compiled by Aly Wane
Want to know more about the continent and its people? Here are a couple of suggestions, in no particular order.
Africans and Their History, by J oseph Harris. A classic revisionist summary of the history of the continent. Brief, but packed with information.
How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, by Walter Rodney. A re-evaluation of the continent's economic development from the point of view of the exploitation of its resources.
We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families, by Philip Gourevitch. A powerful work describing the Rwandan genocide that goes beyond the simplistic "tribe vs. tribe" explanation.
Africa Must Unite by Kwame Nkrumah. A seminal work of Pan Africanism.
The Road to Hell: The Ravaging Effects of Foreign Aid and International Charity, by Michael Maren. A thought provoking critique of international aid organizations.
King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa, by Adam Hochschild. An eye-opening treatise on the consequences and inner workings of one of the most deplorable ventures in history: the Belgian exploitation of Africans in the Belgian Congo and the beginning of modern colonialism in Africa.
In the Shadow of a Saint, by Ken Wiwa. The story of Ken Saro Wiwa, a Nigerian author and activist executed for his scathing criticism of multinational oil companies (especially Shell). Written by his son.
Guns and Ghandi in Africa, edited by Matt Meyer and Bill Sutherland. Drawing on the liberation struggles in Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia, Southern and South Africa, you'll find Pan-African insights on nonviolence, armed struggle and liberation.
When Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe (Nigeria). A classic work. The story of a tribe's devastating encounter with early colonists.
Death and The King's Horseman, by Wole Soyinka. The most famous work by the 1986 Nobel Prize winner (Literature). A haunting play about the clash between African traditional values and the encroachment of the modern world.
Nocturnes, Leopold Senghor (Senegal). Senghor, a politician and world class writer, (he was inducted in France's prestigious Academie Francaise) was one of the theoreticians behind the concept of "Negritude," the literary and artistic expression of the Black African experience. This is one of his highly praised books of poetry.
The Pickup, by Nadine Gordimer (South Africa). Winner of the Nobel Prize in 1991, Nadine Gordimer's works often explore the troubled consciousness of white South Africans during Apartheid. The Pickup examines the complicated relationship between a white South African woman and a poor Black mechanic during the recent post-Apartheid period.
Children of the Alley, by Naguib Mahfouz (Egypt). Winner of the Nobel Prize in 1988, Naguib Mahfouz is one of the most important North African authors of our time. This novel, an allegorical recreation of the monotheistic Abrahamic religions, exemplifies his iconoclastic voice.
Films and Documentaries
Darwin's Nightmare: A powerful documentary on the negative impact of Globalization in the small country of Tanzania.
Lumumba: Death of a Prophet: Riveting documentary about Patrice Lumumba, an anti-colonial leader and the first legally elected Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Assassinated in 1961, he is still an inspirational figure to the continent.
Mandela: Son of Africa, Father of a Nation: The story of Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid leader of the African national Congress, and the first Black President of South Africa.
Africans in America: Excellent PBS series on the painful transition from Africa to the American continent.
www.JusticeAfrica.org: Justice Africa is a research institute and advocacy organization founded in 1999 in London to campaign for human rights and social justice across Africa. It is run by, for and with Africans and African communities.
www.AfricaAction.org: Africa Action is the oldest organization in the U.S. working on African affairs. Its mission is to change U.S. Africa relations to promote political, economic and social justice in Africa.
www.transafricaforum.org: This organization serves as a major research, educational, and organizing institution for the African-American community offering constructive analyses of issues concerning U.S. policy as it affects Africa and the Diaspora in the Caribbean and Latin America.
www.allafrica.com: Excellent news site about the continent.
www.zmag.org/racewatch/africawatch.cfm: Collection of updated commentaries on Africa by various progressive intellectuals.