you continue to bind us together like birds of a feather.

“We ask not for handouts or any such acts of indecent submission. We merely ask that you acknowledge responsibility for your share of this situation and move to contribute in a joint programme of rehabilitation and renewal. The continuing suffering of our people, Sir, is as much your nation’s duty to alleviate as it is ours to resolve in steadfast acts of self-responsibility.”

Professor Verene Shepherd, chair of the National Commission on Reparation, told the Jamaica Gleaner that nothing short of an unambiguous apology from Cameron would do, while a Jamaican MP, Mike Henry, called on fellow parliamentarians to turn their back on Cameron if reparations are not on the agenda, noting that the Jamaican parliament has approved a motion for the country to seek reparation from Britain.

“If it is not on the agenda, I will not attend any functions involving the visiting prime minister, and I will cry shame on those who do, considering that there was not a dissenting voice in the debate in parliament,” he told the newspaper.

Jamaica’s prime minister Portia Simpson Miller called for non-confrontational discussions at the UN in 2013, but Britain has never accepted the case for any compensation payments.

A Number 10 official said: “This is a longstanding concern of theirs and there is a longstanding UK position, true of successive governments in the UK, that we don’t think reparations are the right approach.

“The PM’s point will be he wants to focus on the future. We are talking about issues that are centuries old and taken under a different government when he was not even born. He wants to look at the future and how can the UK play a part now in stronger growing economies in the Caribbean.”

The official said Cameron’s purpose in visiting Jamaica and Grenada was to reinvigorate their relationship with the UK.

“He looks at that kind of relationship and who the Caribbean see as their major partners and sees them looking to China and Venezuela and thinks Britain should be in there. Britain has long historical ties with these countries,” she said. (End of The Guardian file)
(Professor Hilary Beckles delivers his landmark lecture on African reparations from Britain/pan-Europe on the latter’s centuries of the enslavement of African peoples in the Caribbean and elsewhere in the Americas; venue: Methodist Church Hall, Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines, 20 August 2013)
 Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

Monday, 28 September 2015

84th birthday of John Gilmore

(Born 28 September 1931, Summit, Mississippi, US)
Intensely studious tenor saxophonist and bass clarinettist who plays in the Sun Ra Arkestra during the course of 42 years (1953-1995) where he becomes the lead instrumentalist
(Freddie Hubbard Sextet – featuring John Gilmore, “Summetime” [personnel: Hubbard, trumpet; Curtis Fuller, trombone; Gilmore, tenor saxophone; Tommy Flanagan, piano; Art Davis, bass; Louis Hayes, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood cliffs, NJ, US, 2 July 1962])

Question: Why did the great Chinua Achebe write There was a Country?

Just a one-sentence reply: To understand the politics of the Igbo genocide and the politics of the “post”-Igbo genocide is to have an invaluable insight into the salient features and constitutive indices of politics across Africa in the past 50 years.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

FWD: Upswing for independence for Catolonia



91st birthday of Bud Powell

(Born 27 September 1924, Harlem, New York, US)
Virtuosic pianist, composer and one of the inaugurators of the bebop revolution in jazz in New York in the early 1940s
1. (Bud Powell Quintet, “Bouncing with Bud” [personnel: Powell, piano; Fats Navarro, trumpet; Sonny Rollins, tenor saxophone; Tommy Potter, bass; Roy Hayne, drums; recorded: live, Blue Note Jazz Club, New York, 9 August 1949])
2. (Bud Powell Trio, “Anthropology” [personnel: Powell, piano; Niels-Henning Orsted Pederson, bass; Jorn Elniff, drums; recorded: live, Café Montemarte, Copenhagen, 26 April 1962])
3. (Bud Powell Trio, “’Round midnight” [personnel and recording details as in “2” above ])

3rd anniversary of the publication of Chinua Achebe’s There was a Country

(Published 27 September 2012, Penguin, LondonBritain)

Father of African Literature’s incomparable memoirs on the Igbo genocide, the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa, 29 May 1966-12 January 1970, when the Nigeria state and its allies, principally Britain under the primeministership of Harold Wilson, murdered 3.1 million Igbo people or one-quarter of this nation’s population


