The Thurman Delegation in India, 1935-1936

Sue Bailey Thurman and Howard Thurman travelled to India, Burma and Ceylon, as part of the first African-American delegation to colonial India in 1935-1936, at the height of its anti-colonial struggle against the British Empire. Known as the Pilgrimage of Friendship to the East, the delegation was organized by the Student Christian Movement in theContinue reading “The Thurman Delegation in India, 1935-1936”

Asia in Africa

In the ninth chapter of his 1946 inquiry The World and Africa, which explores the role played by Africa in the ancient and modern world, W.E.B Du Bois theorizes the black foundations of Asiatic civilization, citing as evidence the African origins of the name “Nahsi” and the black features of the Buddha and Krishna, twoContinue reading “Asia in Africa”

Ottam Thullal (2018)

A poetic dance form originating in the Tamil and Malayalam literary tradition, OttamThullal was developed by Kunchan Nambiar in eighteenth-century India. The form, traditionally accompanied by a double-headed hand drum (mrindagam) and a drum-and-cymbal (edakka), stages important sociopolitical questions, deploying satire, humor, and irony in order to shed light upon prevailing social maladies. Jawaharlal NehruContinue reading “Ottam Thullal (2018)”

Universal Consciousness: Alice Coltrane’s Turn To Hinduism

You have your own conscience, your own intelligence, and you know your own mind. –Alice Turiyasangitananda Coltrane A portrait of Alice Coltrane, R. Divya Nair In this clip, Turiya Coltrane, the grand-daughter of jazz pianist, harpist, and vocalist Alice Coltrane (née McCleod) reflects on her grandmother’s study and interpretation of Hindu philosophy through the gospelContinue reading “Universal Consciousness: Alice Coltrane’s Turn To Hinduism”

Letter from Chanan Singh to W. E. B. Du Bois, May 7, 1963

In this letter dated May 7th, 1963 from Nairobi, Kenya, Kenyan official Chanan Singh writes to W.E.B Du Bois about the possibility of contributing to the Encyclopedia Africana. Du Bois had very early established the need for a an encyclopedia that presented the truth about Africa and its civilization in place of the lies ofContinue reading “Letter from Chanan Singh to W. E. B. Du Bois, May 7, 1963”

A Tribute to Paul Robeson

On April 28, Philadelphia will honor Paul Robeson in all of his radiance and I am knee-deep in his music and speeches. I was lucky to have come across the proceedings of a special meeting of the United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid on April 10, 1979,  wherein many comrades of Robeson offered tributes toContinue reading “A Tribute to Paul Robeson”

Western Zionism and the Promise of Peace in Palestine

From the time of the Balfour Declaration (during World War I) Palestine was under five British mandates, and England promised the land back and forth to the Arabs or the Jews, depending on which horse seemed to be in the lead.  The Zionists – as distinguished from the people known as the Jews – using,Continue reading “Western Zionism and the Promise of Peace in Palestine”