Walking along Georgia Ave this weekend, I noticed this poster for an event that took place on African Liberation Day (May 25) last year. It states that Alassane Ouattara, the President of the Ivory Coast who was installed with the military support of the French and the United Nations, “committed genocide in the Ivory Coast and is still terrorizing the people there.”
I spotted this poster just beyond Howard University. While the Africa programs of the various think tanks in downtown DC dominate the discourse of this blog and most other observers, one should not lose sight that Howard University has one of the oldest African studies programs in the US.
The Georgia Avenue corridor, from Howard University to Silver Spring, presents a discourse on Africa that is very different from what one hears around Dupont Circle and Metro Center. A significant aspect of this discourse is a strong emphasis on pan-Africanism (prominently espoused by Howard notables such as Rayford Logan and William Leo Hansbery). Indicative of this, on Bus #70 that goes down GA Ave, I once met a Howard undergrad who knew hardly anything about Africa, but spoke some Swahili.
I encourage both groups to interact more, they each have something important to offer the other.