Daily Archives: November 8, 2020

Learning Under Lockdown: Some Tools & Tips for Online Learning About Africa & the World


PDF of Presentation Slides

The COVID-19 lockdown has radically altered research, teaching, and learning in African studies at all levels — from K-12 classrooms through advanced post-doctoral archival research.

For the foreseeable future it will no longer be possible to watch a movie together in classroom, nor can groups take field-trips to museums to view important Africa collections, nor will it be possible to assemble in auditoriums to hear from a visiting guest speaker from Africa — or anywhere else — reporting on current circumstances in Africa.

Further, while African studies has had to go “virtual” almost overnight, there are, so far, very few online “textbooks” that are accessible to assist teachers to design “virtual” classroom materials and teach under COVID-19 circumstances.

To compound these problems, it would seem that for the foreseeable future the prospect of initiating long-distance travel to Africa for research, educational exchange programs or even for tourism will remain unrealistic for some time to come.

All of these features of our current circumstance combine to mean that studying about Africa from the Americas or Europe is now quite difficult.

Fortunately, there are a growing number of online “assets” that can help in this circumstance….. Both faculty AND students – at all levels — can begin now to use these online resources to build new online curricula for learning & teaching about Africa.

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Some immediate graphic sources on Africa & the World:

See related:

The History Of Africa with Zeinab Badawi | BBC News

The Series: African History:

This series of 20 programmes is based on a unique project, overseen by UNESCO known as the GHA: the General History of Africa – Africa’s history, culture and heritage written and told by Africans themselves.

Zeinab Badawi travels across more than thirty countries in west, east, central and southern Africa and explores the continent’s history from the beginning of time to the modern era with the goal to ‘set history straight’. She captures key moments in Africa’s history in her conversations with Africans from all walks of life including leading historians from across Africa and she brings alive some of the lesser known heroes and heroines of the continent’s past.

This is a search for truth and identity – uncovering hidden chapters and perspectives of Africa’s history and revising distorted interpretations.

See related:

History Of Africa with Zeinab Badawi

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Mother Africa – History Of Africa with Zeinab Badawi [Episode 1]

In this first episode, Zeinab Badawi travels across the continent examining the origins of humankind; how and why we evolved in Africa – Africa is the greatest exporter of all time: every human being originated in Africa.

During her journey Zeinab is granted rare access to the actual bones of one of the most iconic discoveries in the field of palaeontology, ‘Lucy’ in Ethiopia, or as she is known in Amharic, ‘Dinkenesh’, which means ‘you are marvellous’.

Zeinab also spends time in Tanzania with a tribe that is unique in the world because they live in the way our ancestors did, as hunters of big animals and gatherers. This community who have rarely been filmed provide a fascinating insight into how we have lived for most of our history.

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Cattle, Crops and Iron – History Of Africa with Zeinab Badawi [Episode 2]

Zeinab Badawi continues her journey through the history of human development travelling to meet the Maasai of east Africa – one of the best known of the continent’s ethnic groups. They help explain how human beings began to domesticate animals and become pastoralists. Then in Zimbabwe with one lively farming family, Zeinab examines how humans also began to settle and make a living from farming. And she also looks at how the Iron Age transformed life in Africa and paved the way for the development of rich urban civilisations.

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Gift of the Nile – History of Africa with Zeinab Badawi [Episode 3]

Zeinab Badawi’s quest to uncover the history of Africa takes her to Egypt where she explores the most famous civilisation on the continent that of the ancient Egyptians.

Zeinab takes you beyond the usual coverage of the pharaohs, mummies and pyramids and examines the controversial question of who the ancient Egyptians actually were.

What was their ethnicity? What made such a great civilisation possible and how did the ancient Egyptians order their society? And she is also allowed to capture on film the mummy and treasures of the famous boy king Tutankhamun.

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Kingdom of Kush – History Of Africa with Zeinab Badawi [Episode 4]

In this episode Zeinab Badawi travels to the country of her birth and the very region of her forefathers and mothers: northern Sudan where she sheds light on this little-known aspect of ancient African history, the great Kingdom of Kush.

Its kings ruled for many hundreds of years and indeed in the eighth century BC they conquered and governed Egypt for the best part of 100 years. Furthermore, Kush was an African superpower. Its influence extended to the modern day Middle East.

