Environmental Africa: Climate Change, Conservation, and Communal Cooperation

Climate change, habitat loss, and the endangerment of wildlife has brought about international interventions and conservation efforts throughout Africa. However, policies and programs are not without their problems. Throughout Africa, questions of environmental and climate justice are raised when communal lifestyles are threatened by initiatives that are not designed with a mindfulness of the needs of people throughout Africa. In this episode, we explore the human toll taken by climate change and sometimes even by efforts to protect the environment.

Guest Bios

Richard Schroeder

Richard Schroeder is a Professor of Geography in the Department of Anthropology at Brandeis University with expertise in political ecology, Africa, and conservation.

Malavika Vyawahare

Malavika Vyawahare is a staff reporter for Mongabay, a nonprofit environmental science and conservation news platform.

James Herrera

James Herrera is a researcher and program coordinator at the Duke Lemur Center SAVA Conservation program, Duke University, and based in Madagascar.v

Fulgence Thio Rosin

Fulgence Thio Rosin is a PhD student at the University of Antananarivo in Madagascar in collaboration with the University of Goettingen in Germany. He is a lecturer in animal biology and ecology at the Regional University Centre of SAVA region.

Oladosu Adenike

Oladosu Adenike is a Nigerian climate activist and eco-feminist working for equality, security, and peace across Africa, in particular the Lake Chad region.

Briana Brown

Briana Brown is an environmental science and biology teacher at Brookline High School in Brookline, MA.

Roger Grande

Roger Grande is a world history, social justice, and global leadership teacher at Brookline High School in Brookline, MA.

Free Resources and Featured Books

Episode Acknowledgements

Thanks to Rick Schroeder, Malavika Vyawahare, James Herrera, Fulgence Thio Rosin, Oladosu Adenike, Briana brown, and Roger Grande for sharing your expertise in this episode!

Thanks to Nico Rivers for audio editing, mixing, and mastering.

Special thanks to the Boston University Africa Studies Center and the Teaching Africa Outreach Program for collaborating and providing support for this podcast.

Image Credits

Baobab Avenue” by Fox Talbot, under Creative Commons License Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Photo of Richard Schroeder provided by Brandeis University website.

Photo of Malavika Vyawahare provided by LinkedIn.

Photo of James Herrera provided by ResearchGate.

Photo of Fulgence Thio Rosin provided by Twitter.

Photo of Oladosu Adenike provided by Wikipedia.

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African Women Shaping the Future: Leadership, Resilience, and Possibility

In the larger context of development in Africa, often criticized for its colonial underpinnings, African women demonstrate resilience and empowerment in ways that often go unrecognized.
One visible form of empowerment is where women address community needs as leaders and visionaries. In this episode, we explore the intersection of race, gender, and work through stories of women who are creatively shaping their fields and creating change.

Guest Bios

Adryan Wallace, PhD

Adryan Wallace, PhD is an assistant professor in the Department of Africana Studies at Stony Brook University.

Walter Mswaka, PhD

Walter Mswaka, PhD is an associate professor of social entrepreneurship in the Department of Social Entrepreneurship at Rollins College.

Thabiso Mahlape

Thabiso Mahlape is the founder of Blackbird Books, an independent publishing house in South Africa that is dedicated to giving young Black writers a platform. Learn more about Blackbird Books at www.blackbirdbooks.africa.

Charlot Magayi

Charlot Magayi is the founder and CEO of Mukuru Clean Stoves, a social enterprise that produces clean, affordable and reliable cook stoves for under-served markets to reduce household air pollution. Learn more about Mukuru Clean Stoves at www.mukurustoves.org.

Rachel Laryea

Rachel Laryea specializes in racial capitalism, ethical entrepreneurship, and social good. After working on Wall Street, Rachel pursued a dual PhD in African American Studies and Sociocultural Anthropology at Yale University, and also launched Kelewele to showcase the diversity of Africa and its diaspora through healthy food. Learn more about Kelewele at www.kelewelenyc.com.

Nkemdilim Uwaje Begho

Nkemdilim Uwaje Begho is the CEO of Futuresoft Software Resources, a full-service digital agency and IT Solutions company based in Nigeria. Learn more about Futuresoft at www.futuresoft-ng.com.

Kaylene Stevens Petrin, EdD

Kaylene Stevens Petrin, EdD is a lecturer and program director of social studies education at the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development at Boston University and a former high school social studies teacher and department chair at Framingham High School in Massachusetts.

Taylor Collins

Taylor Collins is a history teacher at Framingham High School in Massachusetts and the director of Step Up to Excellence Mentoring.

Free Resources and Featured Books

Episode Acknowledgements

Thanks to Adryan Wallace, Walter Mswaka, Thabiso Mahlape, Charlot Magayi, Rachel Laryea, Nkemdilim Uwaje Begho, Kaylene Stevens Petrin, and Taylor Collins for generously sharing their expertise and insights in this episode.

