Pan-Africanism means we will do it ourselves by doing it together. It grounds economic advancement, political liberation, cultural self-determination and territorial integrity in the unity of all African people on the continent and its diaspora. While the African Union has scored some important wins, African unity essentially fails along class lines.
Cypherpunks developed cryptocurrency to limit the power of states over individuals. As governments turn to crypto-deterrence and cyberwarfare, the blockchain’s founding propositions of private space and individual freedom are being done away.
Boots Riley’s directorial debut won the Independent Spirit award and was praised by Trevor Noah as the most brainy movie since The Matrix. The Lakeith Stanfield-led dark comedy interrogates the allure of goods and images, bare life, instrumental reason, the military-tech complex and other conditions holding back the workers’ movement.
A crisis brings out the best and the worst in people, as a Zimbabwean student fleeing Ukraine puts it. Eyewitness accounts about Africans singled out, denied passage and even beaten by border authorities show humanity at its basest. How did we get here and how do we proceed?
“Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.” His ghost rewrote hip hop from Queensbridge projects and came through for Africa. Nas’ “Ultra Black” is the most commercially successful Pan-Africanist artist’s white paper on Black power, a rapier-like abstract of Nas’ sprawling political thought.
In Zimbabwe, learners with visual impairments were traditionally limited to special schools. Global Teacher Prize nominee Trust Mutekwa and students in Harare share their experiences of a slowly desegregating education sector.
In America, cancel culture is states outlawing critical race theory, Colin Kaepernick blackballed out of an entire league for taking the knee against police brutality, Nas financially censored by the Senate for a black power album. In Europe, it is Kurt Zouma inordinately sanctioned for animal abuse while fellow sportspersons get away with racism and violence.
Olusegun Stephen Titus is passionately invested in ecomusicology, a research field that intersects sound and the environment. The Nigerian scholar has published widely on how communities and artists channel music as an instrument for climate justice and environmental sustainability. In this wide-ranging interview for African Crossroads, Titus makes ecological interventions on the state of Nigerian and African music today.
African literature and music have helped the continent face up to the othering gaze of the anthropologist, the missionary, the settler, and now, the winner-take-all multinationals. Cultural revivalists, climate advocates and hardboiled romanticists of the book industry continue to profile African communities who profit least from environmentally unsustainable extractive capitalism while suffering most from the food insecurity, health emergencies and natural disasters that it generates.