Full circle: engaging African Diaspora discourse and dialogue.

Author:Barksdale-Hall, Roland
 
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Life had gone full circle, as last year I returned to my alma mater the University of Pittsburgh as a scholar to present a paper at the inaugural DuBois-Nkrumah-Dunham conference. In the audience now sat my former professors, who intently listened to my paper, "Politics of Information, Knowledge, and Transformation in Africa and Its Diaspora," which examined the struggle for the liberation of African cultural identities and symbols through information service delivery in Africa and throughout its Diaspora, appearing in Information Equality, Africa, Newsletter of the Progressive African Library and Information Activists' Group--PALIACT (no. 2, December 2006). This issue of JPAS in-part derives from those discussions following the momentous gathering of elders at the inaugural DuBois-Nkrumah-Dunham conference of the Africana Studies Department at the University of Pittsburgh, held March 31-April 1, 2006 at the Wyndham Garden Hotel.

The issue speaks to cultural identities and symbols in Africa and throughout the Diaspora. I provide a biography of our featured artist and author Chinua Achebe. Barbara Ellington interviews Chinua Achebe in Jamaica on the 200th anniversary of the end of forced mid Atlantic passage to the Caribbean. In "Patriarchal Symbolic Order" Clara Momanyi outlines the powerful literary tradition of the Waswahili in east Africa. Amadu Jacky Kaba, who presented his paper "The Two West Africas: the Two Historical Phases of the West African Brain Drain," at the inaugural DuBois-Nkrumah-Dunham conference examines two historical phases of the brain drain throughout the history of West Africa, leading to the region's underdevelopment; Benita Johnson, who also presented her paper at the conference fleshes out the significant role played by African Americans in the development and formation of American foreign policy between 1919 and 1944.

David T. Miller provides a review of Last Grave at Dimbaza, the recently re-mastered 1973 documentary was filmed clandestinely in South Africa and smuggled out of the country because of its critical assessment of...

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