Jan 07 2015

An African Perspective on Racial Justice in the US

Feature Stories,Featured Book | Published 7 Jan 2015, 10:05 am | Comments Off on An African Perspective on Racial Justice in the US -

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The United States is facing its biggest domestic challenge in recent years with the organized and sustained activism by Black Americans against police violence and institutional racism. Every day there is either news of shootings of unarmed African Americans by police, or reports of sustained activism against it. How does all this appear to the rest of the world?

Alain Mabanckou, author and academic, joins us now to offer a small glimpse of how he, as an African, views today’s racial struggles in the US. Mabanckou is from Congo-Brazzaville, and teachers French Literature at UCLA. His new book, just out in December, is an unconventional and lyrical biography of the iconic civil rights era writer and activist, James Baldwin. In Letter to Jimmy he writes, “America preaches freedom, railing against countries the world over for their barbarianism, while unable to fight against the most flagrant civil rights abuses within its own borders.”

In the book, written literally as a personal letter to James Baldwin, Mabanckou touches often on the period in US history with most parallels to today’s turmoil – the historic black struggle for freedom and civil rights.

GUEST: Alain Mabanckou, author of Letter to Jimmy, teaches French Literature at UCLA, originally from Congo-Brazzaville. His earlier books include Broken Glass and Memoirs of a Porcupine.

For more information, visit alainmabanckou.net, @amabanckou

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