Zeinab visits the best preserved of Sudan’s one thousand pyramids and shows how some of the ancient customs of Kush have endured to this day.

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The Rise Of Aksum – History Of Africa With Zeinab Badawi [Episode 5]

Zeinab Badawi travels to the rarely visited country of Eritrea and neighbouring Ethiopia to chart the rise of the kingdom of Aksum. Described as one of the four greatest civilisations of the ancient world Zeinab examines archaeological remains in both countries dating back many hundreds of years before our common era. She explains how the kings of Aksum grew rich and powerful from their control of Red Sea trade and how they were one of the first civilisations in the world that officially embraced Christianity in the fourth century. Also find out why the Queen of Sheba and the secret of the Ark of the Covenant are so fundamental to Ethiopia’s history.

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Kings and Emirs – History Of Africa with Zeinab Badawi [Episode 6]

In this episode Zeinab Badawi focuses on the fall of the kingdom of Aksum and how the Christian kings who followed in the wake of its demise left powerful legacies especially that of King Lalibela who ruled in the 12/13th century. He is credited with building a complex of rock hewn churches which represent amazing feats of engineering at that time.

Zeinab also charts the arrival of Islam in this part of Africa and how the Christian kings and Muslim emirs co-existed. And she visits Harar, the most holy of Ethiopia’s cities for Muslims, where she observes the bizarre long-standing tradition of the ‘hyena men’ of Harar who feed these wild animals by hand.

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North Africa – History Of Africa with Zeinab Badawi [Episode 7]

In this episode Zeinab Badawi’s exploration of Africans’ rich history focuses on North Africa. She goes to Morocco to find out about the original inhabitants of the region in particular the Berbers or Amazigh as they prefer to be called.

Zeinab visits Carthage in Tunisia and explains who the Carthaginians were and their place in Africa’s history. She also looks at the great Berber kings and how they managed to retain their influence when North Africa came under Roman rule.

Zeinab visits some of the most extensive and least visited ancient sites in Algeria built under the Romans.

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Ancestors, Spirits and God – History Of Africa with Zeinab Badawi [Episode 8]

In this episode Zeinab Badawi examines religion in Africa. First the enduring presence of Africa’s indigenous religions, to which millions of people on the continent still adhere.

She travels to Zimbabwe to find out more about a remote community that follows traditional African religion. In Senegal she meets a Muslim man who, like so many others in the continent, blends Islamic beliefs with his ancestral ones and enjoys talking to trees!

She also charts the impact of Judaism and early Christianity in Africa and how Africans in particular made significant contributions to Christian thinking and practice through influential figures such as St Augustine who lived in what is today Algeria.

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Islam in Africa – History Of Africa with Zeinab Badawi [Episode 9]

In this episode Zeinab Badawi travels to several countries and looks at the early spread of Islam in Africa and how many Africans practise to this day a mystic, Sufi form of the religion

She shows how not only Islam but Arab culture came to influence a large part of the continent, particularly in the north.

And she charts the rise of the powerful Islamic dynasties of North Africa, that built magnificent monuments, mosques and empires, including a part of southern Europe and who helped determine the path of this part of the continent.

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Desert Empires – History Of Africa with Zeinab Badawi [Episode 10]

In this episode Zeinab Badawi visits rarely seen historic sites and magnificent ruins in Mali and Mauritania in west Africa. We hear from Africans about how trans-Saharan trade, mainly in gold, meant that by about the 7th century rich kingdoms became established in West Africa. These eventually gave rise to three of the greatest empires on the continent, including the Mali Empire which began in the 13th century. Under armed guard, Zeinab visits the fabled city of Timbuktu, which was overrun by extremists in 2012. Mali’s ruler Mansa Musa was reputedly the wealthiest individual to have ever lived. She brings a rich narrative of a period in Africa’s history when it was a significant player in the world economy, and influenced global thinking through great centres of learning.

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City States and Civilisations – History Of Africa with Zeinab Badawi [Episode

In this episode, we see how city states and kingdoms gave rise to rich and diverse civilisations, including some of the most iconic works of art on the continent: the Benin bronzes, dating back to the 13th century.

