Pitch Perfect Friday

Africa is not just represented by five nations in the World Cup. Its diaspora is also here courtesy of Euro-American and South American squads.

Lilian Thuram (15) and Zinedine Zidane (10), two players with African immigrant backgrounds, who defined French football in the 2010s, lining up against Italy in the 2006 World Cup Final in Berlin, Germany (Wiki Commons).

Obviously, over here at Africa is a Country we are fully behind all the national teams representing Africa at the 2010 World Cup. And, yes, unlike Chimamanda Adichie who only counted sub-Saharan teams in the World Cup, we also include Algeria. As this is the second World Cup I am watching as an American citizen, though, I am also leaning to supporting the U.S. national team.

They’re also the most diverse team the U.S. has ever fielded at the World Cup, made up of a considerable number of players who are first generation Americans, representing the America that I know.

The U.S. is a young team, and a good one. Anyone who watched them in the Confederations Cup last year in South Africa, have to agree they’re a bit special. Historically American soccer projects itself as a white sport (as primarily that of European immigrants to the “new world” and of the suburbs who can afford to play in the organized leagues and college football, where the US soccer association recruit most of its promising youngsters. This team, however, has a fair representation of players of African descent: Tim Howard, DeMarcus Beasley, Oguchi Onyewu, Ricardo Clark, Edson Buddle, Jozy Altidore, Maurice Edu and Robbie Findley. Onyewu, who is on the books of AC Milan, and Edu, who plays for Glasgow Rangers in Scotland, are both children of Nigerian immigrants to the U.S.

We will refrain from trodding the well worn path of pointing to the numerous African players in European or South American teams, though France always gets special mention among African fans.

We hope the U.S. team don’t embarrass themselves and go out in the first round. So just in time for the team’s kickoff against Slovenia, we bring some musical inspiration courtesy of The Fader’s “Pitch Perfect” project.

This North America mix, one of the six they commissioned for each continent (save Antarctica), was put together by our friend Chief Boima. Like many of us, he’s got roots in multiple places—something that is always reflected in his music, which by the way is always excellent.

Listen here.

Further Reading

The United States is not a country

The US federal system is a patchwork of states and territories, municipal and local jurisdictions, each with its own laws and regulations. This complex map provides ample opportunities for shell games of “hide the money.”

Growing pains

For all the grief Afropunk gets, including its commercialization and appetite for expansion, it still manages to bring people, mostly black, together over two days for a pretty great party.

The opacity of Fanon

This week on AIAC Talk, we speak with Leswin Laubscher and Derek Hook about the phenomenology of Franz Fanon and the ways he is understood throughout different eras of time.