Africans/People of African descent/Blacks on the continent and in the diaspora, I believe, can maintain (or regain) our collective self-confidence is when we constantly see wholistic representations of our lives ( negative and positive). Mainstream media feeds the world mostly with negative images of Africans, so I think its necessary to provide more positive depictions of Black life. We need to see Africans achieving, contributing to our communities and the world. Currently it seems as if the only time you see Africans depicted in a positive light is when white people are giving us handouts and promoting their “charity” work. This imagery stamps in the psyche of Africans/black people, especially our youth, that white benevolence and charity equals Black salvation.
On a personal journey to increase my “knowledge-of-self” and to embrace my African-ness, I immerse myself, on regular basis, reading alternative media outlets such as Sahara Reporters, The Herald Zimbabwe, Black Agenda Report,New Africa, Aspire, Democracy Now, TVONE, Al jazeera, Black Star News etc. My goal with this series of posts is to share some of my findings. It is my libation (prayer) that we all find strength and courage in the struggles and accomplishments of our beautiful people. For this installment, I have selected Zeresenay “Zeray” Alemseged
Alemseged is an Ethiopian scientist (paleoanthropologist ) that researches the origin of mankind.He earned his first degree from Addis Ababa University, worked at the Ethiopian National Museum, later he travelled to Paris for his Master’s in paleontology at the University of Montpellier and PhD at the University of Paris.
In 2006 Alemseged unearth a ground breaking 3.3 million years old fossil of a three years old baby, whom he calls “Selam”. This discovery did not only make history in Africa but in the science field in general. Alemseged finding draws us back to the fact that, indeed Africans are the parents of humanity. He is quoted saying, “it’s in Africa that you find the earliest evidence for human ancestors,upright-walking traces, even the first technologies in form of stone tools. So we all are Africans, and welcome home.” Alemseged taught in universities and researches around the world. Every year he leads a group of scientists to his home country and works with scientists in Ethiopia, who he believes in the future they would be the voice of African paleoanthropology.
1. Alemseged shares his work on TED
2. How Ethiopian Scientist Unearth 3.3-Million-Year-Old Child
3. Interview With Paleoanthropologist Zeresenay Alemseged