A busy week on the personal front (more on that another time) so that means a lot of stuff gets the speed blog treatment.
* First up, a link to the “Parts of Africa” hip hop mix: Fourteen tracks including music by Abass Abass, Da Brains and Daara J. [Link]
* The Financial Times website has a great series (both of video of print reports) on economic migrants return to their country of origin because of uncertainty wrought by the global economic crisis. These include white South Africans (yes, they were the specific focus of one of the reports) and Nigerian entrepeneurs, among others.
* The US government is quick to supply the shaky Somalia regime with millions of dollars of weaponry. Though critics pointed out the weapons would eventually end up in the hands of the government’s Islamist opponents, the Shabab, the US hardly cared. Now the US does not want to give food aid to Somalis. The reason: the food might get into the hands of the Shabab. [Link]
* France plans a “Bingo for Africa.” Not much different how a national lottery raises money for the arts. But this is not the arts. This is about people. But I forget they’re Africans. [Link]
* I’ve seen the video footage (from a still unreleased film) of the Jackson 5’s 1974 visit and concert in Dakar, Senegal, over the summer. And the film was shown at a venue in Harlem. I could not go. But I was on a blog break then. [Link]
* The latest Bulletin of the US-based Concerned Africa Scholars (ACAS), I’m one of the outgoing chairs (and run publications there), has a great set of articles on gender based violence on the continent. [Link]
* Great mix of new Nigerian “urban” music [Link]
* WorldFocus, the PBS news program, investigated the class politics of dancehall in Jamaica, and especially the dance called “daggering.” [Link]
* Excellent four part program by Al Jazeera reporter, Rageh Omar, on increased US involvement in Africa, in especially three countries, Rwanda, Djibouti and Uganda. [Link]
* New biography of Chris Hani, until his death in 1993 the most popular leader in South Africa’s now ruling (since 1994) ANC; by two Johannesburg-based journalists [Link]
* Which country is the most routinely mis-covered in US media? No it is not Nigeria or South Africa. [Link].
* New York public radio (WNYC) video interview with Rosalind Kilkenny McLymont, “Africa: Strictly Business—The Steady March to Prosperity” [Link]
* For a while now both South Africa’s public broadcaster, the SABC, and its only free to air commercial channel, ETV, have declined to flight a new satirical puppet news show created by the country’s leading cartoonist Zapiro, for fear of antanogizing the ruling party. The first three episodes are “on the Internet.” [Link]
* Julius Malema, the ANC Youth League leader and populist politician, who has the ear of South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, is the subject of a lengthy profile in today’s issue of South Africa’s “Mail & Guardian” newspaper. Separately he is also the focus of a new book by journalists Max du Preez and Mandy Rossouw. Malema is quite odious, but Du Preez in the PR campaign to promote the book does not help the book’s case by comparing Malema to the Apartheid dictator, PW Botha or conjuring up fantasies where Malema comes off as some kind of Mugabe who will take over South Africa.
* South Africa already has one openly openly gay Constitutional Judge (that’s the equivalent of the United States Supreme Court), Edwin Cameron. Now it may get its second, an openly lesbian High Court Judge. But she’s the target of local right-wing elements using language more common in the United States criticizing her “unconventional lifestyle.” They claim it disqualifies her from serving on the court. [Link]
* Finally, I recently watched–back-to-back–the documentary series “Brick City” starring the city of Newark, New Jersey. It is part “The Wire” with its focus on the inner city schools and gang sets, part campaign commercial for Cory Booker, the young black mayor of the city who wants to turn around the image of the city as one associated with gang violence, bad schools and “urban blight” across the river from New York City.
Here’s the first 10 minutes of the first episode: