The Africanist is a virtual library with a focus on Africa and the people of African descent. It is a gateway for those who want to learn more about Africa and its descendants across the world through shared links and signposts.
It is remarkable that even today, many people in the Western hemisphere still speak about Africa as if it is a country rather than a continent of many nations. There is a general disregard and downplaying of the humanity of its people, and of the contributions of Black people throughout time - both in Africa and as Africans who have migrated by force or by free will.
For generations, people educated and living in the UK have been encouraged to believe that Africa only exists in the context of colonisation and very little is positively attributed to Black people (with the exception of a few American Civil Rights activists). Sometimes there is little opportunity to challenge or to re-evaluate what seem to be concrete and credible ideas, yet the need to contradict the pre-existing narrative became the impetus for our first project 'African Stories in Hull and East Yorkshire'; a challenge to perceived wisdom.
It is a fact that Africans have a presence in Europe that precedes the slave trade. It is also a fact that Africa as a continent has a history beyond what is readily acknowledged. The dismissal of Africa and Africans is significant in how they are positioned in our consciousnesses.
The fractured nature in how African history is recounted and the reluctance to acknowledge wider contemporary issues within the Black diaspora has led to the creation of The Africanist.
This space draws readers attention to articles, books, websites and news pages connected to the African diaspora, and Africa past and present.
We invite you to get in touch with more suggestions of links that inform.