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African, Jewish, and Middle Eastern Studies: Digital Resources at the Library of Congress

Event Videos

The African and Middle Eastern Division sponsors a regular series of talks given by experts in various fields. Since 2001, these talks have been recorded and most of these past events can be viewed online in the Library's Event Videos collection.

Learn more about upcoming events:

Conversations with African Poets and Writers

“Conversations with African Poets and Writers” is a series of conversations with writers from the African continent and the diaspora, committed to the literature of continental and diasporic Africa moderated by area specialists from the Library's African and Middle Eastern Division. Readings recorded in this series feature written works, the genres of which range from fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, to literary criticism. Authors include both established and highly talented new and emerging writers. This archive is the result of a multi-partner literary program series between the Library's African and Middle Eastern Division, the Poetry and Literature Center (past), the Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa and the Center for African Studies at Howard University. The series hosted the 2013 and 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing winners. Following those programs, the Library of Congress became an integral part of annual Caine Prize for African Literature winners’ residency at the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice at Georgetown University. The series aims at contributing to greater cross-cultural understanding and dialogue, and should prove invaluable to students of African literature and stimulate a broader appreciation of the African literary tradition and heritage.

Chinua Achebe, Nigeria (November 3, 2008)
Morning Session | Afternoon Session | Evening Program
An historic celebration of the iconic African novel, Things Fall Apart and author Chinua Achebe was held at The Library of Congress, co-presented by the Library of Congress’ African Section and the Center for the Book, and The Africa Society of The National Summit On Africa, and The Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center, Howard University’s Department of African Studies and TransAfrica Forum. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, published in 1958, was followed by sequels No Longer at Ease in 1960 and Arrow of God in 1964. Achebe passed away in 2013.

Susan Nalugwa Kiguli, Uganda (November 16, 2011)
Dr. Susan Nalugwa Kiguli was an African Studies Association Presidential Scholar for 2011. She is a Ugandan poet and literary scholar and an associate professor of literature at Makerere University. As a poet, Kiguli is best known for her 1998 collection The African Saga, as a scholar, and for her work on oral poetry and performance. Kiguli has been an advocate for creative writing in Africa, including service as a founding member of FEMWRITE, a collective of Ugandan women writers, a judge for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (African Region, 1999), and an advisory board member for the African Writers’ Trust.

Ali A. Mazrui, Kenya (October 7, 2011)
Ali Mazrui was an academic and political writer on African and Islamic studies and North-South relations. Until his death in 2014, he was the Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities and the Director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York. Mazrui compiled Africa’s Best 100 Books of the Twentieth Century project. Mazrui came up with the idea of a list of Africa's 100 best books in order to direct the world's attention on the achievements of African writers who have had their work published during the 20th century. He discussed the state of contemporary African culture and post-independence literary production.

Tijan Momodou Sallah, Gambia (November 9, 2012)
In 1980, Sallah published his first poetry collection, When African Was a Young Woman, under the Writers Workshop publication series. It was reviewed on the BBC by Florence Akst and received also several other favorable reviews. Since then, Sallah's works have gained world-wide recognition. He was interviewed by the American National Public Radio in 1997 by Scott Simon and in August 2000 by Kojo Nnamdi. Sallah's writings have received accolades from critics. Described as one of Africa's most important poets of the post-Soyinka, and Achebe generation, Sallah writes poems that are evocatively simple and rich. In his poem "Banjul Afternoon", from his collection Kora Land, Sallah captures poignantly the social mood of Gambia's capital, Banjul.

Anna Mwalagho, Kenya (November 7, 2012)
Anna Mwalagho is an internationally recognized comedian, poet, spoken word artist, singer, songwriter, actress, and storyteller. She has won numerous national awards in her native Kenya and here in the United States. In Kenya she performed on stage as well as on television and radio with the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation.

Mandlakayise C. Matyumza. South Africa (September 25, 2012)
Mandlakayise C. Matyumza discusses African poets and writers in an event co-sponsored by the Africa Society for the National Summit on Africa. Matyumza is the executive director of the Centre for the Book, a unit of the National Library of South Africa in Capetown.

Helon Habila, Nigeria (May 1, 2012)
Helon Habila is a poet and prose fiction writer. He studied Literature at the University of Jos and lectured for three years at the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, before going to Lagos to write for Hints Magazine. Extracts from his collection of short stories, Prison Stories, were published in Nigeria in 2000. The full text was published as a novel in the UK under the title Waiting for an Angel in 2002 and received a Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa Region, Best First Book) in 2003. Also in 2002, he moved to England to become a Writing Fellow at the University of East Anglia. Helon Habila won the MUSON Poetry Prize in 2000 and was the arts editor of the Vanguard Newspaper. In 2005 Habila was invited by Chinua Achebe to become the first Chinua Achebe Fellow at Bard College, New York. He spent a year writing and teaching at Bard, and after his fellowship, Habila stayed on in America as a professor of Creative Writing at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Helon Habila read excerpts from his novel Oil On Water and discussed his anthology The Granta Book of the African Short Story.

Donato Ndongo, Equatorial Guinea (April 4, 2012)
Donato Ndongo is a prominent writer and journalist from the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. As a journalist, historian, and novelist, he has published for more than 40 years in various media outlets such as ABC, Informaciones, Diario 16, El País (Madrid) and La Vanguardia (Barcelona). His 1977 Historia y tragedia de Guinea Ecuatorial and 1984 Antología de la literature guineana earned critical acclaim for calling attention to the history and literary production of Equatorial Guinea, in addition to its unique position as the only Spanish-speaking African country. He appears in a program co-sponsored by the Library, the Africa Society for the National Summit on Africa and Embassy of the Kingdom of Spain.

Keorapetse Kgositsile, South Africa (April 3, 2012)
Keorapetse Kgositsile also known as "Bra Willie," was a South African political activist and poet. He served in the African National Congress in the 1960s and 1970s and was inaugurated as South Africa's National Poet Laureate in 2006. Kgositsile lived in exile in the United States from 1962 until 1975, the peak of his literary career. He studied African-American literature and culture extensively, becoming particularly interested in jazz. During the 1970s he was a central figure among African-American poets, encouraging interest in Africa as well as the practice of poetry as a performance art. He was active in the music scene, known for his readings in New York City jazz clubs. Kgositsile was one of the first to bridge the gap between African poetry and African-American poetry. He passed away in January 2018.

