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  • The Ones We Lost: How Reflecting on Death Helps Us To Lead A Meaningful Life

    For many years, Oyunga has chronicled stories of life and death as both existential and ritual experience among the Luo community, Kenyans, and Africans at large. Since 2020, he has explored the themes of Living and Dying. Life exists in the midst of death and yet death remains one of the most disruptive affairs of our lives. The book revolves around the idea that the stories of death are the stories of life, and by focusing on how our loved ones died, we extract lessons for living fulfilled lives that prepare us for the inevitability of death. It focuses on how we can unravel the mystery of the separation, by accepting the reality of death and what it is meant to teach.

     

    Contents.

    1. Foreword
    2. Preface
    3. Introduction
    4. Is this How I die?
    5. Baba’s Gone
    6. The Unmournable Ones
    7. The Urban
    8. Children of a Revolution That never Was.
    9. Comedy and Tragedy
    10. Death of a Father figure.
    11. The Pugilist
    12. Our Man in Somalia
    13. Memories of Silence
    14. Fall of a Rugby Great
    15. Gone, without a whisper
    16. Dani is dead
    17. Digging your own grave
    18. Death in a strange land.
    19. Here But I’m Gone.
    20. The Winter of our lives.
    21. Baptism by Fire.

    Epilogue

    The Ones We Lost, is an anthology that comprises a collection of short essays and curated obituaries drawn from a two decade career as a columnist and a participant-observer of Kenyan social reality. Each story is independent but also interconnected, weaving the common thread of using those stories of those who died as a mirror to raise awareness in how we take responsibility for our lives.

  • The revolutionary ecological legacy of Herbert Marcuse – 2nd Edition

    This new edition includes an Afterword by Nnimmo Bassey: System Change Will Not Be Negotiated.

    The author appeals to the energies of those engaged in a wide range of contemporary social justice struggles such as ecosocialism, antiracism, the women’s movement, LGBTQ rights, and antiwar forces. As the dialectical counterpart of Marcuse’s Great Refusal, the book, which culminates with the ‘EarthCommonWealth Project’ is keyed to what we are struggling for, not just what we are struggling against. The author argues that regressive political forces must be countered today, and this is best accomplished through radical collaboration around an agenda recognizing the basic economic and political needs of diverse subaltern communities. System negation must become a new general interest. The author discusses core ethical insights from African philosophical sources, indigenous American philosophy, and radical feminist philosophy. Humanity’s first teachings on ethics are to be found in ancient African proverbs. These subsequently served also as a critique of colonialism and neocolonialism. Long-suppressed indigenous American sources supply a philosophical and political critique of Euro-centric economic and cultural values. They also offer an understanding of humanity’s place in nature and the leadership of women and attest to modes of cooperative and egalitarian forms of community. Feminist anthropology furnishes an historical context for understanding the origins of patriarchy and how to move beyond dominator power to new forms of partnership power. The book envisions the displacement and transcendence of capitalist oligarchy as such, not simply its most bestial and destructive components. This is a green economic alternative because its ecological vision sees all living things and their non-living earthly surroundings as a global community capable of a dignified, deliberate coexistence. It is searching for a new system of ecological production, egalitarian distribution, shared ownership, and democratized governance, having its foundation in the ethics of partnership productivity with an ecosocialist and humanist commitment to living our lives on the planet consistent with the most honorable and aesthetic forms of human social and political fulfillment.

     

  • A Mutiny of Morning: Reclaiming the Black Body from Heart of Darkness

    Nikesha Breeze has taken pages from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, taken his words, and forced them to leave his colonized mind. She has made the words her own in poetic form. She illuminates the invisible Black voices inside, a radical, surgical, and unapologetic Black appropriation, at the same time as a careful birthing and spiritual road map. The resulting poems are sizzling purifications, violent restorations of integrity, pain, wound, bewilderment, rage, and, sometimes, luminous generosity.

    The violent, scathing white supremacy of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is traversed page by page and word by word in this brilliant prayer/poem—a work of reclamation, redemption, rescue, and repossession. — Wende Marshall, co-editor Insurrectionary Uprisings: A Reader in Revolutionary Nonviolence and Decolonization

     

  • The imperative of Utu / Ubuntu in Africana scholarship

     