Thanks to Nico Rivers for audio editing, mixing, and mastering.

Special thanks to the Boston University Africa Studies Center and the Teaching Africa Outreach Program for collaborating and providing support for this podcast.

Image Credits

Photo of Adryan Wallace from Stony Brook University website.

Photo of Walter Mswake from Rollins College website.

Photo of Thabiso Mahlape from sheleadsafrica.org

Photo of Charlot Magayi from globalcitizen.org

Photo of Rachel Laryea from kelewelenyc.com

Photo of Nkemdilim Uwaje Begho from linkedin.com

2017 African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program Product Showcase” by Exchange Photos, under Public Domain Dedication (CCO 1.0 Universal).

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Ending the Scramble: Decolonization Across Africa

African decolonization has a complex history, involving resistance against and liberation from European colonial subjugation. In this episode, we examine the political and cultural interplay between race, resistance, and decolonization across Africa while considering ways to teach about racism in classrooms today.

Guest Bios

Michael Ralph

Michael Ralph is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis and the School of Medicine at New York University. His research integrates political science, economics, history, and medical anthropology through an explicit focus on debt, slavery, insurance, forensics, and incarceration. He is the author of Forensics of Capital (University of Chicago Press).

Julian Kenneth Braxton

Julian Kenneth Braxton is the Director of Community and Multicultural Affairs and a history instructor at the Winsor School in Boston, Massachusetts. Linda Morse is a social studies teacher at the Foxborough Regional Charter School in Foxborough, Massachusetts. J. Malcolm Cawthorne is the METCO Coordinator and a social studies teacher at Brookline High School in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Free Resources and Featured Books

  • Colonialism and Resistance is a resource collection compiled by the African Studies Center at Boston University. The collection includes lesson plans, literature lists, maps, and numerous other primary and secondary resources.

  • Colonization and Independence in Africa is a unit developed by The Choices Program at Brown University which features multiple lessons and a short video series.

  • Decolonization Resource Collection: Africa is a collection of primary sources, secondary sources, and books compiled by the National History Center.

  • Lesson of the Day: ‘A Continent Remade’ is a lesson produced by The New York Times focused on 1960, a year when 17 African countries would declare independence from colonial rule.

  • Decolonization: A Very Short Introduction by Dane Kennedy provides a succinct and scholarly overview of decolonization history with a global focus.

  • Things Fall Apart is Chinua Achebe’s first novel about Nigerian life before and during colonialism. The novel was published in 1958, two years before independence from Britain.

Episode Acknowledgements

Thanks to Michael Ralph, Julian Braxton, Linda Morse, and Malcolm Cawthorne for sharing their expertise in this episode.

Thanks to Nico Rivers for audio editing, mixing, and mastering.

Special thanks to the Boston University Africa Studies Center and the Teaching Africa Outreach Program for collaborating and providing support for this podcast.

Image Credits

Southern Rhodesia” by John Flannery, under Creative Commons Attribution- ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0).
Photo of Michael Ralph provided by the New York University website.

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Soundscapes of Protest: Music in Social Movements Across Africa

Art and culture often intersect with politics and music has been a potent instrument of social movements. In this episode, we explore recent historical and contemporary examples of protest music throughout Africa as musicians and communities turned their creative talents towards anticolonial, antiapartheid, and anti-corruption campaigns.

Guest Bios

Bode Omojola

Bode Omojola is the Five College Professor of Music. Professor Omojola’s teaching and research in ethnomusicology focuses on Nigerian music, with emphasis on West African, Nigerian, and Yorùbá traditions. Omojola is the author of Yorùbá Music in the Twentieth Century: Identity, Agency, and Performance Practice; Popular Music in Western Nigeria: Theme, Style, and Patronage System; The Music of Fela Sowande: Encounters, African Identity, and Creative Ethnomusicology; and Nigerian Art Music: with an Introductory Study of Ghanaian Art Music.

Nathaniel Braddock

Nathaniel Braddock is a musician, composer, and teacher. Braddock performs solo fingerstyle guitar and collaborates with Ghanaian, Zambian, Congolese musicians in numerous soukous, highlife, and jazz groups. Braddock has taught at the Passim School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts and the Old Town School of Folk Music and the Waldorf School in Chicago, Illinois.

Free Resources and Featured Books

Whether you’re new to teaching Africa, or just looking for new material to spice up your existing curricula, check out these free online resources for educators!

Episode Acknowledgements

Thanks to Bode Omojola and Nathaniel Braddock for sharing their expertise in this episode.

Thanks to Nico Rivers for audio editing, mixing, and mastering.

Special thanks to the Boston University Africa Studies Center and the Teaching Africa Outreach Program for collaborating and providing support for this podcast.