Mukoma wa Ngugi, Kenya (December 3, 2013)
Born in 1971 in Evanston, Ill., but raised in Kenya, Mukoma wa Ngugi was returned to the United States for his university education. An assistant professor of English at Cornell University he is the author of Conversing with Africa: Politics of Change and Hurling Words at Consciousness. He is also a columnist for BBC Focus on Africa magazine and former co-editor of Pambazuka. His crime fiction novels Nairobi Heat and Black Star Nairobi are set in the capital city of the East African nation. He is the son of world-renowned African writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o.

Abdourahman Waberi, Djibouti (November 14, 2013)
Waberi is a novelist, essayist, poet, and short-story writer. His first volume of stories, The Land without Shadows, won Belgium's Royal Academy of French Language and Black Africa's Grand Literary Prize for French speakers. Waberi champions using indigenous art forms, such as the Somali poetic tradition, especially highlighting writing in African languages.

Amadou Koné, Côte d'Ivoire (September 25, 2013)
Amadou Koné is a professor in the Department of French at Georgetown University. Koné's field of research and teaching extends from the oral literature of Africa to its modern written literature, and he has won international recognition as an author, essayist and playwright. Before coming to Georgetown, he was a professor of French at Tulane University in Louisiana. From 1977 to 1990, he taught literature in his country at the University Nationale de Côte d'Ivoire, Abidjan in the Department of Modern Languages. He studied the style of some novelists such as Ahmadou Kourouma, Saïdou Bokoum, and Cheikh Hamidou Kane. His further research is devoted to genres of African oral literature, heroic tales, epic and initiation, and their influence on the modern novel. His work on the influence of oral tradition on the novel continue to influence African researchers’ literary studies.

A. Igoni Barrett, Nigeria (May 8, 2013)
Barrett is a writer of short stories and novelist. Barrett was born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and lives in Lagos. He is a winner of the 2005 BBC World Service short story competition, the recipient of a Chinua Achebe Center Fellowship, a Norman Mailer Center Fellowship, and a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Residency. His first book, a collection of short stories entitled From Caves of Rotten Teeth, was published in 2005 and reissued in 2008. A story from the collection, "The Phoenix," won the 2005 BBC World Service short story competition. His second collection of stories, Love Is Power, or Something Like That, was published in 2013.

Omekongo Dibinga, Democratic Republic of the Congo/United States (April 2, 2013)
Dibinga is a motivational speaker, trilingual poet, TV talk show host, rapper, and professor of cross-cultural communication at American University. His Urban Music Award winning work has best been described by Nikki Giovanni as “outstanding, exciting, and new while being very old.” His book, From the Limbs of My Poetree, was described by Essence Magazine as “a remarkable and insightful collection of exquisite poetry that touches sacred places within your spirit.” He was one of 5 international recipients out of 750,000 to win the first ever “CNN iReport Spirit Award.” He has received over 1,000,000 views on

Maaza Mengiste, Ethiopia (March 21, 2013)
Maaza Mengiste is a novelist and essayist whose work examines the individual lives at stake during migration, war, and exile, and considers the intersections of photography and violence. Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, her critically acclaimed debut novel, was selected by The Guardian as one of the 10 best contemporary African books and was named one of the best books of 2010 by The Christian Science Monitor, The Boston Globe, and other publications. Beneath the Lion’s Gaze is set in Ethiopia in the 1970s and revisits the last days of the Ethiopian monarchy and the brutal beginnings of the Derg, the socialist military junta that replaced it.

Veronique Tadjo, Cote d'Ivoire (October 17, 2014)
Véronique Tadjo is a journalist, painter and award-winning author of numerous volumes of fiction, poetry and children's literature. Tadjo's work includes A Vol d'Oiseau/As the Crow Flies, Reine Pokou/Queen Pokou which was awarded the Le Grand Prix Littéraire d'Afrique Noire in 2005, Le Royaumme Aveugle/The Blind Kingdom, L'Ombre D'Imana/In the Shadow of Imana, and Loin de Mon Pere/Far from My Father. Her books for children include Mamy Wata and the Monster. She studied at the University of Abidjan, the Sorbonne in Paris, as well as Howard University. Tadjo is professor and head of the French department at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa. In Fall 2014, she was a visiting professor in the French department at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Zainab Hassan, Somalia (June 10, 2014)
Zainab Hassan was the project director of the National Library Initiative of the Heritage Institute for Policy Studies in Mogadishu, Somalia. She is a published writer and poet.

Tope Folarin, Nigeria/United States (March 20, 2014)
Tope Folarin is the winner of the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing. His short story "Miracle” garnered him the award in 2013 and his story "Genesis" was shortlisted for the 2016 Caine Prize. Folarin’s first novel, A Particular Kind of Black Man, was released in 2019. He was also recently named to the Africa39 list of the most promising African writers under 40. He was educated at Morehouse College and the University of Oxford, where he earned two Masters degrees as a Rhodes Scholar.

Lemn Sissay, United Kingdom/Ethiopia (July 6, 2015)
Lemn Sissay, MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire), is a London-born author and broadcaster of Ethiopian heritage. Sissay was the official poet of the 2012 London Olympics. He has been chancellor of the University of Manchester since 2015, and joined the Foundling Museum's board of trustees two years later, having previously been appointed one of the museum's fellows. He was awarded the 2019 PEN Pinter Prize. He has written a number of books and plays.

Okey Ndibe, Nigeria (May 21, 2015)
Okechukwu Ndibe, better known as Okey Ndibe, is a novelist, political columnist and essayist of Igbo ethnicity. He was born in Yola, Nigeria. He is the author of Arrows of Rain and Foreign Gods, Inc., both critically acclaimed novels. He is also the author of a memoir, Never Look an American in the Eye: Flying Turtles, Colonial Ghosts, and the Making of a Nigerian American, and co-editor of Writers Writing on Conflicts and Wars in Africa, The New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Cleveland Plain Dealer. Mosaic magazine named Foreign Gods, Inc. one of the 10 best books of 2014.

