Is Oral Important? The Struggle of Working in Precolonial Studies

Oral history straddles a line that all history does: the modern interpretation of the past and the bias and inaccuracies this conflict can produce. Even written history's interpretations and conclusions are effected by the period it was written. This is why primary sources are coveted. You can never get closer to understanding what people were [...]

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Listen, Always Listen: Female Circumcision

Many people do not understand the difference between listening to someone's perspective and obeying.  When people cease to feel remotely heard they usually cry out "listen" and those who are already ignoring them think it means "obey me, submit, everything I say is right." That is not what listen means. In fact, I just looked it up to [...]

The Creation of the African Boogeyman

The setting of this story is in the beautiful Kenyan highlands of the 1950s, where British colonists had fallen in love with a beating sun, fertile earth, and the majestic Mount Kenya at the heart of it all in the 1920s. The highlands were not just beautiful they also lacked a plethora of obstacles to European settlement [...]

Signare Griotte and the Power of Voice

Voice is the "essence of being." (Mosto) Voice enables us to powerfully affect people. Voice enables society, it is the root of our understanding. Language is shaped by how we view the world and we are shaped by how language creates the realities around us. Thus, voice can be dangerous. Voice can be miraculous. In Senegambia [...]