You are on page 1of 14

Africa Update Archives

Page 1 of 14

Vol. VI, Issue 1 (Winter 1998-99): African Writing Systems


Table of contents
Editorial: African Writing Systems by Dr. Gloria Emeagwali, Chief Editor Dr. Ayele Bekerie, Cornell University, African Writing Systems David S. Zerbe, Ayele Bekerie, Ethiopic, An African Writing System - a Review Dr. Ayele Bekerie, Cornell University, Rejoinder Dr. Haines Brown, History Dept., C.C.S.U., Africa and the Net Shauna Brown, CCSU Student, Hollywood's African-Americans

Editorial: African Writing Systems By Gloria Emeagwali - Chief Editor Vai, Bamum, Nsibi, Mande and Ajimi are significant West African writing systems of indigenous origin. In Northeast Africa, the now extinct ancient Egyptian writing systems coexisted with the Nubian Meroitic and Ethiopic writing systems. In this issue of Africa Update, Dr. Ayele Bekerie of Cornell University reflects on the latter writing system. He argues that there are fundamental connections between the spiritual beliefs, language and writing system of precolonial ancient Egypt This issue also contains a review of Ayele Bekerie's Ethiopic: An African System (Red Sea Press, 1997). The reviewer, David Zerbe, examines some of Bekerie's basic propositions in a provocative analysis. We asked Dr. bekerie to respond to Zerbe's critique and received a lucid and scholarly clarification on issues such as the syllabic nature of Ethiopic; distortions and misceptions in Ethiopian historiography; connections between the Puntites, ancient Egyptians and ancient Ethiopians; and the interconnections between the Agau language, Ge'ez, and Ethiopian writing systems in general. Bekerie's comments about the Puntites provide insights into the ethnic composition of ancient Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt. He points out that the Puntites were regarded by the Egyptians as having the same origins as themselves. Pharaoh Hatshepsut's diplomatic overturesto punt are cited.there is the consideration that the land of Punt should not be restricted to the domain of the Isaak clan of Somaliland, but includes also sections of the Ethiopian highlands. Bekerie identifies this region as lying between Suwakin in the North and the Cape of the Southeast. There is also,a clarification of the Kebra Nagast and its significance in Ethiopian history as well as its relevance to the Solomonic dynasty. Recent excavations by Boston University archeologists in conjunction with their Ethiopian counterparts illuminate various dimensions of ancient Ethiopia. Bekerie's research into the cultural and literary dimensions of Ethiopia's scripts are significant for ancient Africa in general and more specifically the history of writing and written documents in Northeast Africa. We have included in this issue another installment of Haines Brown's series on wireless digital communications in Africa. We have taken note of forthcoming conferences on Africa in Japan, Moscow, and Latvia, and included as well Shauna Brown's comments on Hollywood's African-Americans. We thank all the contributors to this issue.

file:///C:/Users/sis/My%20Books/Article%20on%20African%20History/African%20Writi... 8/20/2013

