Since the first day that African people stepped foot on this western shore, in bondage and draped in chains, they have struggled within and against the controlling images that have been imposed on black life. Those images—accompanied by a particular narrative and reality–have and continue to have a devastating impact on the lives of African Americans.

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I’ve studied famine and humanitarian relief for more than 30 years, and I wasn’t prepared for what I saw during a visit to Ethiopia last month. As I traveled through northern and central provinces, I saw imported wheat being brought to the smallest and most remote villages, thanks to a new Chinese-built railroad and a fleet of newly imported trucks. Water was delivered to places where wells had run dry. Malnourished children were being treated in properly staffed clinics.

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In the next few months, the African Union is set to choose its next Chairperson: the woman or man who will lead the Commission and guide the entire continent for the next four years, or possibly eight. It’s a hugely important post, and Africans should care who fills it.

The Chairperson is in charge of […]

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Why Corruption is Only Part of the Story in the Misgovernment and Immiseration of Africa — Africa loses at least $50 billion a year—and probably much, much more than that—perfectly lawfully. About 60 percent of this loss is from aggressive tax avoidance by multinational corporations, which organize their accounts so that they make their profits in tax havens, where they pay little or no tax. Much of the remainder is from organized crime with a smaller amount from corruption

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The past few weeks have seen important developments in the realm of international criminal justice. On March 24th, the ICTY convicted Radovan Karadzic of genocide and other crimes against humanity over atrocities committed by Bosnian Serb forces between 1992 and 1995. The same week, the International Criminal Court’s Pre-Trial Chamber confirmed 70 charges against […]

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I have been studying young men in youth gangs in Latin America and Caribbean, mainly in the poor neighborhoods of Medellín, Colombia, for the better part of a decade. I have sat down and talked to lots of young men in gangs, some whom had left gangs, and even their girlfriends and mothers. I have also spoken to young men who didn’t join gangs that came from the very same neighbourhoods and conditions of poverty. Is it possible to trace their trajectories to male adulthood and the processes of socialisation that led some into the gang whist not others? Yes, I think it is. Is it possible to draw up a neat list of causal factors to explain these processes? Well, that is a little more difficult, but it is something we should debate.

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