Zeinab Badawi travels to Nigeria where she is granted a rare interview with the King of the Benin kingdom in southern Nigeria. She meets the Queen Mother of Lagos, at her ancestral palace on Lagos Island where she relates the history of the Yoruba people.

And Zeinab also has an audience with the former governor of Nigeria’s central bank who became the Emir of Kano, one of northern Nigeria’s Muslim city states.

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Coast and Conquest – History Of Africa with Zeinab Badawi [Episode 12]

In this episode Zeinab Badawi starts with a visit to some of the most sensational historic sites in Africa: the Swahili coastal settlements of Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique on Africa’s Indian Ocean coast.

Zeinab then relates the tragic history of how the arrival of the Arabs in this part of Africa marked the start of an international trade in many millions of enslaved Africans.

The Arabs and their Swahili partners were the first outsiders to trade in humans on the continent from as early as the 7th century. She highlights how this trade differed from the much later trans-Atlantic slave trade, and how some Africans today view this painful period in their history.

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Southern Kingdoms – History Of Africa with Zeinab Badawi [Episode 13]

In this episode, Zeinab Badawi travels to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Zambia to find out about the powerful kingdoms of southern Africa and their rulers from 10th to 19th century, like the Mutapa kingdom that stretched across portions of eight modern-day southern African countries.

We hear about one military ruler who repeatedly saw off Portuguese invaders, and we admire the incredible ruins of Great Zimbabwe, the largest stone settlement in Africa south of the Sahara.

Foreign visitors could not believe that this towering civilisation dating from the 1100s was built by Africans. The reality is that Great Zimbabwe is the most striking example of the kingdoms that flourished in southern Africa.

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The Golden Stool – History Of Africa with Zeinab Badawi [Episode 14]

In this episode, Zeinab Badawi travels to Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire to find out about the Asante people and their kingdom. We examine the history, myths and legends of the Asante people. We attend the Akwasidae, a colourful festival where the King of the kings of the Asante – known as the Asantehene – has his gold regalia on full display as a way of projecting wealth and prestige. And we hear about the great Asante queen who led the resistance against the invading British and hid the Asante’s most valued and sacred possession: the Golden Stool. The Asante serve as an example of how despite decades of colonial rule, Africans maintained their traditions and continue to revel in and perpetuate their heritage and customs.

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No Longer At Ease – History Of Africa with Zeinab Badawi [Episode 15]

In this episode, Zeinab Badawi provides an overview of how Africans lived before the arrival of Europeans. We see traditional religion in practice in Kenya, we meet a traditional medicine practitioner in Congo, and in Uganda, we witness traditional justice in action as community elders adjudicate in a matrimonial dispute.

We hear from one local king who reminisces about how compassionate and ordered life was under the old ways and a local chief and his family in Zambia provide insights of traditional village life before the disruptive influence of Europeans.

The title describes a people who were becoming ‘no longer at ease’ in the run up to one of the ugliest chapters in human history: the trans Atlantic slave trade. The late acclaimed Nigerian author Chinua Achebe wrote a book with the same title.

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Slavery and Suffering – History Of Africa with Zeinab Badawi [Episode 16]

Much is known about enslaved Africans once they arrived in the Americas and Europe, but in this episode Zeinab Badawi looks at the impact on Africa itself of one of the most evil chapters in human history: the trans Atlantic slave trade. She travels to several countries to see how, where and why this trade began in Cabo Verde in 1510. She meets a man on the Senegalese island of Goree who for 35 years has been relating the story of slavery to thousands of visitors. And leading academics tackle the controversial subject of why some Africans helped sell their fellow Africans into slavery.

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Slavery and Salvation – History Of Africa with Zeinab Badawi [Episode 17]

In this episode, Zeinab Badawi visits Ghana and sees how momentum in the trans Atlantic slave trade led to competition for enslaved Africans between European nations who built numerous slave forts along West Africa’s Atlantic coast. She hears about the inhumane conditions in which slaves awaiting shipment were kept and how women were selected and subjected to rape by their captors. Also what do African academics believe were the main reasons behind abolition and why did many Africans return to the continent such as to Liberia? And how were they received by local communities?