Spirituality is also the relationship between you and your ancestors. Your spirituality cannot be separated from your being.Rongo writing system. social order. There were many different writing systems in Africa. from Cretan to Meroitic. All words took a quadrangular form which some scholars call the square principle. Phonetic complements were monoliterals found in front of and/or behind multi-consonantal signs in order to provide clarity and also to complete the meaning of the word. It could be argued that the study of writing systems may provide a new approach to knowledge creations. such as history. The Quipus of the Incas of South America. philosophy. is a conventional and principled way of actualizing activity and thoughts. astronomy. The Meroitic writing system of the Kushites of the Sudan uses two or three dots as word separators. A writing system. psychology. the "spirit" returns to a higher being. then.. thereby suggesting a link between the two writing systems in the AbbayAtbara river complex. Spirituality is a way of life based on a society's belief systems and moral values as they relate to a higher being. Much of the texts written by Egyptian scribes were attached to an Egyptian spiritual belief system. The Egyptian Language The language consisted of approximately 121 bi-literals. a reflection of various philosophies [thought processes] found in African cultures and civilizations. theology. not the idea that God is just in everything. to an African mind is part of your spirituality. just like the extant Ethiopic writing system. The sentences were not written with one individual symbol after another. reveals layers of knowledge beyond language and linguistics. and utilizations of the ancient Egyptian writing system. and numbers. indeed. from Ethiopic to Vai. Cornell University Cultural Background of Writing Systems Writing could be simply defined as a representation of speech and thoughts through various forms of sound images or graphs. the Dravidian writing system of southern India also appears to share parallelism in shapes or sign structures with the Easter Island Rongo. It is our contention that writing systems are more than a technological tool to languages. Your ancestors then become your link with that higher being. The language was generally written from right to left except for occasional specific purposes. and various determinants and phonetic complements. Further. Close and careful examination of writing systems. Writing systems are not only facilitators of speech and communication. from Han'gul to Latin. perhaps suggesting historical continuity between South Asia and the Americas much earlier than the Columbus era. They normally repeated sounds already found in the word. show parallel features with some of the thought patterns. The Institute for the Study of African Writing Systems was established in order to systematically compile. Symbolism is a way of expressing that spirituality through individual aspects of your culture. 75 tri-literals. and interpret the various forms of writing in Africa. Language. commerce. such as philosophy. When a person dies. for instance. Special attention was given to the aesthetics of the language. and aesthetics. categorize. rich sources of human intellectual activities. organizations. but had no separate sound value. Egyptians believed that God is everything and everything is God as did many other Africans. and disseminations. such as languages. they are also tools in the creation and utilization of knowledge systems. Writing Systems are. analyze. The file:///C:/Users/sis/My%20Books/Article%20on%20African%20History/African%20Writi. and aesthetics.Africa Update Archives Page 2 of 14 Return to Table of Contents African Writing Systems By Ayele Bekerie. Therefore spiritual symbolism implies your relationship with a higher being and your ancestors who are parts of the higher being through the individual aspects of your culture in everyday life. The bi-literals were individual symbols which expressed two sounds and the tri-literals were individual symbols which expressed three sounds.. natural science. 8/20/2013 . organizations. Most of our understandings of writing systems are generally confined to linguistics and languages. the symbols were placed in an imaginary square and the upper ones took precedence over the lower. The writing systems were and still are.

today the liturgical writing system of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. syllography. is an endogenous creation. indigenous to Africa and not from South Arabia. The conceptual framework is based on "locational theory. and no mention that Puntite and Sabaean civilizations could have coexisted in the highlands of what is today Ethiopia. Further.. that both are indigenous to Africa. Tittering. has a total of 182 syllographs. 1997. Nor is there a discussion as to how other offshoots of the Ethiopic system of writing were established. from which the first language in Ethiopia formed was Ge'ez . and these are but two of the deficiencies in this text. he does not establish that the Puntite file:///C:/Users/sis/My%20Books/Article%20on%20African%20History/African%20Writi. Many of the determinants which were added to the words (sometimes more than one per word) did not seem to be relevant to the word's meaning to most European scholars. however." Ayele Bekerie postulates that the roots of the writing system of Ethiopic. To view the Ethiopic numeric system visit the following site: http://www. Ethiopic Writing System Ethiopic is an African Writing System designed as a meaningful and graphic representation of knowledge. The language had to be deciphered in two such as ideography. Ethiopic is a knowledge system because it is brilliantly organized to represent philosophical features. What is theorized by Bekerie is that there is an endogenous flavor regarding causality between the Ethiopic writing system and Ethiopian civilization itself.html Return to Table of Contents Ayele Bekerie. that this is in fact a synthesis of 19th century Eurocentric historiography. mnemonics. Zerbe As the title of the book suggests. which are arranged in seven columns. Besides secondary source information which shows commercial relations to have existed between Egypt and the "land of Punt" from 2743 BCE. 8/20/2013 . such as Tigre. in its classic state. The argument continues that Ethiopian civilization is a result of the migration of the Puntite peoples of Upper Egypt southward. cannot be understood without understanding African spirituality and African spirituality cannot be understood without understanding Medu Netcher. each column containing 26 syllographs.95 paperback) Reviewed by David S. or Amharic. The System. astronomy. Ayele Bekerie commences with the first of a four chapter text. Pp.Africa Update Archives Page 3 of 14 determinants were symbols which had no sound value and were used at the end of the word to decipher the meaning between two words with the same symbols. "Medu Netcher" [Mdw Ntr]. and according to some historians was transplanted through commercial activity across the Red Sea to what is today the Eritrean coast and Ethiopian hiqhlands. Ethiopic. NJ: The Red Sea Press. Bekerie argues that the genesis of Ethiopian civilization itself is not of Semitic origin. $18. there is no primary-source data. is never articulated in the text. Ayele Bekerie in fact refutes the South Arabia historiographic paradigm. but I will show that there is a connection between the language and the spiritual beliefs of the people who spoke the language. This fact. It is created to holistically symbolize and locate the cultural and historical parameters of the Ethiopian people. as a system of knowledge. first it had to be transliterated from symbols to orthographic text and then translated into English. which emanated in South Arabia from the area of what today comprises the state of Yemen. and is therefore indigenous to Africa. which hypothesizes that the roots of Ethiopic as a writing system are contained in the Sabaean civilization's writing system. The introduction establishes the conceptual framework of the study. i.. which still remains in place today. He attempts to examine Ethiopian historiography in the context of Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula. and that the Ethiopic writing system is an effect of the establishment of an indigenous Ethiopian civilization. An African Writing System (Trenton.cornell. It is a component of the African Knowledge Systems and one of the signal contributions made by Africans to world history and cultures. The determinant normally came at the end of the word and demonstrated the meaning of the entire word. From this theoretical model. and grammatology. These symbols.library. no linkage to the claim of Puntites establishing themselves in what is today Ethiopia. this study examines the origins and history of the system of writing called Ethiopic.e. 176.

