Afro-Palestinians talk heritage and resistance

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Reading List, Religion on 2017-08-07 20:47Z by Steven

Afro-Palestinians talk heritage and resistance

Al Jazeera

Jaclynn Ashly

Their lives are characterised by checkpoints, daily interrogations, night raids and incessant fears of detention [Jaclynn Ashly/Al Jazeera]

Palestinians of African descent describe their daily struggles against ‘double-racism’ and Israeli occupation.

Occupied East Jerusalem – “It’s hard not to get detained here,” 16-year-old Abdallah Balalawi, an Afro-Palestinian from Chad, told Al Jazeera from his home in the Old City. “I have to be aware of the way I look and even the way I walk to avoid making the Israelis suspicious.”

Abdallah is one of at least 350 Afro-Palestinians from Nigeria, Chad, Senegal and Sudan residing in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, adjacent to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. The Afro-Palestinian neighbourhood is not the easiest to find, accessible only through an Israeli police checkpoint where officers interrogate anyone who is not from the local community.

On a nearly hidden road straddled between two police blockades, third generation Afro-Palestinian teenagers tell Al Jazeera about the world they inherited, characterised by checkpoints, daily interrogations, night raids and incessant fears of detention by Israeli forces.

Most Afro-Palestinians in this tight-knit community came to the region as religious pilgrims during the British Mandate for Palestine, and many have been part of the Palestinian resistance movement since Israel’s establishment in 1948. Others arrived as volunteers with the Egyptian army to fight against Zionist militias taking control of historic Palestine during the Arab-Israeli war

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The limits of affirmative action in Brazil

Posted in Brazil, Campus Life, Caribbean/Latin America, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Videos on 2017-08-07 20:13Z by Steven

The limits of affirmative action in Brazil

France 24

Brazil has the highest proportion of so-called “mixed race” people in the world. Yet only 13% of people aged 18 to 24 in that category are enrolled at university. Back in 2012, the government decided to introduce quotas for universities. But recently, the system appears to have stalled. Black student groups have denounced students they say are “too white” to benefit from this affirmative action policy, while universities have set up committees to examine skin color and ethnic background.

A programme prepared by Patrick Lovett and Aline Schmidt.

Watch the entire program here.

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Danzy Senna Doesn’t Mind If Her New Novel Makes You Uncomfortable

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, United States on 2017-08-07 02:41Z by Steven

Danzy Senna Doesn’t Mind If Her New Novel Makes You Uncomfortable


Julia Felsenthal, Senior Culture Writer

“I feel my role as a writer is to complicate, to leave more questions, to destabilize whatever seems set in stone,” says novelist Danzy Senna. “There’s been this whole conversation about trigger warnings. My half-joking thing is: I really want to trigger people. I want to read work that’s going to trigger me. I’m very committed to writing things that move people to a more uncomfortable place.”

Uncomfortable—and I mean this in the best way possible—is a pretty good descriptor of Senna’s latest novel, New People. The year is 1996. The place is Brooklyn. Our protagonist is Maria, a Columbia University doctoral student struggling to finish her dissertation on modes of resistance in the hymns and songs recorded by the Peoples Temple, the religious cult led by Jim Jones (and ultimately wiped out in 1978, when its leader ordered nearly 1,000 of those who had followed him to the Guyanese settlement of Jonestown to drink cyanide-laced Kool-Aid).

Maria is biracial, adopted at birth by a single black mother, a graduate student who brought her daughter up on a steady diet of Audre Lorde and Roots, and bemoaned that the light skin and straight hair with which Maria was born never darkened or kinked. (The baby was a “one-dropper,” writes Senna, “that peculiarly American creation, white in all outside appearances but black for generations to come.”) Now Maria is engaged to her college boyfriend, Khalil, whose skin is her exact same “shade of beige,” but who was raised by globe-trotting mixed parents in upper-middle-class bourgeois bohemian splendor, brought up to think of himself as a citizen of the world. Khalil is launching a company, Brooklyn Renaissance, a sort of proto-Facebook for “like-minded souls,” and happily planning his life with Maria: their Martha’s Vineyard wedding; the Brooklyn brownstone they’ll eventually buy and fill with artwork by Lorna Simpson, with children named Indigo and Cheo, with a dog named Thurgood…

Read the entire review here.

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