Africa After Fifty Years: Retrospections and Reflections

edited by Toyin Falola, Mauric Amutabi and Sylvester Gundon


By the end of the 1960s most African countries gained political independence. The new corps of leadership envisioned not only a politically stable continent; they also imagined a more cohesive Africa, with bubbly economies driven by the continent’s enormous natural and human resources. Approximately fifty years after independence this hope of a politically stable, integrated, and economically thriving Africa has remained elusive for most African countries. African economies remained undiversified with limited capacities for industrialization and economic development. African economies remained tied to western European counties and the United States of America. At the center of the process of configuration and reconfiguration of the continent is the unchanging plight of the ordinary citizens who incessantly remained pawns in the hands of both foreign and indigenous political schemers. The set of essays in Africa After Fifty Years address a wide range of issues in the political and socio-economic development of post-colonial Africa as they interacted among themselves and with the rest of the world. The interdisciplinary conversations are intended to provide useful insights to scholars and policy makers of the continuing challenges and opportunities for Africa’s political stability and economic growth.

africa, books

Women, Gender, And Sexualities in Africa

edited by Toyin Falola, Roy Doron, and Okpeh O. Okpeh

women gender and sexualities in africa

This book is a collection of significant analytical and critical writings on how the structures of power have exerted systematic governance over women. Women, Gender, and Sexualities in Africa also addresses how the rhetorical devices of tradition and modernity have played important roles in the control and appropriation of African women's bodies. The chapters draw on history, literature, political science, journalism, sociology, comparative studies, and women and gender studies to offer multidisciplinary perspectives from which to understand the diversity of women's experiences, gender issues, and sexualities as they intersect with class, race, ethnicity, and nationality. This volume not only shows how the macro-narratives of colonialism and post-colonialism provide frameworks for understanding the micro-narratives of empowerment and disempowerment of women, but also considers resistance strategies women have used to guard against the subjugation of their bodies and sexualities.

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Warfare, Ethnicity and National Identity in Nigeria

edited by Toyin Falola, Roy Doron, and Okpeh O. Okpeh

book Warfare, Ethnicity and National Identity in Nigeria

This volume is set in the complex nexus between warfare, ethnicity and national identity in Africa. Analyzing the history of this connection, its basis and dynamics from the pre-colonial period, the book shows how conflicts shaped the Nigerian societies. It also interrogates the sense in which the failures of the post-colonial African state encourage ethnicity, and demonstrates how and why this development results in conflicts and insurgency wars. It bears relevance in its specific focus on the juxtaposition between pre-colonial and post-colonial warfares, and in particular, its analysis of the intersections between contested identities, the crisis of the post-colonial state and resulting break down of law and order. Using the example of Nigeria, the volume shows how the complexities and dynamics of nation building pose enormous challenge to modern African nations, and proposes the way forward.

The Power of Gender and the Gender of Power: Women’s Labor, Rights, and Responsibilities in Africa

edited by Toyin Falola


This volume focuses on the intersections of gender and power in Africa, the historical roots of inequality as experienced by women and social institutions that reinforce social hierarchies and distribute power unevenly within the social, economic, religious and political spheres during the 19th and 20th centuries. Case studies address the complexities and state of gender relations, gender workings across disciplines, and, women s labor, rights and responsibilities. Based on rich and wide-ranging research and data, the volume features both theoretical and empirical essays that explain the relevance of gender as a category of analysis. Contributors to this volume are from diverse academic disciplines and backgrounds, a diversity that lends a special uniqueness and creates a space for collaborative discussions. In some ways, the essays subvert conventional boundaries of scholarship about gender, which have tended to primarily focus on female spaces as separate from the larger social, political, and economic matrices. The essays represent a cross section of intellectual thought, and cover a broad range of historical eras, disciplines, and topics, bringing new voices from Francophone and Lusophone Africa. This volume will appeal to scholars, students, educators, policy makers, and the general public, especially the growing number of non-scholars who take an active interest in gender relations, women s rights, and labor relations.

Yemoja: Gender, Sexuality, and Creativity in the Latina/o And Afro-Atlantic Diasporas

edited by Solimar Otero and Toyin Falola

book Yemoja

This is the first collection of essays to analyze intersectional religious and cultural practices surrounding the deity Yemoja. In Afro-Atlantic traditions, Yemoja is associated with motherhood, women, the arts, and the family. This book reveals how Yemoja traditions are negotiating gender, sexuality, and cultural identities in bold ways that emphasize the shifting beliefs and cultural practices of contemporary times. Contributors come from a wide range of fields—religious studies, art history, literature, and anthropology—and focus on the central concern of how different religious communities explore issues of race, gender, and sexuality through religious practice and discourse. The volume adds the voices of religious practitioners and artists to those of scholars to engage in conversations about how Latino/a and African diaspora religions respond creatively to a history of colonization.

