19 May 2015
PETITION FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS
As members of the North Eastern Workshop on Southern Africa (NEWSA) and scholars of African Studies, we are deeply distressed by ongoing injustices in Swaziland. These include the current crisis engulfing the Swazi judiciary, the conditions of political prisoners such as PUDEMO President Mario Masuku, Human Rights Lawyer Thulani Maseko, SWAYOCO Secretary General Maxwell Dlamini, Nation Magazine Editor Bheki Makhubu, MK and ANC cadre Amos Mbedzi and PUDEMO stalwart Zonke Dlamini, as well as the intensified persecution of political and civil society activists and trade unions. We express particular concern about the worsening health conditions of PUDEMO President Mario Masuku, who was recently hospitalized in relation to his poor prison conditions. Masuku’s alleged crime is calling for that which is already enjoyed in many parts of the world: the right for the people to elect a government of their choosing in a free and democratic environment.
We call for the release of all political prisoners in Swaziland and express our support for several movements campaigning for democracy in Swaziland, including the People’s United Democratic Movement, the Swaziland Youth Congress, the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland, South Africa Lawyers for Human Rights, Southern Africa Litigation Centre’s, and the Congress of South African Trade Union’s Global Coalition for the Release of Swazi Political and Civil Rights Prisoners.
May 19, 2015
4 May 2015
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17 April 2015
“We call for urgent action to end the xenophobic attacks in South Africa. The undersigned represent members of the North Eastern Workshop on Southern Africa, the African Studies Association, the African Studies Association Women’s Caucus, the Association of Concerned African Scholars, and the US-Africa Network. As scholars and activists, we know that this violence directed at “strangers” defies a long history of exchange, migration, and solidarity in the region—especially during the anti-apartheid movement. As friends and family members of southern Africans, we worry about the safety of many who are close to us. And as human beings, we are shocked and heartbroken to see this violence continue. We therefore urge President Zuma’s administration to bring this violence to an end, and to foster policy that prevents such violence in the future.”
ACTION: Please email Meghan Healy-Clancy at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, title, and affiliation to sign the petition.
8 April 2015
April 8, 2015
Tribute to Terence O. Ranger (29 November 1929 – 3 January 2015) View PDF:
An Association of Concerned Africa Scholars (ACAS) Tribute to Terence O. Ranger (29 November 1929 – 3 January 2015)
Compiled by Timothy Scarnecchia, Teresa Barnes, and Peter Limb
April 8, 2015
This special ACAS Review pays tribute to Terence O. Ranger who passed on January 3, 2015, just after midnight just past his 86th Birthday. We sent out a call for tributes in January. We also know that Terry’s students, as well as the Editorial Board of the Journal of Southern African Studies, and the members of the British Zimbabwe Society will be producing their own tributes. We at ACAS who worked and knew Professor Ranger wanted to add our small contribution by focusing here on his role as an activist scholar.
This Review includes tributes, recollections, and comments from many who knew and worked with Professor Ranger. It also includes a Bibliography of his publications, with permission from Weaver Press in Harare and, as appendices:
Appendix A: Terence Ranger, “Remarks at Bestowal of Distinguished Africanist Award from the African Studies Association (U.S.) (2009)
Appendix B: Terence Ranger’s 2008 expert testimony in an asylum case for a Zimbabwean.
18 January 2015
Terence Ranger was a giant of African Studies, active in support of African liberation, and long-term advocate for asylum rights. If you knew him, or were touched by his work, please consider sending us a reflection or remembrance; and by all means share this call with colleagues and faculty.
The Association of Concerned African Scholars (ACAS, founded in 1977 by scholars to organize scholarly analysis and action toward moving U.S. policy in directions more sympathetic to African interests), and the Zambezi African Studies Association, are putting together a tribute publication of ACAS Review and Blog celebrating the life and work of Terence O. Ranger who passed away peacefully on January 2, 2015. Teresa Barnes, Peter Limb, and Tim Scarnecchia would appreciate you sending your tribute/reflection piece/remembrance to us by January 30th or soon thereafter. Terry Ranger touched the lives and helped advance the careers of many students and scholars around the world, and his work contributed to the development of a counter-narrative to Eurocentric African studies, so we would like to hear from you and also ask that you share this invitation with others who you think would like to write something for this ACAS Review and blog. Please send your writing to either <email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>> or email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> by January 30th 2015
23 November 2014
The Association of Concerned African Scholars (ACAS) is honored and delighted to receive the 2014 African Studies Association Public Service Award, which was delivered at the ASA awards ceremony held on the evening of Saturday, November 22nd 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (see http://www.africanstudiesassociation.org/news/445-announcing-the-2013-african-studies-association-award-recipients-2 )
Co-chairs Terri Barnes and Peter Limb received the award on behalf of ACAS, and during the ceremony ACAS was described as the “conscience of ASA”.