Saturday, 26 September 2015

86th birthday of Bede Okigbo

(Born 29 September 1929, Ojoto, Igboland)
Agronomist, one of Africa’s preeminent agricultural scientists, cousin of economist Pius Okigbo and poet Christopher Okigbo, distinguished head of the Biafra land directorate who works indefatigably to boost food production throughout the country in response to the expansively catastrophic land, sea and aerial siege of the Igbo population (31 March 1967-12 January 1970), unprecedented in African history, during the Igbo genocide by Nigeria and its allies – principally Britain – in which 3.1 million Igbo are murdered in this foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa
(Max Roach & Anthony Braxton, “Birth” [personnel: Roach, drums; Braxton, reeds; recorded: Ricordi Studios, Milan, Italy, 7 September 1978])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

94th birthday of Cyprian Ekwensi

(Born 26 September 1921, Minna, Nigeria)
Pharmacist and one of Africa’s most prolific writers with particular interest in the exploration of urban life and its immense challenges – may have inaugurated the Onicha (Oshimili Delta) market literary genre with his 1947-published Ikolo the Wrestler and other Igbo Tales and When Love Whispers (see Emmanuel Obiechina, An African Popular Literature, 1973: 3), subsequently publishing over 20 novels (including People of the City [1954], The Drummer Boy [1960], Jagua Nana [1961], Burning Grass [1961], Beautiful Feathers [1963], Iska [1966], Jagua Nana’s Daughter [1993]), innumerable short stories (including several adapted for radio and television), and children’s books


Friday, 25 September 2015

92nd birthday of Sam Rivers

(Born 25 September 1923, El Reno, Oklahoma, US)
Seminal tenor saxophonist/multiinstrumentalist and composer who has recorded with varying ensembles (big bands, octets, quintets, quartets, trios, duos, even solo!) and whose exquisite ballad “Beatrice”, named after his wife, is a classic
Sam Rivers Quartet, “Beatrice” [personnel: Rivers, tenor saxophone; Jaki Byard, piano; Ron Carter, bass; Tony Williams, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 11 December 1964])

104th birthday of Eric Williams

(Born 25 September 1911, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago)

One of the most outstanding African Caribbean intellectuals of all time, author of Capitalism and Slavery (1944), classic on African enslavement in the Americas by the pan-European World –  from his 1938 Oxford University doctoral thesis, and first prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, 31 August 1962, after centuries of  the British/European World conquest, enslaving and occupation


Diamonds, queen and “poor” country

Dateline: Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 28 July 2010
There is an apparent controversy raging in Belgium and elsewhere in Europe over Belgian Queen Paola’s receipt of a gift of Congolese diamonds during a recently concluded visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Paola had accompanied her husband, King Albert II, to represent Belgium at the Kinshasa commemorative festivities to mark the 50th anniversary of the country’s so-called restoration of independence (30 June). The DRC’s head of regime Joseph Kabila gave Paola the priceless diamond set of necklace, bracelet and earrings, an impressively rich package indeed which led La Dernière Heure, the influential Belgian daily newspaper, to note, most pointedly: “a gift of choice and certainly with a high price”.
(rough diamonds  DRC)
Some commentators in Belgium, the Netherlands and France appear surprised, with a few even “shocked” to learn of the Belgian royal family’s “acceptance of such (sic) expensive presents” from a country a Reuters’s and Agence France-Presse’s dispatches on the gift describe, respectively, as “impoverished” and “one of the poorest in the world”.
(Queen Paola of the Belgians)
“Magnificent African cake”
Really!? It is inconceivable that either Paola or Albert would have thought or would think that the central African country they visited a month ago is anywhere “impoverished” nor is it “one of the poorest [countries] in the world”. The Democratic Republic of Congo is overwhelmingly richer than Belgium and no one is better placed than the Belgian royal family, itself, to confirm this fact of comparative international economics. The family cannot but be aware that King Leopold II, their 19th century/early 20th century “illustrious” ancestor (some would differ by using the adjective “notorious” or even “bloody” to describe Leopold instead) wrestled that Congo basin of central Africa from Africa for the Belgian royalty and state. This was after an indescribably brutal campaign, a genocide waged on the African population by Leopold’s private army and forces of the Belgian state during which 13 million Africans were murdered between 1878 and 1908. In effect, Leopold’s army ravaged the Congo in search of diamond, rubber, ivory and the like, accumulating gargantuan wealth for the king (by the time Leopold dies in 1909, he had reaped a personal fortune of US$1.1 billion dollars [in early 21st century adjusted value terms] from the Congo genocide, making him one of the richest monarchs of his age) and transforming the nascent Belgian state into a modern European state.