Ethiopic. Somali. but cannot explain why there is a system of hieroglyphics in Egypt and not in Ethiopia. thereby directly relating Ethiopia to King Solomon. and Amharic. Though he does not address the relationship between linguistics and the philosophical knowledge directly. Tigrinya. As such. It is commonly held to be the case in the historiography of the Horn of Africa that the Puntites today are the ancestors of peoples from the Isaak clan in what is now the de facto state of Somaliland. 8/20/2013 . many of which are not addressed here. He establishes this discussion on the premise that the writing system of Ethiopic is actually a philosophy. Bekerie also attempts to link the writing systems of Ethiopic and ancient Egypt. and Tigre directly correlate with the Ethiopic writing system. literary. such as Tigre. Bekerie does not effectively argue that Ethiopic as a writing system had its origins with the Puntites. and even the Maji linguistics are not of Ethiopic origin. Afar. Though thoroughly demonstrating that through Ethiopic there has been a rich cultural. Prof. To end the tome. from 1991 to the present. and religious tradition among the languages associated with Ge'ez. Nilo-Saharan. and as such the third and fourth chapters carry the strongest arguments of the study. such as beliefs and concepts. Omotic. a system imposed on the predominantly Muslim Somali and Oromo peoples through the system of imperialist Amhara personal rule from the 19th century. Implicit in Ayele Bekerie's study of Ethiopic is the historiographic misconception that the Ethiopic writing system itself is representative of all Ethiopians. Tigrinya. Ayele Bekerie demonstrates the significance of Ethiopic as a writing system through Abyssinian literature. As such. Gojjame. and consequently he fails to establish a solid link between the Ethiopic and ancient Egyptian writing systems. however. David Zerbe is a graduate of Central Connecticut State University and the American University at Cairo. has ended with the EPRDF government in Ethiopia. he establishes that The Ethiopic Book of Henok. Amharic. Regarding Egypt. is an African writing system by virtue of the fact that Ge'ez. and Omotic linguistic origin. There is only cursory mention of the relationship between Coptic and Ge'ez scriptures. and Amhara ethnicities. Throughout chapters three and four.. whether the roots are indigenous to the Puntites and spread to the Ethiopian highlands. such as the relationship between a writing system and a philosophical system of knowledge. because the ideographical iconography of the Ethiopic alphabet is conducive in generating knowledge. but this pertinent information is not included in the text. It does show. or whether Ethiopic as a writing system originated from South Arabia in the BC era and became extinct there. for the aforementioned ethnic groups combined comprise over 50% of present-day Ethiopia's population. why and how 19th century archaeologists discovered evidence linking Ethiopic to Semitic origins in South Arabia. the author poses questions for his next work. This tale of Solomon and Sheba helped lead to the consolidation of the Solomonic dynasty in Ethiopia until 1974 by claiming that Menelik I was the son of the two. the greatest strength of Ayele Bekerie's argument is also its greatest weakness. Return to Table of Contents Rejoinder file:///C:/Users/sis/My%20Books/Article%20on%20African%20History/African%20Writi. if assumed the Puntites are the original inhabitants of the Ethiopian highlands. that the Ethiopic writing system in the form of Ge'ez has produced a number of culturally significant works. The literary and historiographic magnitude of this on the system of personal rule in Ethiopia is neglected. Paradoxically perhaps. even if not Semitic in origin. but of African origin. The text entitled Ethiopic decisively demonstrates that there is a great literary tradition in Ethiopia. This book was written in the time of Amda-Tsion in the 14th century. Ayele Bekerie concludes the text with the convincing argument that Ethiopic. Tigrean.. this is only true among the Christian highlanders of Tigrinyan. Even without any evidence or with scant evidence. is not only a religious text but a philosophical one as well. the Ethiopic writing system. respectively. They are of Cushitic. other than clinging to the notion that Ethiopic is not Semitic in origin. which is a fundamental weakness in the argument. or the process of extinction and resurrection of writing systems. or Nilo-Saharan origin. for the Oromo. such as the Book of Enoch. Ayele Bekerie is bent on arguing that Ethiopic is not of Semitic origin. they do not conform to this linguistic and cultural model. certainly is not of Cushitic. written in the BC era in Ge'ez.Africa Update Archives Page 4 of 14 peoples are the original inhabitants of Ethiopia and. but does come to the conclusion in the second chapter that the origins of Ethiopic and of Ethiopian civilization itself are to date still indeterminable. Ayele Bekerie moves forward and discusses in some detail the principles of Ethiopic as a writing system. and the legendary epic tale Kebra Nagast.