Okwiri Oduor, Kenya (April 17, 2015)
Okwiri Oduor is the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing winner for her short story, "My Fathers Head." Her novella The Dream Chasers was highly commended in the Commonwealth Book Prize 2012. She teaches creative writing to young girls at her alma mater in Nairobi, and is currently working on her first full-length novel.

Chinelo Okparanta, Nigeria/United States (February 3, 2015)
Chinelo Okparanta is novelist and short-story writer. She was born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, where she was raised until the age of 10, when she immigrated to the United States with her family. Her debut short story collection, Happiness, Like Water, was cited as an editors’ choice in the New York Times Book Review and was named on the list of The Guardian’s Best African Fiction of 2013. The book was nominated for the Nigerian Writers Award (Young Motivational Writer of the Year), longlisted for the 2013 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. It was also a finalist for the 2014 New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award as well as the Etisalat Prize for Literature. Okparanta was also a finalist for the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing. Under the Udala Trees is her first novel.

Kwame Dawes, Ghana/Jamaica (November 18, 2016)
Kwame Dawes was born in Ghana and moved to Jamaica in 1971. He spent most of his childhood and early adult life in Jamaica. He is a writer of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and plays. Progeny of Air was the winner of the Forward Poetry Prize for Best First Collection in the UK.

Shenaz Patel, Mauritius (November 4, 2016)
Shenaz Patel is a journalist from the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius, where she segued into an author of fiction. Patel writes in both French and Mauritian Creole. She is the author of several novels, plays, short stories, and children’s books. She was an IWP (International Writing Program) Honorary Fellow in the U.S. in 2016, and was a fellow at the W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute at the Hutchins Center at Harvard University in 2018. Patel was one of a group of Mauritian writers who founded the literary journal Tracés.

Namwali Serpell, Zambia (March 14, 2016)
Namwali Serpell is the winner of the 2015 Caine Prize for African Writing. Serpell ‘s first novel, The Old Drift won the 2020 Anisfield-Wolf Book prize for fiction. She teaches in the United States but primarily lives in Lusaka. She was educated in the United States after moving with her family when she was nine. Her short story "The Sack " garnered her the coveted literary prize.

Antjie Krog, South Africa (September 28, 2017)
Poet and writer, Krog has won major awards in poetry, journalism, fiction, and translation. Her work has been translated into English, Dutch, French, Italian, Spanish, Swedish and Serbian. Krog translated Nelson Mandela's autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, works by Henk van Woerden and Tom Lanoye, as well as a selection of South African verse written in the indigenous African languages into Afrikaans. This was followed by a reworking of narratives in the extinct language /Xam into Afrikaans poems in "Die Sterre Se 'tsau'" and English poems in "The Stars Say."

Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Nigeria (May 4, 2017)
Abubakar Adam Ibrahim was the recipient of the NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature 2016 award for his novel, Season of Crimson Blossoms. Formerly a journalist, Ibrahim’s debut short story collection, The Whispering Trees,was long-listed for the Elisalat Prize for Literature in 2014, with the title story short-listed for the Caine Prize for African Writing. He also won the BBC African Performance Prize and was the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Fellow in 2013. He was named in the Hay Festival Africa39 list of “the most promising writers under the age of 40 who will define future trends in African writing.”

Lidudumalingani Mqombothi, South Africa (April 12, 2017)
Lidudumalingani Mqombothi is the recipient of the 2016 Caine Prize for African Writing. Mqombothi read from his prize-winning short story "Memories We Lost." Born in the village of in Zikhovane in the Eastern Cape region, he is a writer, filmmaker and photographer.

Bushra al-Fadil, Sudan (February 27, 2018)
Poet and writer, Al-Fadil is the winner of the 2017 Caine Prize for African Writing. Al-Fadil, won the coveted prize for his short story titled “The Story of the Girl Whose Birds Flew Away.” Characterized by experimentation and daring artistic adventures, al-Fadil also won the 2012 Al Tayeb Salih Prize.

Kadija Sesay, Sierra Leone/United Kingdom (August 13, 2019)
Kadija (George) Sesay FRSA is a literary activist of Sierra Leonean descent. She founded SABLE LitMag which was published for 15 years and featured internationally renowned writers on the covers including, Nawal el Saadawi, Sonia Sanchez, Chinua Achebe and Walter Mosley. George edited several important anthologies by writers of African and Asian descent including Burning Words, Flaming Images (1996); IC3: the Penguin Book of New Black Writing in Britain (2000), co-edited with Courttia Newland; and Write Black, Write British (2005). She is also the Manager of Inscribe publications for Inscribe, a writer development program housed by Peepal Tree Press, and will be editing a collection of short stories set in Africa for Comma Press. In 2013 she published her debut poetry collection, Irki under her writing name, Kadija Sesay. She received a research and development award from Arts Council England for her second forthcoming poetry collection, The Modern PanAfricanist’s Journey, which includes an educational app. on Poetry and Pan-Africanism. In 2019, she was awarded a Kluge Fellowship at the Library of Congress.

Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Kenya (May 9, 2019)
Noted as a perennial favorite to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, Ngugi wa Thiong’o is an award-winning, world-renowned Kenyan novelist, scholar and playwright, who has been publishing written works for over 50 years. His works have been translated into 94 languages. Ngugi is the founder and editor of the first Gikuyu-language journal and is currently a distinguished professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine. He is considered a vanguard in the primary use of African languages in literature. Ngugi wa Thiong'o presented his recently released publication titled, Minutes of Glory And Other Stories, at the Library of Congress in a special evening program, “Jioni na Ngugi wa Thiong'o” (“An Evening with Ngugi wa Thiong'o”). The program featured local high school students who read excerpts from his works in Gikuyu and English.

