Posted on Leave a comment

Watch “Liberian Movie Up River 01 2” on Ninja

A comedy story about the Congo Old Lady and Her Children. They were the free slaves from America who brought about civilization to Liberia. This old lady is hilarius, she has all positions in the church, and Aunt Jennian doesn’t take nonsense from anybody. The dress code and the language, will bust your side out with laughter.

Posted on Leave a comment

Watch “Charles Taylor (2012) Pre-Sentence Closing Statement” on Ninja

Vignettes from the May 16, 2012 Pre-Sentencing Closing Statement of Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia, before the Special Tribunal for Sierra Leone …

Posted on Leave a comment

Nigeria’s Fulani men who get whipped to find a wife

Sharo is a traditional cultural practice where young Fulani men in Nigeria compete to find a wife. The participants are flogged with wooden sticks and canes to test their endurance.
But the practice has declined in recent years, with some Fulani men describing it as dangerous and forbidden in Islam.
The BBC’s Yusuf Yakasai travelled to Jigawa in Northern Nigeria where some Fulani clans are determined to keep the tradition alive.

Posted on Leave a comment

Call for Papers: “The Great Debates in Africana Religion”

The Journal of Africana Religions has announced a Call for Proposals on “The Great Debates in Africana Religious Studies.” The deadline for submission of proposals is February 15, 2019.

Description: What are the great debates in the academic study of Africana religions? The Journal of Africana Religions invites 150-word proposals for a special issue on the simmering, essential, and revelatory debates in our field. Such debates may be implicit or explicit. Prospective authors will define and analyze the debates that they think are worth exploring.

The modern European study of religion was born in the colonial and imperial encounters among Africana people, colonial officials, and imperial theorists such as E. B. Tylor, and Africana religions not only provided raw data for the making of religious studies but also constituted a discourse whose terms became essential to various modern fields of knowledge. Since then, debates about Africana religions have been essential to the modern humanities and social sciences and to their application beyond the academy. See, for example, the notable brouhaha between Melville J. Herskovits and E. Franklin Frazier on whether African-descended people in the Americas retained African cultural traits, which became important to public policy-making, national identity, and ethnic solidarity.

What twenty-first century debates are essential in the study of Africana religions? Illustrative questions might include:

  1. Are Africana religions an impediment or asset to social development, gender equity, and political liberation? Outline the major scholarly positions on this question.
  2. Does the study of Africana religions sometimes privilege Orisha devotion or other indigenous religions as authentically African, even as the vast majority of Africana peoples practice Christianity or Islam?
  3. What is the state of the field in understanding the concept of the Africana religious diaspora—how has this debate changed over time, what are its main arguments now, and where does the debate seem to be going?
  4. The field is often divided along disciplinary lines. What debates are explicit or implicit in theological, anthropological, sociological, historical, literary, and comparative religious accounts of Africana religions?
  5. What are the disagreements among scholars on the continent, in Europe, Asia, and the Americas, and how do geography and power shape the very definition of what counts as an academic argument?
  6. How have modernity, tradition, and primitivity functioned as complicated categories for Africana religious identity, experience, and scholarship? How has technology shaped Africana religious experience and the interpretation of Africana religious cultures?

Proposals are due on February 15, 2019 to Final essays of 5,000 words in length are due on August 15, 2019. All essays will be peer-reviewed. Questions? Email the journal or tweet @jafricanarelig.

For full Call for Papers, see

Posted on Leave a comment

The Monroe Doctrine

The Monroe Doctrine was a United States policy of opposing European colonialism in the Americas beginning in 1823. It stated that further efforts by European nations to take control of any independent state in North or South America would be viewed as “the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.” At the same time, the doctrine noted that the U.S. would recognize and not interfere with existing European colonies nor meddle in the internal concerns of European countries. The Doctrine was issued on December 2, 1823 at a time when nearly all Latin American colonies of Spain and Portugal had achieved, or were at the point of gaining, independence from the Portuguese and Spanish Empires.

President James Monroe first stated the doctrine during his seventh annual State of the Union Address to Congress. The term “Monroe Doctrine” itself was coined in 1850. By the end of the 19th century, Monroe’s declaration was seen as a defining moment in the foreign policy of the United States and one of its longest-standing tenets. It would be invoked by many U.S. statesmen and several U.S. presidents, including Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan. The intent and impact of the Monroe Doctrine persisted with only small variations for more than a century. Its stated objective was to free the newly independent colonies of Latin America from European intervention and avoid situations which could make the New World a battleground for the Old World powers, so that the U.S. could exert its own influence undisturbed. The doctrine asserted that the New World and the Old World were to remain distinctly separate spheres of influence, for they were composed of entirely separate and independent nations.

After 1898, Latin American lawyers and intellectuals reinterpreted the Monroe doctrine in terms of multilateralism and non-intervention. In 1933, under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the U.S. went along with the new reinterpretation, especially in terms of the Organization of American States.

The U.S. government feared the victorious European powers that emerged from the Congress of Vienna (1814–1815) would revive the monarchical government. France had already agreed to restore the Spanish monarchy in exchange for Cuba. As the revolutionary Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) ended, Prussia, Austria, and Russia formed the Holy Alliance to defend monarchism. In particular, the Holy Alliance authorized military incursions to re-establish Bourbonrule over Spain and its colonies, which were establishing their independence.

Great Britain shared the general objective of the Monroe Doctrine, albeit from an opposite standpoint and ultimate aim, and even wanted to declare a joint statement to keep other European powers from further colonizing the New World. The British Foreign Secretary George Canning wanted to keep the other European powers out of the New World fearing that its trade with the New World would be harmed if the other European powers further colonized it. In fact, for many years after the Monroe Doctrine took effect, Britain, through the Royal Navy, was the sole nation enforcing it, the U.S. lacking sufficient naval capability. Allowing Spain to re-establish control of its former colonies would have cut Great Britain off from its profitable trade with the region. For that reason, Canning proposed to the U.S. that they mutually declare and enforce a policy of separating the New World from the Old. The U.S. resisted a joint statement because of the recent memory of the War of 1812, leading to the Monroe administration’s unilateral statement.

However, the immediate provocation was the Russian Ukase of 1821 asserting rights to the Pacific Northwest and forbidding non-Russian ships from approaching the coast.


“The Monroe Doctrine (1823)”. Basic Readings in U.S. Democracy. United States Department of State. Archived
Herring, George C. (2008). From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1776. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195078220.