African Awakening

African Awakening

The Emerging Revolutions
Edited by Firoze Manji, Sokari Ekine

May 16, 2012
The editors assembled 32 essays, some of which were previously published as summaries of events in Pambazuka News in 2011, around uprisings and revolutions that took place in Africa since 2011. Although popularly referred to as the "Arab spring," the 2011 uprisings were not confined to the Arab-speaking world. There have also been protests, strikes and other actions -- many of which were brutally suppressed -- in Western Sahara, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Gabon, Sudan, Mauritania, Morocco, Madagascar, Mozambique, Algeria, Benin, Cameroon, Djibouti, Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Botswana, Namibia, Uganda, Kenya, Swaziland, South Africa, Malawi, and Uganda. Whether large or small scale, all these are manifestations of an underlying mood of discontent and disenchantment with the social and political order. According to Manji, “we are witnessing not so much an Arab spring as an African awakening” (p. 3).

- Karen Ferreira-Meyers, Interface
Jun 7, 2012
2011 saw the emergence of powerful new movements stretching from Wisconsin to Egypt, from Chile to Greece. It was the year of Occupations as public spaces were taken over by activists beginning with Tahrir Square in Egypt and eventually moving on to Wall Street, Oakland and hundreds of other locales worldwide, including several unsuccessful attempts in South Africa. Conspicuously absent from the renewed and resurgent discourse amongst anti-capitalist forces and the popular imagination was sub-Saharan Africa, and by this I mean "black Africa," the Africa of the eternal cycle of dictators, corruption, famine, “bad governance” and debt. African Awakenings: The Emerging Revolutions ambitiously sets out to remedy this and place the host of new movements arising across the continent in a singular socio-political context. This ambition importantly matches one of the more impressive features of the movements of 2011, in the form of the growth of a new internationalism as statements of solidarity and support were transmitted from the occupations of Wall Street to Tahrir Square and activists have begun to share tactics and experiences in what is increasingly being perceived as a global struggle, emerging from specifically local contexts.

These impressive essays, highlighting unreported struggles for empowerment and democracy across Africa, challenge you to look beyond the headlines – a political primer on 21st century Africa.
- Walter Turner, author, professor and presenter of the Pacifica radio programme 'Africa Today'

WL Review
- WL Review
A fine collection of insurgent voices and analyses from a continental rebellion.
- Raj Patel, award-winning writer, activist and academic

Digging in and gathering momentum – from Algiers to Durban to Wall Street. From African activist-scholars, an indispensable guide to the dynamics and internal workings of this tidal-wave moment in Africa's history.
- Shailja Patel, poet, playwright and activist

What is striking is the analysis of the emerging revolutions and how they display the reformulating of imperialist plans towards the African and Arab peoples.
- Helmi Sharawy, former director, African Arab Research Centre, Cairo

African Awakening is a book anyone concerned with Africa's future and contribution to world revolution must read. Rarely has a book brought together so many outstanding scholars and provided such an in-depth analysis of Africa’s political reality.
- Sylvia Federici, Silvia Federici, Professor Emerita, Hofstra University.

African Awakening transforms the reality of the 'Arab Spring' into a North African-initiated rising of the dispossessed. The excitement contained in these writings reflects the excitement and challenge of the massive movements for democracy, sovereignty, and social transformation that the world became aware of with the Tunisian Revolution, but only associated with North Africa and the Middle East. African Awakening expands the scope and is a collection that will leave you both energized and pensive.
- Bill Fletcher, Jr., co-author of Solidarity Divided, co-founder of the Black Radical Congress.

A timely and readable book about current movements for change in Africa and what to expect in the coming decade. African Awakening takes a refreshingly original look at the continent that has experienced radical changes in the past few years. This book is especially recommended reading to US activists looking to engage with Africa, to connect the dots of the past with positive outlooks for the future.
- Nunu Kidane, Priority Africa Network