Welcome to a round-up of the latest additions to The Africanist.
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There are five articles.
The first is by Neil Singh and in Decolonising dermatology he writes about the fundamental need for black and brown skin to have a clearer points of reference which is not currently the case. He brings into sharp focus the fact that medicine is taught using only example of whiteness which can have huge impact where diagnosis relies on how skin appears in some illnesses. Without benchmarks or points of reference, this prejudice of using the global minority as the norm can render doctors impotent and confused.
The second article is by Mélina Valdelièvre on racism and mental health. Mélina as an Franco-Indian woman highlights the strain caused by micro-aggressions, stereotyping and the many social pressures that adversely affect the well being of ethnic minority groups. She shares her own experiences and draws on the examples of others and how for some groups their source of comfort or support may be distanced and as inaccessible as some of the services.
The third article is Elitist Britain 2019 by the Sutton Trust which outlines the educational background of Britain’s leading people. They find that this is filled with people educated in the independent and private sector. It shows how privilege and limitations on access means that many are prevented from ascending to positions of influence and leads to the stunting of social mobility.
The fourth article is the National Trust interim report about the connections between colonialism and properties in the National Trust, including links with historic slavery. The opening to the introduction of the report aptly describes its reasons behind acknowledging its slavery and colonial advantages, “Those histories are deeply interwoven into the material fabric of the British Isles; a significant number of the collections, houses, gardens and parklands in our care were created or remodelled as expressions of the taste and wealth, as well as power and privilege, that derived from colonial connections and in some cases from the trade in enslaved people. We believe that only by honestly and openly acknowledging and sharing those stories can we do justice to the true complexity of past, present and future, and the sometimes uncomfortable role that Britain, and Britons, have played in global history since the sixteenth century or even earlier.”
The fifth article is by Terence Trouillot about a young Ghanaian artist, Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe, at his debut American exhibition “Black Like Me,” which showed in Los Angeles. He paints Black figures in grey tones adorned with colourful fabrics and stylish clothing. His first encounters with art was through watching artists create large scale movie posters which clearly had a significant impact as his own style has evolved to become massive, striking and contemporary.
The new podcast is by Berkeley Talks, University of California, discussing why racial equity belongs in the study of economics. In this podcasts the panel of speakers consider the impact of race on economics where even ‘free markets’ have a racial loading dictated by the positions of decision makers and the system. They discuss how the foundation of economics theory are predetermined by historical assumptions and conditions.
The new directory entry is Brown Skin Matters, a website that aims to make up for the lack of reference photos of dermatological conditions on non-white skin. The website is extraordinary useful given that the global majority are not Caucasians with white skin and in many cases there is the potential for misdiagnosis. The website is a visual database and encourages user contribution.
- Articles – decolonising dermatology, racism and mental health, elitist Britain, National Trust, Otis Quaicoe
- Podcast – racial equity in economics
- Brown Skin Matters
Image – Young people at Elmina fishing harbour (Credit: Isaac Acheampong)