    Written in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, this publication celebrates the birth of Black studies as a liberated academic zone. Professor  Mũgo reflects upon the significance of Africana studies, specifically within the context of America’s predominantly White universities, revisiting the hers/his/torical context that birthed Black studies as a field of knowledge. She reflects on the ownership of knowledge, its production, dissemination and custodianship while proposing utu/ubuntu as imperatives in defining transformative education. The hypothesis and heart of the argument is that knowledge and scholarship can either be colonizing, alienating and enslaving; or, alternatively, they can be conscientizing, humanizing and liberating, creating new human beings with the agency to transform life and the world, for the better. The latter constitutes what Professor Mũgo calls utu/ubuntu rooted-scholarship which, she argues, should define Africana studies, research and scholarship, all of which needs to have both a mind and heart. This should be the mission and vision that led to the birth of Black Studies as an academic. She dismisses the false myth of dominating, colonizing and imperialist cultures that claim to have a monopoly of knowledge and whose purpose is to justify the dehumanization of the conquered, the attempted erasure of their knowledges, heritages and ultimately, entire cultures.

    The essay urges us to reflect on a number of critical questions: What is the objective of Africana research and general search for knowledge? In whose service are teaching, research work and publications by Africana scholars? Do their conference papers bring any Africana knowledge systems to the round table of ideas? Is the knowledge they produce liberating and humanizing, or for the advancement of careerist ambitions? What does Black scholarship contribute towards what Paulo Freire called the ‘dialogical education for problem solving’?


    It is hard not to be effusive about the author of this pamphlet. Let’s just say it loud: Mῖcere Gῖthae Mũgo is a legend in her own time. And ours. Ours because, as she would say, paraphrasing universal African wisdom: without us, there is no her. From her native Kenya, a source to which she returns continually for yet more ancient wisdom; to Zimbabwe, where she once found refuge on being forced to flee her native land in the face of political persecution; to the United States of America, to which she eventually emigrated; and beyond, way beyond, Professor Comrade Sister Mugo has been a lodestar and wonder—in the academy and in the community, locally and globally. This pamphlet is a discursive offering to Africana studies, a notebook on a field of study born of struggle, student-led struggle. The organizing principle is Utu-Ubuntu, the universal African moral conception centered on the paramountcy of the soul over material accumulation. It is a stinging rebuke to capitalism, imperialism, racism, sexism, heterosexism and all the other antihuman isms, Utu-Ubuntu. Here, indeed, is an Africana studies manifesto, one that should be required reading for all students of the field, in and out of the academy. She never ceases to educate, to enlighten, to energize—this soul sister, this scion of Utu-Ubuntu, this magnificent struggler in the cause of African vindication and human liberation, Mῖcere Gῖthae Mũgo. — Michael O. West, Professor of African American Studies; History; African Studies, Penn State University

    An insightful essay that insists that Africana research and scholarship has “to have both mind and heart” to be truly emancipatory — for that is the essence of the meaning of Ubuntu and of Utu, the Swahili equivalent. That is the basis for challenging the dominant colonizing cultures that seek to dehumanize our people. The inimitable Micere Mugo forces us to think about the purpose of teaching and research: whose interests do they serve? — Dr. Willy Mutunga, Chief Justice & President of Supreme Court, Republic of Kenya, 2011-2016

    An excellent celebration of the contribution of Utu/Ubuntu – African Indigenous Knowledge – to Africana scholarship by Professor Micere Mugo, an icon of Africana Studies. This epistemological imperative for the creation of ‘liberated academic zones’ advances the post-modern and critical theory traditions, while firmly establishing Africa’s unique contributions, not only to Africana Scholarship, but also to the Global Academy and to humanity. — Filomina Chioma Steady, D.Phil. (Oxon.) Professor Emerita and Former Chair, Africana Studies, Wellesley College

  • Insurrectionary Uprisings: A Reader in Revolutionary Nonviolence and Decolonization

    Insurrectionary Uprisings is a compendium of essays that explore what it will take to win a world based on love and justice. From historical writing, including Thoreau, Gandhi and Arendt, to essays that address the multiple crises we face in the 21st century, the volume brings together authors and thinkers from around the globe. With an emphasis on the quotidian violence of racial monopoly capitalism and Western imperialism, Insurrectionary Uprisings insists that the possibility of revolutionary nonviolence rests, in part, on decolonization and decoloniality and a thorough analysis of the deep and violent roots of racial capitalism, settler colonialism and heteropatriarchy. Fannie Lou Hamer’s testimony at the 1964 Democratic Convention underscores the inherent violence that saturates life in the U.S., while Cabral’s “Message to the People of Portugal” challenges the working class of imperial Portugal to recognize their kinship and to form alliances with the people of Guinea-Bissau. The very different strands of activist thinkers who comprise the book centre it on the experience of the global majority.

    Editor Wende Marshall reading Insurrectionary Uprisings
    Editor Wende Marshall reading Insurrectionary Uprisings!