Image Credits

Photo of Bode Omojola provided by the University of Massachusetts Amherst website.

fela kuti” by Patsy M_, under Creative Commons License Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0). This image has been adapted from the original by Nico Rivers.

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Interconnected Africa: Movements Across the Indian and Atlantic Ocean Worlds

Africa’s global connections span millennia and have resulted in the development of sophisticated trade networks and cultural hybridity. In this episode, we examine two global systems of movement and exchange, focusing on the transport of material culture and goods in the Indian Ocean World and the transatlantic slave trade in the Atlantic World.

Guest Bios

Carina Ray

Carina Ray is an Associate Professor of African and African American Studies at Brandeis University.

Kristin Strobel

Kristin Strobel is a social studies teacher at Lexington High School in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Free Resources and Featured Books

Whether you’re new to teaching Africa, or just looking for new material to spice up your existing curricula, check out these free online resources for educators!

Episode Acknowledgements

Thanks to Carina Ray and Kristin Strobel for sharing their expertise in this episode.

Thanks to Nico Rivers for audio editing, mixing and mastering.

Special thanks to the Boston University Africa Studies Center and the Teaching Africa Outreach Program for collaborating and providing support for this podcast.

Image Credits

Photo of Carina Ray provided by Brandeis University website.

Africa!” by Vandy Massey, under Creative Commons License Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

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What We Talk About When We Talk About Africa

Africa has disparagingly been referred to as the “Dark Continent,” concealing the fullness and diversity of its history, culture, and humanity. In this episode, we explore stereotypes about Africa and begin the process of dispelling them by listening to underappreciated narratives, showcasing Africa’s vibrancy and global interconnectedness. We are joined by Barbara Brown, Boston University’s Africa Studies Center, Amy Lake, Lee H. Kellogg School, and ten individuals with intimate connections to life and community throughout Africa.

Guest Bios

Barbara Brown

Barbara Brown is the retired Director of Outreach of the Teaching Africa Outreach Program at Boston University’s Africa Studies Center.

Amy Lake

Amy Lake is a social studies teacher at the Lee H. Kellogg School in Falls Village, CT.

Claude Kaitare

Claude Kaitare is an educator working with students to raise awareness about the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda and genocide prevention. To learn more about Claude’s life in Rwanda and work with students visit his bio and view a video of him visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial.

Chris Ekawu

Chris Ekawu is a graduate student studying Sports Administration and Coaching at Montclair State University.

Driss Sene

Driss Sene is the owner and CEO of Maryama Beauty, a health and beauty brand.

Lina Ahmed

Lina Ahmed is an undergraduate student studying in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Chibuzor Eduzor

Chibuzor Eduzor is an undergraduate student studying in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Faduma Khalif

Faduma Khalif is an undergraduate student studying Computation and Cognition at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Diane Mwizerwa

Diane Mwizerwa is an undergraduate student studying in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Habeeb Salau

Habeeb Salau is an undergraduate student studying in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Hilary Tamirepi

Hilary Tamirepi is an undergraduate student studying in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Awele Uwagwu

Awele Uwagwu is an undergraduate student studying in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Free Resources and Featured Books

Whether you’re new to teaching Africa, or just looking for new material to spice up your existing curricula, check out these free online resources for educators!

  • Resources for Teachers provided by the Teaching Africa Outreach Program at the Boston University Africa Studies Center offers resources curated by grade level and topic. The Curriculum Guide, How Big is Africa?, features the “How Big is Africa?” poster produced by the Teaching Africa Outreach Program as well as six lessons and additional resources appropriate for students of different age levels.

  • Exploring Africa produced by the African Studies Center at Michigan State University is a curriculum organized by themes, regions, and disciplines and designed for K-12 classrooms.

  • Africa Guide provided by the University of Pennsylvania curates multimedia resources for K-12 teachers featuring lesson plans, webquests, and interactive tools.

  • Everyday Africa Curriculum is a Pulitzer Center guide that uses photographs to complicate representations of Africa, challenge stereotypes, and develop visual literacy skills.

  • “How to Write About Africa” by Binyavanga Wainaina. This satirical essay is a reminder of the inaccuracies of common tropes and misconceptions about Africa.

  • The Bright Continent: Breaking Rules & Making Change in Modern Africa by Dayo Olopade. This book examines ingenuity and problem-solving across Africa, focusing on the power of communities to innovate outside of state-sponsored programs and institutions.

Episode Acknowledgements

Thanks to Barbara Brown, Amy Lake, Claude Kaitare, Chris Ekawu, Dris Sene, Lina Ahmed, Chibuzor Eduzor, Faduma Khalif, Diane Mwizerwa, Habeeb Salau, Hilary Tamirepi, and Awele Uwagwu.

Thanks to Nico Rivers for audio editing, mixing and mastering.

Image Credits

Photo of Barbara Brown provided by Teaching Africa Outreach Program website.

Photo of Claude Kaitare provided by Claude Kaitare.

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