Esu: Yoruba God, Power, And The Imaginative Frontiers

edited by Toyin Falola


This is the most extensive book on Esu, also known in different locations as Eleda, Exu, Cxu Eleggua, Cxu Elegbara, Legba, Elegba, Elegbera, or Odara. He is the “divine messenger,” central to the understanding of Yoruba religion and worldview, as well as their various manifestations and related orisa traditions in the African diaspora—such as Candomblé, Vodou, and Santería/Lukumi. Esu and Ifa (divination with all its sacred texts) or Orunmila (the god of divination) rank as the most widespread and the most worshipped of all the deities. Both Esu and Ifa/Orunmila hold the Yoruba cosmic system together. Esu is now part of what some may label as the Black Atlantic religion; part of the attempt to recover African religions in other lands; as well as part of the use of religion for survival. As the book points out, in Esu’s ability to migrate to other lands, he becomes part of transatlantic history, but more so of the tension between relocation and history, between the violence that led to the forced migrations of people and the long healing process of reconciliation with living in strange lands that later became new homelands.

The African Diaspora: Slavery, Modernity, and Globalization

edited by Toyin Falola


The African diaspora is arguably the most important event in modern African history. From the fifteenth century to the present, millions of Africans have been dispersed -- many of them forcibly, others driven by economic need or political persecution--to other continents, creating large communities with African origins living outside their native lands. The majority of these communities are in North America. This historic displacement has meant that Africans are irrevocably connected to economic and political developments in the West and globally. Among the known legacies of the diaspora are slavery, colonialism, racism, poverty, and underdevelopment, yet the ways in which these same factors worked to spur the scattering of Africans are not fully understood -- by those who were part of this migration or by scholars, historians, and policymakers.
In this definitive study of the diaspora in North America, Toyin Falola offers a causal history of the western dispersion of Africans and its effects on the modern world. Reengaging old and familiar debates and framing new ones that enrich the discourse surrounding Africa, Falola isolates the thread, running nearly six centuries, that connects the history of slavery, the transatlantic slave trade, and current migrations.

The Political Economy of Development and Underdevelopment in Africa

edited by Toyin Falola and Jessica Achberger


While Africa is too often regarded as lying on the periphery of the global political arena, this is not the case. African nations have played an important historical role in world affairs. It is with this understanding that the authors in this volume set out upon researching and writing their chapters, making an important collective contribution to our understanding of modern Africa. Taken as a whole, the chapters represent the range of research in African development, and fully tie this development to the global political economy. African nations play significant roles in world politics, both as nations influenced by the ebbs and flows of the global economy and by the international political system, but also as actors, directly influencing politics and economics. It is only through an understanding of both the history and present place of Africa in global affairs that we can begin to assess the way forward for future development.

Art, Parody and Politics: Dele Jegede’s Creative Activism, Nigeria and the Transnational Space

edited by Aderonke Adesola Adesanya and Toyin Falola


This pioneer book focuses on the work of dele jegede, one of the leading Nigerian artists in the last three decades, to reflect on the connections between images and the nation state, the linkages between art and humanity, and the understanding of society through means different from oral and written texts. Various chapters written by prominent art historians, based on the analysis of jegede s cartoons, drawings, and paintings, reflect extensively on how he has defined and imagined a postcolonial state, in its nakedness and hope, but gesturing towards change and a utopian moment. The book draws on the individual experiences of scholars and professional artists in Nigeria and the Diaspora to paint a complex, multi-dimensional portrait of jegede, one that puts in context his work as a scholar, painter, curator, critic, cartoonist, and administrator. In dreaming of the ideal, jegede s creative cadence detours from the sheer pursuit of beauty and celebrates a conscious engagement with social realism and political visual expressions. In ways never clearly explained before now, jegede s artistry, seen in slow motion as offered here, is inevitably tied to activism, a nationalistic credo, and the elevation of the spirits of humankind.

Pan-Africanism, and the Politics of African Citizenship and Identity

edited by Toyin Falola and Kwame Essien


There is no recent literature that underscores the transition from Pan-Africanism to Diaspora discourse. This book examines the gradual shift and four major transformations in the study of Pan-Africanism. It offers an "academic post-mortem" that seeks to gauge the extent to which Pan-Africanism overlaps with the study of the African Diaspora and reverse migrations; how Diaspora studies has penetrated various disciplines while Pan-Africanism is located on the periphery of the field. The book argues that the gradual shift from Pan-African discourses has created a new pathway for engaging Pan-African ideology from academic and social perspectives. Also, the book raises questions about the recent political waves that have swept across North Africa and their implications to the study of twenty-first century Pan-African solidarity on the African continent. The ways in which African institutions are attracting and mobilizing returnees and Pan-Africanists with incentives as dual-citizenship for diasporans to support reforms in Africa offers a new alternative approach for exploring Pan-African ideology in the twenty-first century. Returnees are also using these incentives to gain economic and cultural advantage. The book will appeal to policy makers, government institutions, research libraries, undergraduate and graduate students, and scholars from many different disciplines.