To his credit, Leopold II made no secrets at all of the instrumentalist impact that the riches of the Congo would have on his poor Belgium. He had insisted all along: “I d[idn’t] want to miss the chance of getting us a slice of this magnificent African cake”.
(King Leopold II of the Belgians)
Scrumptious as ever!
This African cake remains as scrumptious as ever for Belgium! Thirty-one years after Leopold’s death, Nazi Germany invaded Belgium, forcing the then Belgian royal family and government to flee to London on exile. Thanks to the inexhaustible wealth of the Congo bakery, the entire financing of the Belgian war effort including the expenses of the exiled royals and government, which totalled the grand sum of £40 million, was paid off comfortably. Thus, Belgium neither borrowed any money to pay for the war nor was its gold reserves used.

The historic effort made 15 years later by the irrepressible Patrice Lumumba, the young Congolese postal clerk and itinerant salesperson, to recover this bakery of his people for his people was violently suppressed by Belgian special forces and some of their foreign allies operating in concert with those Congolese hostile to the restoration of African independence. Lumumba was murdered and a Joseph Mobutu (or Mobutu Sese Seko) was ultimately installed instead to oversee the preservation of the bakery to its agelong exclusivist access, but with some modification in response to the exigencies of the epoch: Belgian royalty and government, the emerging “francophonie” constellation of states under French hegemony, Mobutu and his African cohorts. 
(Mobutu Sese Seko)
Yet the Congo, Africa, and the rest of the world will never forget Lumumba’s moving speech, addressed to his people and the Belgians, after being sworn in as prime minister on that 30th day of June 1960, part of which reads as follows:
… We are proud of this struggle, of tears, of fire, and of blood, to the depths of our being; for it was a noble and just struggle and indispensable to put an end to the humiliating slavery which was imposed upon us by force…
(Patrice Lumumba)
The “magnificent African cake”, so graphically expressed by Leopold II (he should know!), is indeed the metaphor at the crux of the Congo story, the Sudan story, the Nigeria story, the Burundi story, the-rest-of-the-Africa story...

It should now be clear that there is no such thing as “poor Africa”. The latter is an inexcusable obfuscation of language – and reality. Besides, it is an unpardonable slur on the humanity of African bakers who year in, year out, bake the cake that they are shut out from eating. Just as the Congo, Africans have been shut into anti-African caricatures of the state where they live, principally, to create incredible levels of wealth – not for themselves and their children and grandchildren and theirs, but for the continuing expropriation by extracontinental interests and their local African allies.

There is no future of African progress in the existing “Berlin states” of Africa. The inexorable logic of these states’ existence is to alienate Africans from their being and wealth. Africans have no other choice but break out of these states and create new states of organic sensibility where they are certain to not only bake their own nation’s cake but participate fully in the meal as well.
(Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers – featuring Wayne Shorter, “Chess players” [personnel: Blakey, drums; Lee Morgan, trumpet; Shorter, tenor saxophone; Bobby Timmons, piano; Jymie Merritt, bass; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 6 March 1960])

Thursday, 24 September 2015

121st birthday of E Franklin Frazier

(Born 24 September 1894, Baltimore, US)
Influential sociologist and academic who publishes expansively on subject of race and human rights in the United States, research institute at Howard University named after him


Wednesday, 23 September 2015

89th birthday of John Coltrane

(Born 23 September 1926, Hamlet, NC, United States)
Iconoclastic tenor (and soprano) saxophonist and composer who, arguably, has had the most profound impact on the development of jazz, African American classical music, in the past 50 years
(John Coltrane Quartet, “A love supreme” [personnel: Coltrane, tenor saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 9 December 1964])


FWD Ishaan Tharoo, Map: The risk of genocide round the world, Washington Post, Washington, Monday 21 September 2015

(The world’s countries, as reflected by the risk of mass atrocities in each – Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