I commend Mr. "The Puntites were regarded by the Egyptians as having the same origin as the Egyptian themselves. All people make history. there was a reference to the Land of the Punt." (p. the cultures. the origin of the Ethiopian civilization. primarily from within and to present an interpretation of the history. It seems to me that apart from presenting a general description of the format of the text as well as some critical and valuable comments. roughly between today's Red Sea port of Suwakin in the north. it is a syllabic writing system. The coastal region of northeast Africa. Zerbe referred to the Ethiopic writing system as an "alphabet. All people are of history. True to the old school. Zayed perhaps did not know that round seats with three legs are also called BARCHUMA in the Amharic and Oromo languages of Ethiopia. 53) At least from the time of the V Dynasty." The Ethiopic is not an alphabet. the land of Punt cannot be restricted to the "Isaak clan" in Somaliland. I suggested a term "syllography" in order to reflect the syllabic feature of the system." The "migration of the Puntite peoples of Upper Egypt" was not my idea. and experiences of the people of Ethiopia." (p. its classical language are presumed to have external origin.. Amharic is no longer the imperial language. Zerbe. The purpose of my study was to investigate the historical data regarding the Ethiopic writing system. 8/20/2013 . just to cite one example. The review seems to concentrate on paradigmatic issues that are addressed from the perspective of the old school. History records the material and spiritual cultures of all peoples. the land of spices. A history of a people cannot begin from outside or by outsiders. In other words. differ little from the Egyptians' physical attributes. Mr. Punt is a term the Ancient Egyptians reportedly used for the people of the south. thereby continuing to pursue a racist divisive theory. he cited the similarity of the term BARCHI or headdress both in Somali and ancient Egyptian language. . It would not be the history of the Ethiopian people. and is therefore indigenous to Africa. Zerbe for taking his time to review the book. Besides the diverse ethnolinguistic groups in Ethiopia. as their official language together with FIDEL. According to this school. its writing system. First of all. and the Cape of Guardafui in the southeast. they do have constitutional rights to use their languages as major modes of communication and commerce in their geocultural regions. the reviewer continued to divide the Ethiopian people by identifying the Ethiopic writing system with the "Semitic" people of the northern part of Ethiopia. chose Amharic after 1991. Ethiopian civilization is a result of the migration of the Puntite peoples of Upper Egypt southward. based on studies made. As a matter of fact. All Godly fragrant woods of God's land was presented by the Queen to Amon. I wonder how such a critical distinction ended up being overlooked by the reviewer. The physical characteristics of the Punts from the wall-picture of Deir el-Bahri. fully cognizant of the languages. the review does not thoroughly interrogate the "history and principles" of the Ethiopic writing system. was known to the ancient Egyptians as the land of the Punt. In one of his critical comments. This point became apparent to me when Mr.53) The Godly fragrant woods. . Cornell University Thank you for inviting me to send you a rejoinder to the review of my book by David S. the people of the south. Contrary to the claim that "imperial Amhara's imposition" of their language and FIDEL writing system (a modified and expanded Ethiopic writing system developed for Amharic) on non-Amharas. Zerbe wrote: ". Zayed (1990) attempted to limit the geographical locale of Punts to Somaliland. In Chapter 1 on "The Arabian Peninsula in Ethiopian Historiography. In other words. which is the central defining theme of the book.38) This is the principle that I followed throughout the text. with its varying and vast ecological zones as multidirectional and the initial migration was probably from the south to Upper and Lower Egypt.Africa Update Archives Page 5 of 14 From: Ayele Bekerie. but the history of South Arabians in Ethiopia. between the so-called Semitic and Hamitic peoples of the Horn of Africa. such as incense woods are found on the highlands of Ethiopia. He was accepted by the Punt king Perehu.. in the African context. "In the XVIII Dynasty." (p. I see migration. and deities." I clearly stated my positions: "The most critical question that must be raised is: What is the logic of beginning a history of a people from a source other than their own? Are Ethiopians incapable of making their own history? A history of a people that begins with an external source is quite problematic. Pharaoh Hatshepsut sent Nehasi to Punt with five ships. incense. file:///C:/Users/sis/My%20Books/Article%20on%20African%20History/African%20Writi. it is a language the majority of the Ethiopian people opted to have as their official language.