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Diamonds, Gold and Greed – History Of Africa with Zeinab Badawi [Episode 18]

In this episode, Zeinab Badawi travels to South Africa and Zimbabwe and sees how southern Africans gradually came to grasp the destruction and suffering that would be inflicted upon them by white settlers. We find out how the original inhabitants of the Cape tried to resist white settlers and the cruel reprisals they endured. We hear about the story of Shaka, King of the Zulus from a descendant of his family and how he helped reshape the map of modern southern Africa as well as the heroic battles of Shaka’s successors against those intent on seizing their riches and land: the greed for diamonds, gold and other resources that impoverished Africans and enriched white settlers, likes Cecil Rhodes.

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Kongo and the Scramble for Africa – History Of Africa with Zeinab Badawi [Episode 19]

In this episode Zeinab Badawi travels to Angola, DRC and Congo in central Africa to bring the history of the great Kongo Empire. She hears about the critical role played by women in African history such as Queen Nzinga who battled the Portuguese for a quarter of a century in the 1600s and a few decades later Kimpa Vita who was burned alive after her failed resistance. Why were Africans unable to resist the tide of European control? One woman of nearly 100 relates her memory of Belgian rule in the Congo, during what became known as the ‘Scramble for Africa’.

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Resistance and Liberation – History Of Africa with Zeinab Badawi [Episode 20]

In the 20th episode Zeinab Badawi makes a huge and broad sweep across Africa examining the struggle for freedom, even in the face of bloody crackdowns: a veteran Mau Mau fighter in Kenya, a member of the resistance in Algeria’s brutal war of independence, from one African president whose ancestor fought the French and from the grandson of the Mahdi who defeated Britain’s General Gordon. And she talks about that heady time of independence with the families of three of Africa’s best known independence leaders: Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah, Congo’s Patrice Lumuba and Senegal’s Leopold Senghor as well as the son of the legendary Nigerian singer Fela Kuti.

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Amadou & Mariam – Je Pense à Toi live | History Of Africa with Zeinab Badawi [Episode 21]

Malian musical duo Amadou & Mariam perform Je Pense à Toi live in Bamako, Mali.

This is the theme music for History Of Africa with Zeinab Badawi – you can watch the full series here: https://bit.ly/historyofafrica

See related:

How Biden Won: Three key Voter Groups in 2020 | Meet The Press | NBC News

NBC News
Nov 8, 2020

When trying to understand how the Democrats rebuilt their “blue wall” in the Midwest this year, these three kinds of voters are a crucial part of the story.»

Steve Kornacki Becomes Internet’s Biggest Infatuation During Election | Sunday TODAY


Nov 8, 2020

Sunday TODAY’s Willie Geist runs through the Highs and Lows of the week, including the attention NBC’s Steve Kornacki has received while counting electoral votes during the 2020 election. The hashtag #TrackingKornacki helped people follow the sleepless data guru, who even caught the attention of Chrissy Teigen.

Gyude Moore: “China in Africa: An African Perspective”

Paulson Institute

Mar 25, 2019

Gyude Moore speaks about China’s expanding presence in Africa at the Paulson Institute’s Contemporary China Speakers Series on March 5, 2019. W. Gyude Moore is a visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development. He previously served as Liberia’s Minister of Public Works with oversight over the construction and maintenance of public infrastructure from December 2014 to January 2018. Prior to that role, Moore served as Deputy Chief of Staff to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Head of the President’s Delivery Unit (PDU). As Head of the PDU, his team monitored progress and drove delivery of the Public Sector Investment Program of Liberia—a program of over $1 billion in road, power, port infrastructure, and social programs in Liberia after the civil war. As one of the President’s trusted advisors, he also played a crucial role in supporting President Sirleaf as Liberia responded to the West Africa Ebola outbreak and shaped its post-Ebola outlook. His research tracks the channels of private sources of finance, the rise of China and its expanding role in Africa, and Africa’s response to these changes. He holds a BS in Political Science from Berea College and an MS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

