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A Critique of Beyonce’s Formation

Originally published here. *** Dear Beyoncé, Katrina is not your story. By Maris Jones Yesterday, a friend of mine watched your new music video “Formation.” He—a card carrying member of the BeyHive—was so excited that the video was set in New Orleans, that he shot me a text: “Watch now! My queen is killing it in your hometown!!!”   So, of course, I clicked. What … Continue reading A Critique of Beyonce’s Formation

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Anthills of the Savannah

The following piece is based on my reading of the first chapter of “Anthills of the Savannah,” a satirical book that the Pan African Chinua Achebe wrote and published in the 1980s, inspired by events in his homeland. The Washington Post praised the book: “Achebe has written a story that sidesteps both ideologies of the African experience and political agendas, in order to lead us … Continue reading Anthills of the Savannah

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The Whisper

Smash the brick wall Exit the ghost town The concrete jungle Blue square Uneven lines Dull canvas Spiral thoughts Forget about it Drive away, my son Down the rabbit hole Up the hill of the rising sun Go on, my little one My prayer shall protect you Providence shall guide you And love shall find you The beautiful whisper Of my mother’s blessing Always there … Continue reading The Whisper

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Is Privatization of Land the Solution for Ethiopia’s Food Insecurity?

“Privatisation of [land] would worsen the situation of the poorest farmers,” argues René Lefort, a French writer who has frequently published articles on Ethiopian affairs. This statement is quite the opposite of what critics of the existing land tenure system say; the critics believe that the only way to ensure food security is through privatization of land and preventing the state from having monopoly on … Continue reading Is Privatization of Land the Solution for Ethiopia’s Food Insecurity?

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ODF to the Government of Ethiopia: “Desist from further Security Measures” against Protesters

The Oromo Democratic Front (ODF), a diaspora-based opposition party, founded by former leaders of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), released a statement two days ago on the killings of Oromo students and civilians in Oromia region. The Front called on the Ethiopian government to stop the violent suppression of the protests and to “publicly and unambiguously annul the controversial Masterplan.” The Front offered historical and … Continue reading ODF to the Government of Ethiopia: “Desist from further Security Measures” against Protesters

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Protests in Ethiopia: Conflict between authoritarian development model and ethnic federalism?

A correspondent for Bloomberg news in Ethiopia wrote arguing that the unrest in Oromia region “highlights the conflict between Ethiopia’s authoritarian development model and its system of federalism, which guarantees the rights of more than 80 ethnicities.” An Oromo resident of a small town, whom the journalist interviewed, believes “the government’s development plan means the Oromo losing autonomy, language and culture as investors move into … Continue reading Protests in Ethiopia: Conflict between authoritarian development model and ethnic federalism?

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The first African elected to the Israeli Parliament

Meet Addisu Messele, community leader of the Ethiopian Jews in Israel. According to the Black Past website, he became “the first person of sub-Saharan African ancestry elected to the Israeli Parliament” in 1996. The website states that “Mr. Messele was one of the most outspoken leaders of the Beta Israel’s painful protest against the Israeli health ministry policy of discarding all blood donations made by … Continue reading The first African elected to the Israeli Parliament

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“Ethiopia and UK will continue to be strong and strategic allies…”

The British Ambassador to Ethiopia, Mr. Greg Dorey, wrote a passionate blog post this week, announcing the end of his four-year service as a diplomat in Addis Ababa, Africa’s political capital and a regional hub for international organizations. “Goodbyes are never easy, but I have had an amazing four years getting to know this place — full of hospitable people and outstanding experiences,” the Ambassador said. … Continue reading “Ethiopia and UK will continue to be strong and strategic allies…”