Makena Onjerika, Kenya (March 14, 2019)
Makena Onjerika is the winner of the 2018 Caine Prize for African Writing for short story, “Fanta Blackcurrant.” A resident of Nairobi, Kenya, the story tells the story of the street children of the capital of the East African country. Onjerika began writing at age 15, and went on to study fiction at Amherst College. She graduated from the MFA Creative Writing program at New York University. Onjerika explores the world of fantasy in her African-based stories.

Lesley Nneka Arimah, Nigeria (February 22, 2020)
Lesley Nneka Arimah is the 2019 Caine Prize for African Writing winner. Arimah was born in the UK and grew up in Nigeria and wherever else her father was stationed for work. Her stories have been honored with a National Magazine Award, a Commonwealth Short Story Prize and an O. Henry Award. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Bazaar, GRANTA and has received support from The Elizabeth George Foundation and MacDowell. She was selected for the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 and her debut collection, What It Means When A Man Fall From The Sky, won the 2017 Kirkus Prize, the 2017 New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award and was selected for the New York Times/PBS book club among other honors. Arimah is a 2019 United States Artists Fellow in Writing.

Irenosen Iseghohi-Okojie, Nigeria (May 25, 2021)
Nigerian-born short story writer and novelist Irenosen Iseghohi-Okojie is winner of the 2020 AKO Caine Prize for her short story ‘Grace Jones’ (2019). The story follows the journey through grief of a young émigré from Martinique in London who loses her family in a house fire and finds psychic escape as an impersonator of singer Grace Jones. Okojie's works are seen as "weird experimental fiction" rooted in but pushing the boundaries of African diasporic literature.

Abdulrazak Gurnah, Tanzania (May 25, 2022)
Abdulrazak Gurnah, Tanzanian-born novelist and academic, is the Nobel Prize winner in Literature 2021. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Kent in Canterbury. An author of ten novels and many other publications, Dr. Gurnah's writings focus on the themes of exile and identify.

Damon Galgut, South Africa (May 12, 2022)
South African novelist and playwright Damon Galgut discussed his ninth novel, The Promise, which won the 2021 Booker Prize. The Promise is a fictional account of a white South African family living on a farm outside Pretoria during the waning days of apartheid. The novel is praised by the Booker Prize judges for offering an "unambiguous commentary on the history of South Africa and of humanity itself."

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nigeria (May 5, 2022)
Nigerian-born author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the winner of multiple literary awards, including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for her first novel, Purple Hibiscus (2003), and the Orange Prize for her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun (2006). Her 2013 novel Americanah won the US National Book Critics Circle Award. Ms. Adichie’s work has been translated into over thirty languages.


The following event videos focus on various topics surrounding Ethiopia, as well as the work of Ethiopian artists and creators.

Joseph in Africa: The Story of a Story (November 10, 2011)
Morgan Johnson presents the illustrated lecture, "Joseph in Africa: A 3,000 Year Story of a Story Retold in the Multi-ethnic Continent of Africa." Joseph Morgan Johnson is a cartoonist and teacher who spent many years as a missionary and activist in Africa.

Coffee, Culture and Intellectual Property Rights: The Case of Ethiopia (March 31, 2011)
Heran Sereke-Berhan discusses coffee and intellectual property rights in Ethiopia. Heran Sereke-Berhan is a scholar of Ethiopian culture.

The Lion of Judah: Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie (December 9, 2010) - 48 minutes
His Royal Highness Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie Haile Selassie discusses his work. Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie is president of the Crown Council of Ethiopia. He is the only son of Prince Sahle Selassie of Ethiopia and Princess Mahisente Habte Mariam. He is the grandson of Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, and also of Dejazmach Habte Mariam Gebre Igziabiher, the heir to the former Welega kingdom of Leqa Naqamte.

The History of Education in Ethiopia with Special Emphasis on Higher Education (October 26, 2010)
Dr. Aklilu Habte discusses the history of higher education in Ethiopia. Dr. Aklilu Habte is former president of the Haile Selassie 1st University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The State of Art in Ethiopia (July 29, 2009)
Renowned artist Afewerk Tekle presented a lecture on the state of art in his native Ethiopia. Afewerk Tekle was one of Ethiopia's most celebrated artists, particularly known for his paintings on African and Christian themes as well as his stained glass. He died in April 2012.

Heaven and Earth: A documentary film screening and talk by the Director Mackonen Michael (Thursday, December 3, 2015)
The film introduces the ancient Ethiopian civilization and its highly advanced literature, architecture and cultural heritage, monarchical system of the past, Judeo-Christian religion and the role of education and philosophy within the traditional society. In addition, it captures the beautiful landscape of rural Ethiopia, medieval monasteries and priests chanting in the premises of colorful churches and the rich history of Ethiopia. Mr. Mackonen Michael, the producer of the film is an Ethiopian British, documentary film maker and freelance art reporter at the British media network BBC. He studied Journalism and African studies at SOAS university of London and worked in different media production companies as broadcaster and producer. (webcast not available)

Addis Ababa: The New Flower of Africa and Ethiopia: Inspiring Journey (September 25, 2015)
The speaker, Esubalew Meaza is a trained information technology engineer, writer, photographer, and storyteller. He made a presentation about his first book titled, Addis Ababa: The New Flower of Africa and Ethiopia, Inspiring Journey (2012). Through this talk, he takes his readers to the city of Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, and further explores Ethiopia in all directions. Mr. Esubalew Meaza resides in the state of Virginia.

"African Poets and Writers" featuring the New Chancellor of the University of Manchester, Poet Lemn Sissay (July 6, 2015)
Lemin Sissay is an English author and broadcaster. Sissay was the official poet of the 2012 London Olympics. He has been chancellor of the University of Manchester since 2015 and joined the Foundling Museum's board of trustees two years later, having previously been appointed one of the museum's fellows. He was awarded the 2019 PEN Pinter Prize. He has written a number of books and plays. His unique life story revolves around his Ethiopian parents when his mother gave him for adoption and eventually was raised by a British family. Lemn Sissay read selections from his several poems and also participated in a moderated discussion with Mr. Fentahun Tiruneh, Area Specialist in the African and Middle Eastern Division as part of the African Poets and Writers Series.