the epic tale of KEBRA NAGAST (THE GLORY OF KINGS) "was written in the time of Amda-Tsion [1312. Ethiopic is of African origin. GOJJAME. as it is stated at the outset. Mr. To conclude: The Ethiopic writing system's elaborate and complex knowledge properties. Gojjam is one of the most important centers of Ge'ez and Amharic literary traditions and scholarship. one of the most ancient peoples of Ethiopia. Fidel and Amharic language are now widely used by choice among the peoples of southern Ethiopia. and it provides a useful context for a discussion of newer higher frequency communications. and Omotic linguistic groupings!!" The Oromos have opted to use Latin script for Orominya and the script is widely used in the Oromo region. whose indigenous languages include "Cushitic." (Emphasis added. with a brief discussion of high-frequency radio. Zerbe was quick to point out my "failure to establish a solid link between the Ethiopic and Ancient Egyptian writing systems.Africa Update Archives Page 6 of 14 Regarding the question of pictographic writing systems. and Yemenites. I am not sure if Mr. Moreover. 82-96. Mr. such as philosophy. Nubians. for the Oromo. Zerbe. 8/20/2013 . the Oromo language could have found a sounder script in the Ethiopic system for the system has already addressed the question of explosive and implosive sounds that are found in most Ethiopian languages. 85. The book is not about Fidel or the Amharic writing system. The mythology of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon should be seen in the context of cultural exchanges. Romans. Zerbe wrote: "Implicit in Ayele Bekerie's study of Ethiopic is the historiographic misconception that the Ethiopic writing system itself is representative of all Ethiopians.. which refers to frequencies below 30 MHz ("short. has the advantage of reaching a great distance with little power and of being independent of land lines and expensive satellites. As to the Gojjames. the system is truly self-sustaining and autonomous production." While it is true that comparable pictographic writing system to Egyptian hieroglyphics are not yet found in Ethiopia. and aesthetics." with its capital moving out of Aksum to Shoa. linguistics. Emeritus This article continues the series on wireless digital (vs.1342A. These relations partly involved significant cultural exchanges and adoptions. make the external hypothesis very difficult to accept.D.wave"). which is a fundamental weakness in the argument. All the components of the knowledge were produced within the country -from goat skins to inks to ideas. Afar. including Orominya and Amarinya (pp. Ethiopic refers to the Ge'ez writing system." King Amde-Tsion was not the "restorer' of the Solomonic line of rule. Zerbe has the information right. Although not likely to be the principal mode in the future. As I stated in the book. (Please see the part on the "Description and Analysis of the Major Properties of the System. HF radio may continue to have some use. A computer coupled with a HF radio transceiver becomes a node in a wireless network able to cover great file:///C:/Users/sis/My%20Books/Article%20on%20African%20History/African%20Writi. The Agau language is believed to be older than Ge'ez and yet it contributed quite significantly to the development of both Ge'ez and Amharic languages. Egyptians. CCSU .. analog voice) telecommunications in Africa that began in the summer issue of Africa Update.) According to Mr. A quick glance of Table 21 (Major Centers of Quine [Poetry]) would have prevented the hasty and wrongful generalization. Professor Ayele Bekerie is in the African Studies Program at Cornell University Return to Table of Contents Africa and the Net By Haines Brown. including the Israelites. Somali. Saint Takla Haymanot in the reign of Yekuno Amlak (1268-1283) is recognized in Ethiopian history with gratitude and reverence as the "restorer of the Solomonic line of rule. Gojjam is also home to the Agaus. in the central part of present day Ethiopia. and the arduous processes associated with the creation and perfection of a writing system. pp. the Ethiopic writing system definitely displays pictographic and ideographic properties. It is important to note here that Ethiopians as sovereign and free people had cultural and economic relations with various peoples and states of the ancient as well as medieval world. Syrians.) First of all. In his concluding paragraph. Nilo-Saharan. which are indigenous only in Ethiopia. particularly Table 13 on p. and even the Maji linguistics are not of Ethiopic origin. Finally. HF (high frequency) radio.94-96).] in the 14th century.

