Africa

Recent Articles

Africa is open for business

Forum touted benefits of investing in East Africa
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Several African-born persons “pitched” their native lands to Minnesotans at a recent African business forum. Commodities, vegetables and machinery are presently the three top products exported from Minnesota. Trade officials agreed that more business exchange and investment in many African nations would be welcome and profitable for all concerned. Because the African immigrant population is steadily growing in Minnesota, the state “wants to deepen our connections” in the continent, said Minnesota Trade Office Executive Director Kathleen Motzenbecker. “Africa, and especially Eastern Africa, is such a vibrant part of the world,” she told over 40 business persons who were invited to the May 7 East Africa Business forum at Thomson Reuters’ Eagan headquarters. Continue Reading →

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Life is cheap

It makes sense to me that the standards for a society are set by people in the highest positions of leadership and responsibility. So when the folks at the top operate in certain ways it can only be assumed it’s out of their perspective or an acceptable perception. I am always fascinated by the average citizens misunderstanding of what their government is about or up to. I am also always amazed at the naïveté of those who think that the armed bodies of men (and women) that we suppose are here to protect us are our protectors rather than protectors of the status quo. If I were to access the actions by those in charge and in power, I would assume that life is cheap. Continue Reading →

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Crocodile tears for Kenyans just that — crocodile tears

The mall bombing/attack in Kenya is not just frightening and alarming because of its apparent senselessness. It’s also alarming because it will give an opening to U.S. and European anti-Muslim — and to some extent anti-African — propaganda, which will in turn cause folks to turn a blind eye to U.S. and European meddling in African affairs. Don’t, if tempted to, write off the attack on the Nairobi, Kenya mall by Al Shabaab as just another fanatical instance of terrorism. While it is an insane and almost hapless effort to get revenge or make a political point, the attack on the mall was motivated by past events. Kenya did in fact invade Somalia in 2011 and kicked Al Shabaab out of southern Somalia with the help of the U.S. and France. Continue Reading →

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Restoring the ‘Beloved Community’

How the enslaved African was stripped of his humanity
 

I want to take a moment to remember with our readers how and when the African was forcefully brought to the Americas; it happened during the 1400s. This time in our existence on earth is only a placeholder for some of the worst experiences African people have had with physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual and structural violence. It is the direct result of the Africans’ forced shipment to the Americas to provide free labor and creative, innovative ideas and skills for building the United pStates of America as a “world power.”

Having gone through a most excruciatingly brutal and painful catharsis of suffering during the approximately 22 generations’ experience of “chattel slavery” leaves us without a land base, with scars, open wounds and a deep resounding FEAR. We are NOT!!! —I repeat; we are NOT!!! Continue Reading →

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Restoring the ‘Beloved Community

The power and wisdom of the African soul
 

First of a three-part column
 
How long ago the African came to earth is a different question than how long ago the African came to the shores of the Americas. The first question takes us to the following fact: Africa is known as the Cradle of Civilization. It is the birthplace of humankind and humanity. African people gave birth to the human family, and by extension, African culture is the eldest culture of elder cultures. Archeologists have provided evidence through examination of the oldest human remains found in Ethiopia. Continue Reading →

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The Good Wife Works – On having to prove one’s self-worth

 

Ossie Davis (1917-2005) remembered a Southern sheriff pouring syrup on his head as a child. Davis regarded this incident as pivotal, instilling what he called the “ni***r” effect in his mind: a form, function and reaction of cowardice as a self-protective device. “In the presence of [threat],” he wrote, “you do what you have to do in order to survive.”

In Davis’ judgment, this egregious lack of self-esteem instilled in Black men is the remnant of slavery and racism, damaging to the Black man’s image of himself. “The [African American community] shares the burden of racism,” John Edgar Wideman wrote, and “understands how it hurts, scars, and deforms.”

A young Black American man recently spoke of similarly systemic racism when he lived in an African country dominated by European imperialism. Only European history was in the books. Continue Reading →

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Mother of autistic child fights for equal care

Proposed laws could disadvantage Black and  low-income people

 

By Michelle Lawrence

Contributing Writer

 

“State legislators want to create two different healthcare policies for kids with autism: one that generously covers the privately insured, and the other that gives minimal coverage to the poor and publicly insured, but both using state funds,” says Idil Abdull of Burnsville and mother of a 10-year-old son with autism. At age 11, when Abdull came to the United States from her native country of Somalia, she knew very little English and very little about American politics. “The only thing I knew about America was Superman and Rocky [the movie], she says.”

Some 20 years plus since arriving on North American shores, Abdull is now very fluent in both English and the parlance of American politics. “If nothing else, I know how to be loud,” she says. Like many other families, Abdull says she went through a period of denial about autism. Continue Reading →

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The struggle continues — Obama is not proof of a post-racial society

 

 

When one compares the 1968 Kerner Commission Report, which chronicled the problems that Black folks were experiencing in just about every walk of life at the time, and the misery index for Black folks today, one finds that the lot of Black folks haven’t changed that much. In a word, we are still an oppressed nationality living in the United States. So it would appear that the struggle for justice and equality continues. Well, at least common sense would dictate that the struggle continues. If Black folks are still experiencing job discrimination and police brutality and an unjust justice system as evidenced by the disparity in sentencing, particularly in drug cases, then the struggle clearly continues. Continue Reading →

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‘Study of people’ leads to advising corporations, hosting talk radio

 

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

CulTives & Associates CEO/Founder Verona Mitchell’s success at impacting community is no surprise. It stems from a passion for exploring culture and empowering communication. This passion goes back to her days in academia at Bethel University, where she earned her master’s degree in organizational leadership before moving on to a Ph.D. in public policy administration at Walden University. “I like the study of all people,” she reflects while sitting down over a cup of mocha latte at Pow Wow Grounds in South Minneapolis. “I like to study about cultures. Continue Reading →

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Our stories and symbols can restore our authentic Black selves

Third of a three-part column

This is the last in a three-part series focused on the effects that enslavement, cultural uprooting, and geographical and spiritual dispersing have had on our culture — Black culture — and the ways that we relate to ourselves and each other at present. During the late 1800s, after savagely ripping many of the human resources from our land of our origin, colonists stripped Africa of its natural resources, which were then divided among the British, French, Portuguese, Italians and Dutch. These European colonists installed a system of imperial rule where they were able to claim these resources as their own. The process of imperialism meant that people were colonized — instead of being African, they were taught to carry the identity of their colonizers and thus to assist them in unleashing the forces of generational self-destruction. One writer described this plight of self-destruction as lasting into “perpetuity,” meaning it would never end. Continue Reading →

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