Introducing the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences (August 14, 2014)
Masresha Fetene and his colleagues founded the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences in 2010 based on the belief that a strong scientific community strengthens nations by enabling citizens to address critical economic, environmental and social issues in systematic and effective ways. The primary objective of the Academy is to promote scientific culture in Ethiopia by nurturing interest and curiosity in science. The goal is to ultimately produce a scientifically and technologically literate and informed citizenry so that people can make informed and better decisions on issues that have bearing on their day-to-day lives. It also aspires to see Ethiopia at the forefront of science and technology.

The Ethiopian Orthodox Tawahido Church (July 17, 2014)
Ephraim Isaac discussed his book about the history of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tawahido Church and also that of Christianity as a whole in Ethiopia. Not only are there strong Biblical Hebraic elements in the theology, political theory, and liturgical calendar of the Ethiopian Church but there is also a strong influence from Beta Israel and Ethiopian Jews. Besides these Ethiopian Jews and of course, the Orthodox Ethiopians and a few Protestant and roman Catholic Ethiopian Christians, there are in Ethiopia also very large numbers of Moslems and various native beliefs.

Following a Dream: The Beta Israel Then & Now (May 31, 2013)
Nili Auerbach discussed the historical background of the Beta Israel (Ethiopian Jewish) community, their extraordinary journey to and rescue by the State of Israel, their acclimation to a dramatically different country, and ultimately their current progress and efforts to acquire higher education.

Maaza Mengiste (March 21, 2013)
Ethiopian novelist, Maaza Mengiste, reads from her work and discusses the state of contemporary African literature on “Conversations with African Poets and Writers,” with Ethiopian Specialist, Fentahun Tiruneh.

No One's Son (May 3, 2012)
Documentary filmmaker, Tewodros "Teddy" Fekadu has lived in five countries and three continents, ultimately journeying from Eritrea and Ethiopia to the Gold Coast of Australia. His life spans war, family love, the Catholic Church, homelessness, three years of detention in Japan, and finally a country to call home and the creation of his own company.

A Momentous One Hundred Years: Ancient Ethiopia, 520-620 A.D. (March 22, 2012)
Hailu Habtu discusses the critical century of 520-620 A.D. in Ethiopia.

Modernist Art in Ethiopia (Thursday, June 10, 2021)
Prof. Elizabeth W. Giorgis, Associate Professor of Art History, Criticism and Theory in the College of Performing and Visual Art and the Center for African and Asian Studies at Addis Ababa University, discussed modernist Ethiopian art as an essential tool in understanding modern-day Ethiopians and the direction they are heading as a nation.

Ascending to Heaven: Ancient Churches and Monasteries of Ethiopia (April 1, 2020)
Author Esubalew Meaza traveled deep into the rural areas of Ethiopia, and with his seasoned photographical skill captured the arts and the architectural beauty of the various major Orthodox Churches in Ethiopia.

From Tesfa to Tikva: 25 Years of Ethiopian Jews in Israel (June 3, 2019)
Irene Fertik, photographer, discussed her book which uses photos and text to chronicle the story of 25 years of change and transition of Ethiopian Jews in Israel.

Gratitude in Low Voices: Dawit Gebremichael Habte (October 11, 2018)
The speaker discussed his memoir in the US to commemorate his country of origin, Eritrea and to share his story as an immigrant passing through Ethiopia and Kenya.

Imperial Ethiopia's Unique Symbols, Structures and Role in the Modern World (May 11, 2017)

Mr. Gregory R. Copley, President of The International Strategic Studies Association, discussed his research on the role of Ethiopia in the modern world.

Marriage and Politics in 19th and 20th Century Ethiopia (April 20, 2017)
Heran Sereke-Brhan, Ph.D., a post-Doctoral fellow at the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the study of the Longer Range Future and Visiting Researcher at the African Studies Center of Boston University. Her recorded presentation is a result of her research work in this University.

Imperial Exile Emperor Haile Selassie in Britain 1936-40 (September 22, 2016)
Mr. Keith Bowers, a former BBC executive producer, a writer and international broadcast consultant, discussed key moments of change in Ethiopia and Imperial Exile which outlines Emperor Haile Selassie's experiences as a refugee in the United Kingdom.

Additional Event Videos Related to African Studies

These event videos focus on other topics and creators from the countries of Africa, as well as the African diaspora.

Tour of Leopold Sedar Senghor Exhibit in African and Middle Eastern Division Reading Room (November 7, 2006)
The Library's African and Middle Eastern Division Reading Room presents a special display of Senghor memorabilia featuring signed copies of Leopold Senghor's prolific works from the private collection of Stephen H. Grant, a retired administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Leopold Sedar Senghor: Thinker, Statesman, Poet (November 7, 2006)
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Souleymane Bachir Diagne, professor of philosophy and religion at Northwestern University, gave a lecture titled "Leopold Sedar Senghor: Thinker, Statesman and Poet" in a program sponsored by the African and Middle Eastern Division. 2006 was the centennial year of the birth of Senghor (1906-2001), who served as Senegal's first president from 1960 to 1980. During his presidency, he set Senegal on the path toward a multi-party democracy. Senghor is also regarded as one of the greatest French-language poets of the 20th century. Fatou Fall, a distant relative of Senghor, read one of his poems at the event. Before joining the faculty of Northwestern University, Souleymane Bachir Diagne taught philosophy at Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Senegal, for more than 20 years. An alumnus of Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, Diagne obtained his Ph.D. in philosophy at the Sorbonne in 1988. His field of research includes history of algebraic logic, history of philosophy, Islamic philosophy and African philosophy. The author of many publications, Diagne is currently working on a book about Senghor's philosophy.

A Modern Queen in a Traditional Role (September 7, 2005)
H.R.H. Queen of Buganda Nnabagereka Sylvia Nagginda presented "A Modern Queen in a Traditional Role" in a program sponsored by the African Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division. Nagginda described her work as a traditional ruler and the work of the charitable foundation she established, the Nnabagereka Development Trust.