We thank all ACAS members past and present who contributed to this recognition and trust it will be a spur to ongoing work for peace and social justice in Africa and the U.S., and relations between the peoples.
17 November 2014
Association of Concerned Africa Scholars (ACAS)
Membership Form 2014-2015
(ACAS will not share your personal information with any other organizations or persons)
Africa Activist Scholarly and Country Interests:___________________________________________
May we forward your scholarly and activist interests to the press as a contact?_______
Would you like to join an ACAS Task Force?
_________Militarization in Africa and AFRICOM
Please identify other ways you might like to be involved in ACAS:
_________Write an article in the ACAS Bulletin about__________________
_________Serve on the ACAS Board of Directors
ACAS Membership Status:
New member:______________ Renewal:___________________
Current ASA Member: Yes:_______ No:_______
Membership Fee: $10.00 per year (September-August)
Please return with a check payable to:
“Association of Concerned Africa Scholars” (not tax deductable)
Mail to: Michael Walker, ACAS Treasurer
538 Pacific Street, Apt 5-6
Brooklyn, NY 11217-2280
3 November 2014
ACAS Statement on US Reactions to the Outbreak of Ebola in West Africa
29 October, 2014
The Association of Concerned Africa Scholars (ACAS) urges that all Americans and their public representatives and organizations support the efforts to eradicate Ebola in the West African countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and adhere to scientific standards in addressing the threats of the spread of the disease in the US. Ebola is a highly infectious disease with a very particular footprint. We are currently seeing it cruelly ravage some of the poorest populations on Earth. In West Africa, estimates are that there has been a 70% fatality rate. However, Ebola is a public health emergency like other emergencies. It can be successfully combatted through basic, stringently observed public health safety measures, and the odds of survival of patients with Ebola can be greatly improved with thorough and compassionate medical care.
We also urge American public officials and private individuals to educate themselves about this disease in order not to fall prey to fear-mongering and the furthering of racist stereotyping. The US mass media too often portrays Ebola along the lines of a horror film rather than reporting on it soberly and accurately. Instead, we know that the US health system, while flawed, is perfectly able to treat and isolate any cases of Ebola that might come to our shores. The public health and hospital systems of West Africa are sadly, very weak, for a whole host of historical reasons. Even so, the compassion that is often shown by people there with very few resources puts the small-mindedness of many Americans to shame. We can learn valuable lessons from people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia about how to handle the emotional and physical stresses that are laid on individuals and communities when they are faced with a devastating viral episode like Ebola.
We deplore the ignorance and insensitivity that has led some Americans to try to bar people from any part of Africa from public spaces like schools and restaurants because of a supposition that all Africans are infected with Ebola.
Finally, we acknowledge and salute those medical personnel who have put themselves in harm’s way to work with West African governments, charities, churches and civil society organizations to address the Ebola outbreak. They should be treated with respect and dignity and their constitutional rights must be upheld upon their return to the US.
Association of Concerned Africa Scholars: http://concernedafricascholars.org/
6 October 2014
ACAS shares some diverse comments on the Ebola crisis:
13 January 2014
Current events in South Sudan are most complex and harrowing, with peace much needed. The articles below, two by ACAS members, provide a range of useful information and viewpoints to help understand and guide action:
The Political Struggle in South Sudan: Peace, Democracy and Reconstruction instead of war
HORACE G. CAMPBELL
CounterPunch, JANUARY 10-12, 2014
Has South Sudan passed the tipping point? No signs of a ceasefire as violence intensifies
Eric Reeves Pambazuka 2014-01-08
South Sudan: Reflections on Crisis
AfricaFocus Bulletin January 13, 2014