Election 2020: What has President Trump done to America? | The Economist

The Economist
Oct 31, 2020

In the 2020 election, President Donald Trump will be judged on his handling of the covid-19 pandemic. But what else will be his legacy if he loses? Further content: Find The Economist’s coverage of the US elections: https://econ.st/3mwsMa4
Sign up to The Economist’s weekly “Checks and Balance” newsletter on American politics: https://econ.st/3l5C4dl
See The Economist’s 2020 presidential election forecast: https://econ.st/35JCkI2
Listen to our podcast “Checks and Balance” on American politics: https://econ.st/2EmBIOU
Why we’re supporting Joe Biden in the 2020 election: https://econ.st/2HOFKRq
If Donald Trump were to win re-election, how would he do it? https://econ.st/3muDKNl
Read our briefing on President Trump’s record on domestic policy: https://econ.st/3kIUrUK
Why President Trump’s efforts to sow distrust this election may be backfiring: https://econ.st/35FkWEh
President Trump’s record on corruption and conflicts-of-interest: https://econ.st/34FbBNn
Why President Trump’s criticisms of the world order had some merit: https://econ.st/3mFB13T
Read about why America’s economy is beating forecasts: https://econ.st/3msgorN
What impact would Joe Biden have on America’s economy? https://econ.st/3myek1A
Would a Biden administration be softer on China than Trump was? https://econ.st/37P2mfR

Four Seasons Total Landscaping: Trump Team holds news conference outside drab landscaping firm.

On Saturday morning, shortly before the AP and other news outlets called the election for Joe Biden, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to announce that his lawyers would be holding a “big press conference” in Philadelphia. But there seems to have been some major confusion about where it would be held. First Trump tweeted it would take place at the “Four Seasons, Philadelphia.” Trump later corrected himself and said that the news conference was going to be held at the Four Seasons Total Landscaping. And the Four Seasons Hotel sent out its own tweet, making sure everyone knew that the news conference would not be held there but rather at the landscaping business that has “no relation with the hotel.”

See related:

The Electoral College, explained

Oct 31, 2020

8.84M subscribers

Why some Americans’ votes count more than others. Watch more of our election coverage: http://vox.com/ElectionVideos In the 2000 US presidential election, the Democratic candidate got half a million more votes than the Republican. The Democrat lost. Sixteen years later the same thing happened again. In the US, if you run for president, it does not actually matter how many people in the country vote for you. What matters instead is an arcane system for selecting America’s head of state called the Electoral College. The Electoral College is the reason the US has something called “swing states,” and it’s the reason those places get to decide the future of the country. It’s the reason presidential candidates almost never campaign in the country’s biggest cities.

And more recently, it’s also the reason that Republican candidates have been able to eke out victories in the presidential election without actually getting the most votes. The Electoral College makes some Americans’ votes more powerful than others. In fact, that’s part of the reason we have it to begin with; in the country’s early years, the Electoral College helped give the votes of Southern Whites more weight than the votes of Northerners. The idea at its core, that certain votes simply matter more than others, is baked into the American tradition. In the 2020 election, it may decide the winner. Further reading: The historian Alexander Keyssar’s book “Why Do

We Still Have the Electoral College?” takes you through the history and function of the Electoral College: https://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.p…
For the bite-sized version of that history, Keyssar also wrote this piece in the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/03/op…
The Times also had a great interactive feature on where the 2020 candidates actually spent money: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2…
Pew has a breakdown of how democracies around the world elect their head of state, which really shows what an oddball the US is: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank…
More on why today’s Electoral College gives Republican presidential candidates a structural advantage: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politi…
Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what’s really driving the events in the headlines.
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What if a US presidential candidate refuses to concede after an election? | Van Jones

TED    Oct 26, 2020

Visit http://TED.com to get our entire library of TED Talks, transcripts, translations, personalized talk recommendations and more.

If the 2020 US presidential election is close, the race could drag on in the courts and halls of Congress long after ballots are cast, says lawyer and political commentator Van Jones. Explaining why the customary concession speech is one of the most important safeguards for democracy, Jones exposes shocking legal loopholes that could enable a candidate to grab power even if they lose both the popular vote and the electoral college — and shares what ordinary citizens can do if there’s no peaceful transfer of power.

The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more. You’re welcome to link to or embed these videos, forward them to others and share these ideas with people you know.

Concierto de Aranjuez – Joaquín Rodrigo II. Adagio / Pablo Sáinz-Villegas – LIVE

Aug 24, 2015
Radio and Television Orchestra of Spain Pablo Sáinz-Villegas, Spanish Guitar Carlos Kalmar, Conductor / Director Teatro Monumental Madrid 24/04/2015
Pablo Sáinz-Villegas, Spanish Guitar