Examples of Reconciliation: Africa’s Contributions to the Global Community (March 21, 2005)
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During the last century in Africa, millions of non-combatants—women, children, the elderly, the disabled, and the poor--were killed, displaced, and/or forced to flee to neighboring countries as a result of conflict and other manmade crises. According to the Institute for Development Studies, during the last two decades of the last century, 28 sub-Saharan African counties were engaged in violent conflict. For example, in Rwanda, approximately 800,000 people died as a result of genocide in 1994; and an estimated 4.7 million died the nineties in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The seminar provided an opportunity for former President Ketumile Masire of Botswana and former President Pierre Buyoya of Burundi, religious leaders from Africa and the United States, scholars, diplomats and development experts to come together and share the lessons that they have learned regarding indigenous reconciliation processes in Africa. This seminar was co-sponsored by the African Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division and the John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress with the cooperation of the Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa, Boston University’s African Presidential Archives and Research Center, Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies, the Nigerian Peoples Forum, and the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Forest Peoples and Indigenous Knowledge: Keys to Preserving Africa's Threatened Wildlife (December 13, 2004)
There is a growing movement toward engaging local people and their knowledge in the cause of wildlife conservation. Dr. Almquist illustrates this trend with a report on his work in information exchange and building community capacity in Congo's Lac Tumba landscape during the summer months of 2004. Mr. Lokasola speaks on his local Congolese wildlife NGO's work in bonobo conservation in the nearby Maringa-Lopori-Wamba landscape; he also shares impressions from the first UN Forest Forum conference on Forest Peoples and Indigenous Knowledge which he attended from December 6-10, 2004 in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Contemporary Lusophone African Literatures and Cultures: A Colloquium on Cape Verde and Mozambique (Friday, February 6, 2004)
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Hosted by the African and Middle Eastern Division, the Hispanic Division, the John W. Kluge Center of the The Library of Congress; Organized by the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth; Sponsored by the Luso-American Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, and the Embassy of the Republic of Cape Verde. View details of the Colloquium.

Africans in Russia: an Historical Perspective (November 14, 2003)
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Dr. Lilly Golden, a Russian citizen, was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in the former Soviet Union to an African-American father and a Polish, Jewish-American mother. Her father, who had studied in Tuskegee under Dr. George Washington Carver, first visited the USSR in 1924, and then returned in 1934, along with 16 other African-American agriculturalists to work on the development of the cotton industry in Uzbekstan. In her presentation, Dr. Golden discussed early Africans in Europe, and contemporary race relations in Russia for people of African descent. This program was sponsored by the African and Middle Eastern and European Divisions of Area Studies, at the Library of Congress.

The Ancient Manuscripts from the Desert Libraries of Timbuktu (September 03, 2003)
Cheikh Abdel Kader Haidara, Curator, Mamma Haidara Memorial Library of Timbuktu in the Republic of Mali,
discusses the efforts to maintain the desert libraries of manuscripts from as far back as the fourteenth century, an important cultural legacy of the environs of the Sahara desert in West Africa. Cheikh Haidara is considered to be one of the leading scholars and a librarian in the Timbuktu region. Dr. Hashim El-Tinay, Founder / President, Salam Sudan Foundation translates from Arabic to English simultaneously the words of Cheikh Haidara. This program was arranged by the African Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division and Kluge Center.

As Marimbas de Angola concert featuring Jorge Macedo (November 12, 2002)
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Dr. Jorge Macedo, writer, journalist and ethno-musicologist, contributes to the 27th anniversary celebration of the independence of the Republic of Angola with a lecture and music. Matias Sacotingo serves as his interpreter. A speech by Her Excellency Josefina Pitra Diakité, Ambassador from Angola opens the event. Co-sponsored by The Embassy of Angola.

Symposium on Islam in America (January 20, 2002)
This program, part of a series of symposia on Islam, was co-sponsored by the African and Middle Eastern Division and the Office of Scholarly Programs and made possible in part by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Raja Sidawi Fund. The participants discussed the historical experience of the three major Muslim groups in the United States: the Arab, the African and the Asian.

The Lion of Judah: Prince Ermias Sahle Selsssie (December 9, 2010)
His Royal Highness Prince Ermias Sahle Selsssie Haile Selassie discusses his work.

The History of Education in Ethiopia with Special Emphasis on Higher Education (October 26, 2010)
Dr. Aklilu Habte discusses the history of higher education in Ethiopia.

African Elites in India (October 14, 2010)
Author Kenneth X. Robbins discusses his book, a series of snapshots, in the form of essays by specialists in the history numismatics, architecture, and art history of South Asia.

Cape Verde & Sao Tome Principe: Commonalities & Differences of Two Lusophone Countries (October 10, 2010)
The commonalities and differences of two Lusophone African countries are discussed.

Laurie Marker: The Cheetah: A Race for Survival (September 9. 2010)
The African and Middle Eastern Division and the Science, Technology and Business Division co-sponsored this event featuring Laurie Marker, executive director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund.

Mulenga Kapwepwe: Zambia's Cultural Heritage (April 13, 2010)
As part of a year-long celebration of its 50th anniversary, the African Section of the Library's African and Middle Eastern Division sponsors a program on Zambia's cultural heritage. The featured speaker is Mulenga Kapwepwe, policy advisor in Zambia's Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development, and chair of the Zambian National Arts Council.

Vanishing Pasts, Ethnographic Presents and Digital Futures: The Case of the Maasai Audiovisual Archives (April 7, 2010)
This international documentary training program is discussed. This program aims to provide indigenous communities with the technical and methodological skills needed to record, maintain and preserve aspects of their traditional cultural heritage and public representations. The presentation provides an inside perspective into the aims, goals and initial results from the program. It is jointly produced by the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, the Maasai Cultural Heritage Foundation, a community-based organization of Maasai people in Laikipia, Kenya, the World Intellectual Property Organization in Switzerland and Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies.

Helen Benedict on "The Edge of Eden" (April 6, 2010)
Author Helen Benedict discusses her novel of British diplomacy and clashing cultures set in 1960 on the remote Seychelle Islands in the Indian Ocean.

Tribute to Mama Afrika: Miriam Makeba (March 22, 2010)
Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the African Section and Women's History Month,The African Section, of the African and Middle Eastern Division, Library of Congress paid tribute to "Mama Afrika," Miriam Makeba, the Grammy-Award winning singer and civil rights activist, who was honored with film clips from her concerts, live performances by her fellow musicians.

