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African Communitarianism and Human Rights

Towards a Compatibilist View

Munamato Chemhuru

That human rights are new, alien, and incompatible with African social and political reality is pervasive in much of African social and political thinking. This supposition is based on the assumption that African societies are inherently communitarian, and hence inconsiderate to the guaranteeing and safeguarding of individual human rights. However, I seek to dispel this essentialist notion in African social and political thinking. I consider how the human rights discourse could be reasonably understood in the African traditional context if the thinking that is salient in the African communitarian view of existence is properly understood. After considering the way in which human rights are guaranteed within an African communitarian framework, I give reasons why the quest for individualistic human rights in Afro-communitarian society could be considered to be an oxymoron. Overall, I seek to establish that an Afro-communitarian model is compatible with the quest for the universality of human rights.

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“I Don't Want to Claim America”

African Refugee Girls and Discourses of Othering

Laura Boutwell

In this article I draw from the Imani Nailah Project, a participatory action research initiative with a group of African refugee girls living in the US. I examine a particular fusion of racialized, gendered, and nationalized narratives that discursively construct the refugee girl. I interrogate this discursively produced refugee girl construct and highlight how actual refugee girls interact with this discourse with a focus on resistance strategies and emergent counter narratives of citizenship. Throughout the article, I use italics when I am referring to the refugee girl construct in order to maintain a central focus on interrogating a sociopolitical discourse—the refugee girl—as a construct distinct from actual refugee girls. My central aim is to highlight spaces and moments when actual refugee girls are in conversation with this imposed refugee girl discourse.

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Adam Branch

Decolonizations of African Studies Colonial legacies are not hard to find in African Studies in the UK today, from the annual Lugard Lecture to the Royal African Society, from Rhodes’ refusal to fall at Oxford, to the Smuts Memorial Trust at

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Lawrence Ogbo Ugwuanyi

Existing literature on pan-Africanism often focuses on re-enforcing the ideology of pan-Africanism without much devotion to critiquing, justifying or purifying the ideology. Two positions can be applied to explain this. The first is that scholars

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Pan-African Linguistic and Cultural Unity

A Basis For pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance

Simphiwe Sesanti

One of the greatest sons of Europe, historian Basil Davidson (1970: 11 ), once remarked that whenever anything remarkable or inexplicable turned up in Africa ‘a whole galaxy of non-African (or at any rate non-black)’ peoples were dragged in to

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Pascah Mungwini

This article is a theoretical invitation to revisit the idea of pan-Africanism and to think differently about Africa beyond the discourse of afro-pessimism. It focuses on the epistemic question and argues for the need to promote an alternative

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Kudzai Matereke

The articles in this special section highlight the need to adopt “an African-focused perspective” to understand African experiences of mobility. 1 The impetus for an African-focused perspective that places African experiences at the center has

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Ezekiel S. Mkhwanazi

This article seeks to challenge and encourage the pan-African intelligentsia to remain steadfast in their resolve and commitment to rebuild Africa. The author is aware of the reflexive implications the article has on the author himself. For that

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Ajume H. Wingo

The Received View of the Roots of African Political Disarray It is generally acknowledged that Africans suffered greatly from European colonisation (e.g. Richards 1961; Robinson and Gallagher 1961 ; Young 1994). On what I will call the ‘received

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Valery B. Ferim

Attempting to codify what constitutes pan-Africanism especially in contemporary times can be elusive. This is because the concept has evolved over time and currently encompasses a variety of philosophical and ideological traditions. The elasticity