Beauty, Lessons, Challenges and Repair
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I landed in the Rwandan capital city of Kigali. I was visiting East Africa as part of Africa Development Promise’s program to support women-owned farming cooperatives.
I had done my fair share of reading about various parts of Africa over the years and certainly didn’t have a monolithic view of the continent. But you can’t grow up in a western country without having at least some unconscious bias about the continent being “backwards.” It’s not like I thought of countries as “shitholes” or anything, but I still approached my trip with a combination of excitement and apprehension.
This piece explores my travels to Rwanda, Ethiopia and Uganda and what lessons we can learn from the beautiful continent of Africa.
THIS IS NOT YOUR FATHER’S AFRICA
Nobody of course thinks Coming 2 America was as good as the original, but it was still quite a feet to see the original cast in all their glory. The movie had its funny moments, no doubt, but author Jeffrey Kass reminds us that Africa isn’t riding around buck naked on a Zebra. It isn’t just charging elephants and people in grass skirts. Africa today is home to great universities, accomplishments, modern buildings and advancement. This essay explores why the images depicted in movies can often mis-educate us and perpetuate negative unconscious bias against people of color.
TIME FOR EUROPE TO PAY FOR THEIR RACIST SINS
The focus has always been on America for its racism and slavery past. But Europe seems to get a free pass even though it was Spain, England, the Netherlands and others who traded and profited from the slaves. The Europeans used their wealth to build their countries and shipped the slaves to the U.S. instead of to Europe. This essay advocates for holding European countries partly responsible for fixing the problems that still plague America from this evil part of history. Activist Jeffrey Kass gives us a refresher course on the African slave trade that helped build Europe.
READING THE ESSAYS
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