Communities living in the countries in darker colors on the map [above] are at greater risk of state-led mass violence, according to a think tank connected to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
On Monday [21 September 2015], the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide launched a tool aimed at forecasting the risk of state-led mass killings. The Early Warning Project tracks the apparent signs of a potential pogrom or assault on minorities within a state. Its findings stitch annual statistical risk assessments of individual countries — based on a number of models conceived by political scientists — alongside crowd-sourced opinion surveys of regional experts.
The 10 countries at the highest risk of experiencing a future episode of mass killing are as follows:
Central African Republic
South Sudan
Democratic Republic of Congo
Earlier this year, WorldViews talked to Cameron Hudson, director of the Simon-Skjodt Center, about the threat in Burma (also known as Myanmar). Hudson had been part of a fact-finding mission to the country, studying the risks faced by the beleaguered Rohingyas, a Muslim minority that has been rendered stateless by decades of discriminatory Burmese policies.
A report concluded then that the Rohingya were a people “at grave risk for additional mass atrocities and even genocide.”
“We’re very cautious when we invoke the term ‘genocide,’ knowing that it can be quite polarizing and sometimes even unhelpful,” said Hudson at the time. “But there is a combination of factors — many of which you saw in 1930s Germany and 1990s Rwanda — that are quite concerning.”
The project now is anchored in the Holocaust Museum's moral mission to educate against and prevent future atrocities, says Michael Chertoff, former secretary of Homeland Security and chairman of the museum's Committee on Conscience, in an e-mailed news release.
“No longer can governments say that they 'did not know' as a means of justifying their inaction,” he said.
Ishaan Tharoo is foreign affairs writer for the Washington Post


Monday, 21 September 2015

79th birthday of Sunny Murray

Born 21 September 1936, Idabel, Oklahoma, US)
One of leading innovative jazz drummers in the 1950s/1960s who frees the drums from the “traditional” time-keeping role in the music ensemble, with the drums now engaging more proactively and continuously in multiple-centred dialogues with other instruments whose soloists resultantly feel less inhibited by time in their own creative enterprise
(Albert Ayler Trio, “Ghosts – first variation” [personnel: Ayler, tenor saxophone; Gary Peacock, bass; Sunny Murray, drums; recorded: ESP-Disk, New York, 10 July 1965]) 

106th birthday of Kwame Nkrumah

(Born 21 September 1909, Nkroful, Ghana)
Influential philosopher and theorist of an encompassing African World consciousness and first president of contemporary Ghana, July 1960, following the 6 March 1957 restoration-of-independence after a century of the British conquest and occupation

(Jackie McLean Sextet, “Appointment in Ghana” [personnel: McLean, alto saxophone; Blue Mitchell, trumpet; Tina Brooks, tenor saxophone; Kenny Drew, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Art Taylor, drums; recorded: Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US, 1 September 1960])

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Igbo people: “stink of genocide is everywhere”

 – excerpts from the gripping and indelible lines on the Igbo genocide (29 May 1966-12 January 1970), the foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa launched by Nigeria and Britain 21 years after end of the Jewish genocide, in Leon Uri’s classic, QB VII (London: Bantam Books, 1970), pp. 392-393:
Abe studied them all, his worn-out little band of idealists. 
“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,” he said in a voice that literally moaned with sorrow, “I would like to make a statement by quoting in effect the words of Thomas Bannister, Q.C., when he said that no one in their wildest imaginations would have believed Hitler’s Germany before it actually happened. And he said, if the civilized world knew what Hitler intended to do then they would have stopped him. Well, here we are in 1967, and the Arabs vow daily to finish Hitler’s work. Certainly the world will not stand for another chapter of this holocaust. There is a right and a wrong. It is right for a people to want to survive. It is wrong to want to destroy them. But alas, the kingdom of heaven is concerned with righteousness alone. The kingdoms of the earth run on oil. Well now, certainly the world should be appalled by what is happening in Biafra. The stink of genocide is everywhere. Certainly, after Hitler’s Germany, the world should step in and stop genocide in Biafra. However, that becomes impractical when one considers England’s investments in Nigeria conflict with France’s interests in Biafra. After all, members of the jury, it is only [African] people killing other [African] people.  
“We should like to think,” Abe said, “that Thomas Bannister was right, when he said more people, including the German people, should have risked punishment and death by refusing orders. We should like to believe there would have been a protest and ask why didn’t the Germans protest? Well today, young people march in the streets to protest Biafra and Vietnam and the principle of murdering their fellow man through the medium of war. And we say to them … why are you protesting so much? Why don’t you go there and kill like your father killed? …”
(Eric Dolphy Duo, “Alone together” [personnel: Dolphy, bass clarinet; Richard Davis, double bass; recorded: Fuel Records, New York, US, {May?June?July?} 1963])
Twitter @HerbertEkweEkwe