Bushnet is the best known of them. in each of these movies his characters were inscribed with assimilist aspirations and middle-class values. By techniques such as PACTOR. and tough guys. WFP. Such a network of HF client stations is able to transmit data transmission at 1200 or 2400 baud. HF radio data transmission is not used for much else. HF wireless networks have two major handicaps which limit their use. In fact the charge reduces demand well below the point at which bandwidth saturation becomes a danger. Movies during the 1970's glorified African. and this means the price is artificially high and the system can't take off. The movie Hallelujah was released in 1929. Halleujah had an all Black cast but suggested that African-Americans should avoid urban. African-Americans were shown as liars. Success file:///C:/Users/sis/My%20Books/Article%20on%20African%20History/African%20Writi. To reduce a potential saturation of existing bandwidth. There are at least eight current projects using this means: Bushnet. Such a wireless transmission of data has long been investigated by radio amateurs. In Gone with the Wind. which might be acceptable to major urban institutions. and so while e-mail by itself is perhaps affordable for some. the industry did not present African American cultural themes or present authentic Black characters. perhaps in a future article. Without question it has remained the most vicious antiAfrican American film that has ever appeared on the American screen. violent black women and men. Superfly. drug dealers. and thanks to their effort the technology is mature. By the late 1940's. HF equipment is expensive. but still lacked any depth and substance apart from values associated with integration. In movies such as Imitation of Life and She done him wrong. in fact it is not. Black images were less demeaning than earlier stereotypes.valets. During World War II. in some places there are exorbitant customs duties on radio equipment.Americans as pimps. modern living and remain in rural America. In the Heat of the Night and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner were some of the relevant movies. devoted field hands and rapists. It opted for black images that stressed assimilationist values. Furthermore. While 1200 baud might suffice for e-mail. with automatic error correction. MAF. This set off a wave of films in which blacks were butlers. the black domestic servant was added. Put simply. Lawrence Reddick noted nineteen basic stereotypes of Blacks in American society. and so the major use for HF wireless networks is as an alternative to surface mail and telephone.. all of which he said "supplement each other." The Birth of a Nation was released on March 3. A radio station (not including the computer) costs $7000. and the suggestion that tax-free NGOs are the answer has raised the objection that this implies monopoly pricing and control by well-fed bureaucrats. A Raisin in the Sun. The Defiant ones. No Way Out. DTS. though they are sometimes mutually contradictory. a charge is imposed based on volume (Kbytes sent rather than time on the air) that aims to reduce demand to the point that the quality of service (no delayed or dropped IP packets) remains satisfactory. Movies such as Shaft. and IFRC/UNHCR. This reliance on market forces means that high urban demand forces rural users to pay for access and in effect subsidize the more affluent users in cities. a "modem" converts the digital language of computers into an analog form that can be transmitted by FM radio. Sidney Poitier rose to celebrity status at this period. It depicted Black men after the Civil War as beasts. Louise Beavers found frequent work as the loyal maid. 1915. but hardly to rural areas.Africa Update Archives Page 7 of 14 distances. the computer's ASCII data bits are placed into "packets" with a coded address that enables them to be forwarded automatically from one network node (transceiver) to another. WaveMail-Shumperlin. By the depression decade. it is not good for much else. An important one is their slow speed of data transmission. and it would be worthwhile to describe its services. 8/20/2013 . It was another turning point in American film. Further.. These data packets are carried by an e-mail protocol such as SMTP or UUCP. Another serious limitation is that a HF data network is expensive. arrogant. lustful and villainous. While the air through which the radio waves travel would seem to be free. DHA/OCHA Geneva. gang members. Return to Table of Contents Hollywood's African-Americans by Shauna Brown (Hist 497: African History Through Film) As early as 1902 films were being made which were reproductions of Black stereotypes popularized in American life and arts. Coffy and others featured aggressive. cooks and domestics.