Tom Shachtman: Airlift to America (March 12, 2010)
Tom Shactman discusses his book "Airlift to America: How Barack Obama Sr., John F. Kennedy, Tom Mboya and 800 East African Students Changed Their World and Ours." Cora Weiss speaks from personal experience about the airlifts and activities of the African American Students Foundation, which funded, coordinated and supported the airlifts.

China, Africa, and the African Diaspora: Perspectives (January 29, 2010)
Part of a series of programs to mark the 50th anniversary of the African Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division, Dr. Sharon Freeman discusses her latest book, "China, Africa, and the African Diaspora: Perspectives."

Killing Neighbors: Webs of Violence in Rwanda (November 4, 2009)
Author Lee Ann Fujii addresses some of the causes of the genocide that took place in Rwanda 15 years ago, killing nearly one million people in a span of 100 days. She also talks about her book "Killing Neighbors: Webs of Violence in Rwanda."

A Conversation with Film Producer Louis Stroller (November 2, 2009)
Film producer Louis Stroller talks about film, the industry and current projects involving travel to Africa and Israel.

The State of Art in Ethiopia (July 27, 2009)
Renowned artist Afewerk Tekle presented a lecture on the state of art in his native Ethiopia.

UNESCO's Role in Building Bridges to Cultural Peace (April 2, 2009)
Nureldin Satti, former UNESCO representative for Africa, discusses "UNESCO's Role in Building Bridges to Cultural Peace: Case Studies of Somalia, Burundi and Ethiopia" in a program sponsored by the African and Middle Eastern Division.

Waging Peace: Building a New Life in Chad after Conflict for the Victims of Darfur (January 12, 2009)
Brian Wakley, chief executive of CORD, discussed "Waging Peace: Building a New Life in Chad After Conflict for the Victims of Darfur" in a program sponsored by the African and Middle Eastern Division.

Lubuto Libraries for Street Children in Africa (December 3, 2008)
Across sub-Saharan Africa, where the HIV/AIDS epidemic is most severe, a growing number of orphans are heading their own households. In 12 African countries, it is projected that by 2010, 15 percent of all children under the age of 15 will be orphans. To bring literacy and hope to Africa's vulnerable children, Jane Kinney Meyers founded the Lubuto Library Project. Meyers discussed the goals and accomplishments of the project at the Library.

Ninth Annual State of the Nigerian Nation Symposium (October 10, 2008)
Morning Session
Afternoon Session
The African Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division and the Nigeria Peoples Forum-USA jointly hosted the Ninth Annual State of the Nigerian Nation Symposium -- Developing Nigeria's Power Sector: Strategies, Challenges and Impact.

In Search of Africa at the Library of Congress: Collecting and Preserving African Heritage (October 7, 2008)
The African Section of the African & Middle Eastern Division and The Prints & Photographs Division at the Library of Congress co-sponsor an illustrated lecture given by Sylivester Sennabulya.

Immaculee Ilibagiza: 2008 National Book Festival (September 27, 2008)
Immaculee Ilibagiza was born in Rwanda and studied electronic and mechanical engineering at the National University. She lost most of her family during the 1994 genocide. Four years later, she emigrated to the United States and began working at the United Nations in New York City. She is now a full-time public speaker and writer. In 2007 she established the Left to Tell Charitable Fund, which helps support Rwandan orphans. She holds honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Notre Dame and St. John's University and has received a Christopher Award and the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace (2007), among other honors. Her books include "Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust" (2006 ) and "Led by Faith: Rising from the Ashes of the Rwandan Genocide" (2008) -- both from Hay House.

Reflections from South Africa: Libraries and Society Change (February 4, 2008)
Ellen R. Tise, president-elect (2007-2009) of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), gave an informative presentation on the transformation of libraries and the library profession in South Africa titled "Reflections from South Africa: Libraries and Societal Change." The lunchtime program opened up the Library of Congress' African American History Month celebration.

Somali Food Traditions at Thanksgiving (November 15, 2007)
Barlin Ali, author of "Somali Cuisine," presented a lecture on "Somali Food Traditions at Thanksgiving" in a program sponsored by the Library's African and Middle Eastern Division and the Library of Congress Cooking Club.

Liberian-U.S. Relations Symposium (July 24, 2007)
Session I
Session II
In celebration of the 160th Independence Anniversary of the Republic of Liberia, the African and Middle Eastern Division and the Embassy of Liberia co-sponsored a symposium with the theme "Liberian-United States Relations: Past, Present and Future." Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., made a special presentation. Other speakers included His Excellency Charles A. Minor, Liberian Ambassador to the United States; Wilton Gbakolo Sengbe Sankawulo, Sr., novelist and former Chairman of the Second Liberian National Transition Government; former Sec. of Transportation Rodney Slater; Ambassador Alice M. Dear, president of A.M. Dear and Associates; David Smith, Jr., Georgia State University College of Law; and Angel D. Batiste, Library of Congress. C. Patrick Burrowes, former ELTV Action News anchor and attorney Kwame A. Clements, host and managing editor of "The African World," served as moderators of the symposium.

Life Stories and Memory Making in South Africa (February 26, 2007)
Nokuthula Mazibuko presents "Life Stories and Memory Making in South Africa" in a program sponsored by the African and Middle Eastern Division and the Embassy of South Africa. During her presentation, Mazibuko shows a segment from her documentary film, "The Spirit of No Surrender," which looks back on the 1976 youth uprisings in South Africa, focusing on the role that teachers played in firing the minds of students. She reads from her book, "Spring Offensive," a biography of two friends in Umkhonto We Sizwe, the MK Underground. Mazibuko stresses the importance of biographies and the continued need for narratives about the struggle for freedom and about the lives of ordinary South Africans.

Éwé Storytellers from Ghana (November 10, 2014)
Children's Africana Book Awards Winners, Agbotadua Togbi Kumassah and Anna Cottrell speak about their work with Harriet McGuire from Africa Access.