82nd birthday of Emmanuel Obiechina

(Born 20 September 1933, Nkpo, Igboland)
Pioneering and distinguished scholar of the historic Onicha (Oshimiri Delta) market literature genre and versatile literary critic and author


59th birthday of Steve Coleman

(Born 20 September 1956, Chicago, US)
Intensely creative alto saxophonist and composer who categorises his music (as well as that of Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and other masters) as “spontaneous composition”
(Dave Holland Quintet, “Homecoming” – featuring Steve Coleman [personnel: Holland, bass; Kenny Wheeler, fluegelhorn; Robin Eubanks, trombone; Coleman, alto saxophone; Marvin “Smithy” Smith, drums; recorded: live, Zelt-Musik Festival, Freiburg, Germany 31 March 1986])

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Genocide in Africa – 1878-2015 timeline

As the milestones (below) show, the European World-conqueror/conquest state in Africa, right from the outset, in the wake of the notorious November 1884-February 1885 Berlin conference, is at once an occupying and genocide state. The lead conqueror-powers – Belgium, Germany, Britain and France, in that chronological order, would directly or indirectly (eg., French military brigade based and operating in Rwanda, 1994) perpetrate genocide in which millions of constituent peoples in Africa are murdered in designated countries in eastcentral, south and southwestcentral regions of the continent they occupy or quasi-occupy during the course of 137 years (1878-2015). In the cases of Nigeria, Rwanda, the Sudan, and Democratic Republic of the Congo, beginning with Nigeria’s launch of the Igbo genocide on 29 May 1966, the African “inheritors” of this conquest-genocide state  essentially take over as the primary-agent executors of genocide in contemporary Africa.

Haunting milestones

(1)  1878-1908: King Leopold II-led Belgian monarchy/state-organised genocide of constituent peoples in the Congo basin of central Africa (2,442,240 sq km landmass, 80 times the size of Belgium) – 13 million African constituent peoples murdered (see, especially, multiple research by historian and linguist Isidore Ndaywel  è Nziem – particularly his Histoire générale du Congo: De l'héritage ancien à la République Démocratique [Paris: Duculot, 1998], p. 344)

(2)  1904-1907: German state-organised genocide of Herero people in Namibia – 65,000 out of 80,000 Herero murdered or 80 per cent of the total Herero population wiped out

(3)  1904-1907: German state-organised genocide of Nama people in Namibia – 10,000 Nama were murdered or 50 per cent of the Nama population destroyed

(4)  29 May 1966-12 January 1970 (phases I-III): Nigeria state-organised genocide of Igbo people, foundational genocide of post-(European)conquest Africa, supported, centrally, by Britain (diplomatically, politically, militarily) – 3.1 million Igbo or one-quarter of this nation’s population murdered, representing highest number of genocide fatality of any single constituent nation or people in Africa during these past 137 years

(5)  13 January 1970-Present Day (phase-IV)Nigeria state-organised genocide of Igbo people – tens of thousands of Igbo murdered

(6)  1994Rwanda state-organised genocide of Tutsi people, with a French military brigade stationed in the country during the period implicated in the perpetration of this crime – 800,000 Tutsi murdered

(7)  Since mid-1990sDemocratic Republic of the Congo/contiguous states/proxy states-facilitated/organised genocide of African constituent peoples in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – 5 million constituent African peoples murdered

(8)  2003-2oo6: The Sudan state-organised genocide of Darfuri people – 300,000 Darfuri murdered

(9)  Since 2006: The Sudan state-organised genocide of African constituent peoples in the south of the country (Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan, Blue Nile) – tens of thousands of African constituent peoples murdered
(Multiinstrumentalist Eric Dolphy here plays “God bless the child” [composed by Billie Holiday & Arthur Herzog, Jr] [personnel: Dolphy, bass clarinet; recorded: live, University of Illinoi, Champaign, Illinoi,  10 March 1963])

93rd birthday of Agostinho Neto

(Born 17 September 1922, ĺcolo e Bengo, Angola)
Physician, poet, co-founder of Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola) and first African president of Angola, November 1975, after the people’s victory terminating 400 years of the Portuguese conquest and occupation