Africa and CIS. Eddie Murphy represented a loose. He was accepted by the audience because he really did not threaten Whites and their feelings of superiority. He played the part of a Black man who was literally bought as a play thing for a spoilt white child. In the 1990's images have moved into two directions with performers like Denzel Washington. Overseas scholars are welcome to present papers on any subject related to African studies. By the mid to late 1970's. Section 4: Africa and CIS in World Energy and Natural-resource Economy of the 21st Century. Institute for African Studies. Professor Jiro TANAKA. Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor played a large part in film in the next decade. Return to Table of Contents 36th Annual Conference of the Japan Association for African Studies The 36th annual conference of the Japan Association for African Studies will be held on May 29th and 30th. This year's host will be Kyoto University's Center for African Area Studies. 1999 The Scientific Council on Problems of African Countries. even if they do not choose to present>. 28-30 September. jivey. There is more evidence of inter-racial male though. Kyoto university is one of Japan's oldest and most prestigious universities and should host an exceptionally fine conference. Section 8: Southern Africa Section 9: Men. Richard Pryor acted in The Visiting scholars are also welcome to attend and meet their Japanese counterparts. where Damon Wayans plays the sidekick of Bruce Willis. close to vulgar Black man. For more information contact the conference organizing committee chair. Seen by Historians. with Blacks remaining as supporting roles as in The Last Boyscout. and Culture at Social Turning-points Section> or visit the Kyoto University Center for African Area Studies website at <http://jambo. Contradiction of sociopolitical modernization Section 3: Middle East and North Africa Islam and Reforms in Transitional Society. Return to Table of Contents Arica at the Threshold of the New M illennium 8th conference of Africanists. African-Americans had disappeared from the vast majority of Hollywood films. Kyoto is a particularly attractive venue for the conference. Women and Children in Africa: New Images and Roles career as one of political cultures factors.. being one of the world's most beautiful cities and a major cultural and historical center. We have a movement of African American filmmakers creating a new kind of cinema and now becoming part of the commercial mainstream. Russian Academy of Sciences and Russian Association of Africanists have come to the decision to convene the Eighth All-Russia Conference of Africanists on the subject "Africa on the Threshold of the New Millennium" on September 2830. Africa Towards the End of 20th century.They appeared as an afterthought. Section 10: Literature Studies file:///C:/Users/sis/My%20Books/Article%20on%20African%20History/African%20Writi. 8/20/2013 . Black women rarely had a chance to play important roles. 1984. Proposals for presentations should be sent to the organizing committee before February 26. a Comparative Analysis. <JAAS99@jambo. 1999. In 1982. Section 5.. African Economy: Past Lessons and Future Hopes Section 2.Africa Update Archives Page 8 of 14 was confined within ghetto the only center in Japan devoted exclusively to the study of Africa. often ended up playing exotics: Grace Jones as a Sepia Dragon lady in such films as Conan the Destroyer. Wesley Snipes and Whoopi Goldberg taking on leading roles. Section 6: Personality. M oscow. Accomodating servant figures still show up. 1999 in Kyoto. During three days besides two plenary sessions the work of the conference is planned in the following sections: Section 1.

