African writer and activist Ngugi wa Thiong’o and filmmaker Ndirangu Wachanga visited campus recently to speak about the role of language and culture during the period of Britain’s colonization of Kenya. Read more about their visit in this Daily Sun piece.
Government Professor Nicolas van de Walle was a featured panelist during a recent roundtable discussion hosted by the Institute for African Development to honor the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide.
Van de Walle said that while conditions in certain places in Africa such as the Sahel region have deteriorated, the African Union is a much “sounder” organization than it was 20 years ago.
Democracy has become much more legitimate in Africa and military rule has become much more illegitimate, van de Walle said. He also said there has been “real progress” in Africa, noting the rapid technological and economic growth occurring there.
Philip Lorenz, associate professor of English, marking Shakespeare’s 450th birthday today.
Learn more at the library’s one-day “flash exhibition,” titled “Shakespeare at 450,” TODAY from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections (RMC), Kroch Library, Level 2B. http://bit.ly/1iLbpO8
The U.S. Supreme Court today handed down a decision that upheld Michigan’s ban on using race as a factor in admissions to that state’s public universities.
Noliwe Rooks, a human rights expert and associate professor in the Department of Africana Studies, remarks:
“If we are actually going to have a colorblind system of government and educational access it has to work both ways – and not just function to protect and enhance the educational advantages that some whites enjoy because of their race while dismissing, minimizing and ridiculing the ways that our society both intentionally and unintentionally raises the bar for educational access for blacks and Latinos.
“For example, lost in the firestorm is the fact that, of the 27,000-plus undergraduates presently enrolled at the University of Michigan, only 4.7 percent are black. This is a pitiful, small number and supporters of the Affirmative Action ban seem to be suggesting that over 95 percent of the slots available at the school just won’t do. They want the rest as well.
“While no one wants whites to be oppressed, we also would do well to pay some mind to all of the ways that black and Latino students face structural impediments to their even making it onto college campuses. Whites simply do not face the same hurdles.”
Travis Gosa, an expert on race relations and assistant professor of Africana Studies and social science, had these comments:
“The Supreme Court’s decision on Tuesday is a victory for white supremacy. By upholding Michigan’s ban on the use of race as a factor in college admissions, the court is allowing voters in eight states to ‘Jim Crow’ higher education, that is, to make college a privilege available only to whites and the wealthy.
“Recent attempts to dismantle affirmative action have little to do with fairness or so-called ‘colorblindness.’ Rather, these bans are a veiled attempt to ensure that racial minorities are the only group of students who cannot seek preferences in school admissions. If voters in anti-affirmative action states want fairness, they might start by challenging legacy preferences for the children of alumni and wealthy donors.
“Race-neutral college admissions ignore the racial privilege of white Americans who benefited from generations of black disadvantages, such as blacks being locked out of the G.I. Bill. If and when voters in more states ban race as a factor in college admissions, expect minority student enrollments to plummet and racial tensions to increase.”