Amira Ali

Amira Ali takes a critical look at the reconstructed identities of East African women along western political imagination. The identities, as expressed in hip-hop lyrics, objectify women from the region as being quite not African, amplifying the myths of western anthropologists of the past

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni recently signed a law that outlaws miniskirts in the east African nation. This poet attempts to make sense of the new law

The young man articulated the frustration, fragility, despair and aspiration of so many young-black-men. He spoke for the many who strive to better their life by attempting to gain the ability to negotiate with a system that has socialized, marginalized, and institutionalized them with a misrepresented identity

Though little acknowledged, one year prior to the founding of the OAU, Pan African Women’s Organization was formed in 1962 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It could be said that PAWO was the building block, the impetus, for the establishment of the OAU

No matter how vibrant the so-called modern world is and how much technological development exists, it is still be over-shadowed by the impoverished and neglected world within it

In all my years in the United States and there are a few cultural tendencies I still have not been able to get used to: bagels, children talking back or ‘sassing’ their parents, and public acts of defaming a parent or sibling

How do you holler
And not be heard
A fury of injustice
That has numbed us stern

Fury killed a dream
Killed the kid
Who dreams football on streets
Caught in the axis
Tragedy and injustice

To the world
Ain’t nothin’ but a thing
Call it an –ism
Euphemism has a name for it
Collateral damage
Isn’t that what they call it?

An explicit offense
Made inoffensive
Tragic called the kid
Dream more

'Man dreams
of far away lands
thoughts yearnin'
of unconcealed gems
to fetch and be fetch'd,

to reach the field
of the unknown
but to be desecrat'd
by projects
of food stamps and sorts
yet unknown...'

Who we are is a question that requires constant inward contemplation merged with the outside - negotiating between two worlds - for knowing is paramount in affirming our existence and freedom. Who we are is a self-orientation of where we have been and the direction we are heading in, realizing that we cannot be anything unless (Sartre: 2007) others acknowledging us as such or may be not. The big business in the quest of identity - socially constructed, contingent, and performatively more

Amira Ali's 'Speak no more – let us just make music', originally published in issue (491) – – is now available as a [email protected] or comment online at Pambazuka News.