e-mail mail oke@va. North and South at the threshold of a New Era The working language is Russian. are many African states keen to achieve an "Associate" status with the EEC. Baiba Traidase. Please address all inquires to Conference Organizing Committee Institute for African Studies 30/1 Spiridonovka str. however simultaneous translations into English and French will be organized during the plenary sessions and the relevant assistance will be provided in the sections. Norway. so too. Apart from the travel and accommodation expenses the participants are expected to pay a USD 200 fee. Latvia Return to Table of Contents file:///C:/Users/sis/My%20Books/Article%20on%20African%20History/African%20Writi. Denmark and Finland. Africa in the Global Community. to debate. 8/20/2013 .Africa Update Archives Page 9 of 14 Section 11: Linguistics Section 12. get in touch with the Chair of the Organising Committeee. 290 2752.. Relations between Russia and Africa.. Moscow. Russia Tel: 7 (095) 290 6385. This includes copies of abstracts and a report of proceedings in English as well as translation of a participant's abstracts into Russian. This leaves all the academic and potentials between Africa and the Baltic states totally untouched and Return to Table of Contents AFRI CA-BALTI C CONFERENCE (ABC) . Latvia with the aim of exploring academic/business interests between Africa and the Baltic states. The conference will take place at the IAS. explore and build on activities of mutual interests to the citizens of Africa and Eastern Europe. in the area of comparative studies. 103001.VALM I ERA M AY 29 1999 A one-day conference is being organised under the auspices of Vidzeme University College Valmiera. Secretary-External ABC Vidzeme University College Terbatas iela 10 Valmiera. Fax: 7 (095) 202-07-86 E-mail: dir@inafr. For more information. The Baltic states are keen to join the EEC. it is vitally important to open up dialogue between the regions in the field of business and other economic activity. The conference is targeted towards Africa and the Baltic states of Sweden.msk. Furthermore. Our objective is to establish dialogue first within the academia. Section 13. Our primary aim is to help bring people together in a formal gathering. ou can write to Ms.

Africa Update Archives Page 10 of 14 file:///C:/Users/sis/My%20Books/Article%20on%20African%20History/African%20Writi... 8/20/2013 .

.. 8/20/2013 .Africa Update Archives Page 11 of 14 file:///C:/Users/sis/My%20Books/Article%20on%20African%20History/African%20Writi.

Africa Update Archives Page 12 of 14 file:///C:/Users/sis/My%20Books/Article%20on%20African%20History/African%20Writi.. 8/20/2013 ..

..Africa Update Archives Page 13 of 14 file:///C:/Users/sis/My%20Books/Article%20on%20African%20History/African%20Writi. 8/20/2013 .

Africa Update Archives Page 14 of 14 file:///C:/Users/sis/My%20Books/Article%20on%20African%20History/African%20Writi. 8/20/2013 ...