The Africanist Podcast

This podcast investigates political, socio-economic, and cultural issues in contemporary Africa and the African Diasporas. It engages Africanist scholars, artists, activists, athletes, opinion leaders, business people, and ordinary citizens in a critical conversation about the challenges facing Africans and people of African descent.

Idriss Déby’s Death and the Political Transition in Chad

May 2nd, 2021

"If you were to look closely at his time in power, it is punctuated by rebellions, it is punctuated by coup attempts, it is punctuated by civil unrest, human rights abuses; there is no way to look at the domestic political situation in Chad, under Déby and walk away thinking this is a stable, prosperous regime." Daniel Eizenga

In this conversation, Dr. Daniel Eizenga, Research Fellow at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies examines the current political situation in Chad following the unexpected death of President Idriss Déby Itno who ruled the country for 30 years.

The Current Popular Uprising in Senegal

March 8th, 2021

Senegal, one of the model democracies on the African continent has been experiencing an unprecedented popular uprising following the arrest of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko on disorderly conduct and call for insurrection charges. Prior to that, Ousmane Sonko has been accused of rape followed by death threats by a young masseuse named Adji Sarr. While Sonko continues to claim that the accusations are part of a conspiracy to eliminate him from the upcoming presidential race, the presidential camp maintains that the allegations brought against him has nothing to do with politics. So far, a dozen of protesters lost their lives and the matter is pending in court. In this episode, Drs. Marame Guéye (East Carolina University) and Oumar Ba (Morehouse College) discuss the causes and potential ways out of the civil unrest.

The Evolution of Hip Hop in Urban Senegal_A Conversation with Dr. Catherine Appert

February 10th, 2021

"One thing I push back against a little in the book is the sort of emphasis on resistance in scholarship on hip hop. Not because resistance isn't, or hasn't often been an important facet of hip hop cultures in various places throughout the world but because sometimes a sort of understanding of resistance as so integral to hip hop can elide the other ways in which hip hop is important to people." Dr. Catherine Appert

In this episode, Associate Professor at Cornell University, Dr. Catherine Appert, talks about her book In Hip Hop Time: Music, Memory and Social Change in Urban Senegal. She also talks about her fieldwork experience navigating culturally complex spaces where class, gender, and national origin intersect.


Graduate/Doctoral Research Amidst a Global Pandemic

January 15th, 2021


"The Pandemic started when I was finishing my dissertation. I have done a lot during this pandemic, it kind of forced me to finish."

"I was supposed to start my fieldwork over the summer, I was supposed to be gone by the end of May, I had already made my travel arrangements and then the pandemic hit."

COVID-19 has affected every aspect of life including the possibility to conduct dissertation fieldwork. In this episode, doctoral students (Astou Guèye - University of Wisconsin, Bright Gyamfi - Northwestern University, Margaret Rowley - Boston University) and recent graduate (Dr. Nicholas McLeod, Rider University) share their experiences about doing fieldwork and writing a dissertation amidst a global pandemic.


#EndSARS: Protest Against Police Brutality in Nigeria

December 6th, 2020

In this episode, Ph.D candidate and #EndSARS protest facilitator, Shamsudeen Abubakar, talks about the origin and manifestations of the #ENDSARS protest that has been taking place in many Nigerian cities/States and abroad. He also delves into his personal involvement with the organization of a peaceful protest against Nigerian police brutality in Louisville, Kentucky back in October 2020. 

African Philosophy and the “Existential” Quest

October 12th, 2020

In this episode, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Dismas Masolo (University of Louisville) revisits historical attempts to deny the existence of African Philosophy as well as African scholars' response to these attempts. He also discusses Ubuntu philosophy and the concepts of personhood and community as understood by scholars such as Menkiti.

Pan-Africanism Today: Linking Africa & the Diaspora for Cultural, Economic and Social Empowerment

September 1st, 2020

This episode is the outcome of a Zoom panel that The Africanist co-organized in the framework of the annual African Heritage Festival of Louisville, Kentucky. In this panel, Stacy Bailey-Ndiaye, Amos Azerimana, Dr. Babacar Mbaye, Dr. Nicholas McLeod, and Aukram Burton discuss the origin and the relevance of Pan-Africanism in the 21st century. They walk us through some of the cultural, political, and economic challenges that the Black Atlantic has been facing and how responses can/should be coordinated to solve these issues.


Music by Ismael Lo:

I do not own the rights to the music.

On Black Liberation Movement, Capitalism and Spirituality

August 21st, 2020

In this episode, Dr. Tony Van Der Meer from the University of Massachusetts-Boston, talks about his activism and his involvement with the black liberation movement. He also invokes some of the obstacles that have historically impeded the struggle of Black folks in Africa, the United States and other parts of the Black Atlantic. 

Ajamization, Islam in West Africa and Racism in the Arab World: A Conversation With Prof. Fallou Ngom

July 29th, 2020

Professor Fallou Ngom (Boston University) discusses his award-winning work on Ajami and the diffusion of Islam in West Africa. He also talks about racism in the Arab world and the use of Islamic texts to justify racist and discriminatory actions towards people of Africa descent. 

Tragedies, Solidarity & Black Social Protest Part 2

July 9th, 2020

Aukram Burton, Executive Director of the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, discusses Black activism in the 1960s and 1970s in relation to the recent protest movements following the death of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd. He also talks about his own experience as a freedom fighter in the 60s and his encounter with prominent civil rights activists including Robert F. Williams his mentor. 


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