“Zeleza’s important and insightful collection of essays is essential reading for those seeking a more nuanced understanding of the global Pan-African significance of the election of Barack Obama…. This is precisely what we expect from a provocative and wisely engaged African, Pan-African, African American and Diaspora scholar.”
Darlene Clark Hine, Northwestern University
“The introductory essay…and the final essay…serve as bookends to essays that trace an intellectual journey across several continents, loosely paralleling the contemporary locations and engagements of both the historic and new African diasporas…. One of the great benefits of publishing Zeleza’s essays in book form is that the collection will enable conversations…to migrate from their online homes and into our libraries, departments, and classrooms.”
“Exploring the complex cultural and political forces behind the election of Barack Obama, Zeleza provides an exciting springboard to examine the economies of knowledge and the politics of representation in Africa. He is endowed with the gift of tracing Africa and its Diaspora’s various conversations and confrontations across geographies, languages, religions, wars, leisures, poetics and politics.”
Mamadou Diouf, Columbia University
“Zeleza combines a rare intelligence and a keen eye to produce a collection that is at once provocative and humane. Always passionate and informed by his own experiences as a Diasporic subject, his is a voice not to be missed.”
Dwight A. McBee, University of Illinois at Chicago
An active blogger on The Zeleza Post, from which these essays are drawn, Paul Tiyambe Zeleza provides a genuinely critical engagement with Africa’s multiple worlds. With a blend of erudition and lively style, Zeleza writes about the role ofAfrica and Africans in the world and the interaction of the world with Africa.
In the title essay, Zeleza analyzes the significance of the election of a member of the African diaspora to the presidency of the United States. He also addresses Africa’s urgent political concerns: China’s role in Africa, South Africa’s difficulties in making the transition to a postapartheid society, the agony of Zimbabwe, and a discussion of Pan-Africanism, its history and contemporary challenges. Other posts introduce the reader to the rhythms of daily life, including football and other leisure activities, in capturing the different aspects of Africa.
An original and respected voice, Zeleza engages the reader in a series of passionate public conversations on issues and events of utmost importance to the globalized world. He deserves a wide readership.
Paul Tiyambe Zeleza is Dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts and Presidential Professor of African American Studies and History at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. More info →
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“These two volumes clearly demonstrate the efforts by a wide range of African scholars to explain the roots, routes, regimes and resolution of African conflicts and how to re-build post-conflict societies. They offer sober and serious analyses, eschewing the sensationalism of the western media and the sophistry of some of the scholars in the global North for whom African conflicts are at worst a distraction and at best a confirmation of their pet racist and petty universalist theories.”
Barack Obama’s political ascendancy has focused worldwide attention on Kenya. Carotenuto and Luongo argue that efforts to cast Obama as a “son of the soil” of the Lake Victoria basin invite insights into the politicized uses of Kenya’s past. Ideal for classroom use and directed at a general readership interested in global affairs, Obama and Kenya offers an important counterpoint to the many popular, but inaccurate texts about Kenya’s history and Obama’s place in it.