Kanga Stories (October 30, 2014)
Phyllis Ressler speaks about her book, "Kanga Stories," a collection of historic and contemporary information on textile trade, cultural exchange and history of East Africa. Since Kanga cloth was first produced in the mid 1800s, millions of people across East and Central Africa have treasured this textile for its designs and meaning. The value of the Kanga is closely tied to culture and context and is linked to innumerable life stories.

Véronique Tadjo (October 17, 2014)
Cote d'Ivoirean writer Véronique Tadjo read selections from her work and participated in a moderated discussion with the Library's Marieta Harper as part of the "Conversations with African Poets and Writers Series"

MASK Art Prize 2014 (June 24, 2014)
Alla Tkachuk spoke about the 2014 MASK Prize and showed some of the winning art work. MASK is a British charity that trains young people for creativity and innovation. The MASK Prize is the annual national creativity competition open to all young people up to the age of 25 in Africa and its diasporas.

The Autobiography of an African Princess (May 8, 2014)
Vivian Seton spoke about the publication of her mother's memoirs. Born to an African king in colonial Sierra Leone at the beginning of the 20th century, Princess Fatima Massaquoi lived an extraordinary life that encapsulated the contradictions, upheavals and unprecedented opportunities of her time. Beginning with her lovingly recounted memories of growing up in Liberia, it follows her to Hamburg, Germany, where she pursued an education and forged friendships, but also experienced the racism, terror, and nationalistic fervor that accompanied the Nazis' rise to power.

333 Saints: A Life of Scholarship in Timbuktu (March 18, 2014)
In 2007, supported by a Fulbright Grant, Alexandra Huddleston spent a year in Timbuktu photographing the legacy of traditional Islamic scholarship. Photographs from this project have been included in the permanent collection of the Library of Congress and exhibited at solo and group exhibitions around the world.

Retrospective & Prospective: Sudan & South Sudan (February 27, 2014)
Richard Lobban discussed the long history and vast geography of Sudan. He presented a comprehensive view of many significant events and personages in Sudanese history. As Sudan has had a turbulent and troubled post-colonial life, the program also looked closely at its political and military history including the conflicts in Darfur, the north south conflict as well as the intra-south conflict at present.

Pan African Cuisine: Healing Secrets of the Continent (February 20, 2014)
Tambra Raye Stevenson shared her culinary nutritional discoveries in African heritage foods.

Celebrating 60 Years: African Studies at Howard University (November 8, 2013)
Scholars meet to discuss and celebrate 60 years of African Studies at Howard University. Speakers included Angel Batiste, Gregory E. Carr, Wilfred L. David, Howard Dodson Jr., Robert R. Edgar and Sulayman S. Nyang.

Engaging Africans in Policy Dialogue: The Southern Voices Network (July 23, 2013)
Steve McDonald discusses the new Southern Voices Network initiative. In 2011, the Leadership Project launched the network stemming from the concern that the Southern "voice" or perspective is seldom heard in debates around issues directly affecting the nations of the global South.

MASK: Mobil Art School in Kenya (April 18, 2013)
Alla Tkachuk discussed the MASK: Mobil Arts School in Kenya.

Growth & Transformation Plan of Ethiopia (February 28, 2013)
Girma Birru discusses the prospects and challenges of the Ethiopian 2011-2015 Growth and Transformation Plan

NGOs & Importing Democracy (February 21, 2013)
Author Julie Fisher discusses her book, "Importing Democracy: The Role of NGOs in South Africa, Tajikistan, and Argentina."

UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Republic of Mali (February 20, 2013)
Janet Goldner, scholar and sculptor speaks on the UNESCO World Heritage sites within the Republic of Mali.

The Somali Collections at the Library of Congress (December 13, 2012)
Abdulahi Ahmed discusses the Somali collections at the Library of Congress.

Wildlife Heroes (November 29, 2012)
A lecture by Jeffrey Flocken, whose book discusses the work of 40 top conservationists and the animals they study and protect.

Building and Preserving the Cultural Heritage of the New Republic of South Sudan (November 14, 2012)
John Bul Dau, Abioye Oyewole, Angel Batiste, Hanibal Goitom, Marieta Harper

Street Level (November 2, 2012)
A lecture by Sarah Markes on a collection of drawings and creative writing on Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Disability Awareness in South Africa: Lessons from UNISA (October 5, 2012)
Mbambo Thata discusses disability awareness in his native South Africa.

Women from the Nigerien Sahel (May 24, 2012)
Antoinette Tidjani Alou discussed "The Secret Faces of Women from the Nigerien Sahel: Agency, Influence and Contemporary Challenges."

Living Treasures: African Elephants & Shared Responsibilities (May 24, 2012)
Julius Kipng'etich discusses African elephants.

No One's Son (May 3, 2012)
Documentary filmmaker, Tewodros "Teddy" Fekadu has lived in five countries and three continents, ultimately journeying from Eritrea and Ethiopia to the Gold Coast of Australia. His life spans war, family love, the Catholic Church, homelessness, three years of detention in Japan, and finally a country to call home and the creation of his own company.

A Momentous One Hundred Years: Ancient Ethiopia, 520-620 A.D. (March 22, 2012)
Hailu Habtu discusses the critical century of 520-620 A.D. in Ethiopia.

Growing Up Gullah (February 28, 2012)
Dorothy Browner-Hubler discusses growing up Gullah in South Carolina and Maryland.

Ambassador Johnnie Carson: 40 Years of Dedication to Africa (December 8, 2011)
Ambassador Johnnie Carson took part in a discussion of his career in the U.S. State Department.

Africa: Re-Sourcing History (November 14, 2011)
David Birmingham presents a lecture on "Africa: Re-Sourcing History."

Joseph in Africa: The Story of a Story (November 10, 2011)
Morgan Johnson presents the illustrated lecture, "Joseph in Africa: A 3,000 Year Story of a Story Retold in the Multi-ethnic Continent of Africa."

I Am Because We Are: African Wisdom in Image and Proverb (September 8, 2011)
Betty Press discussed and signed her new book, "I Am Because We Are: African Wisdom for Life."

Mere-Bi: A Senegalese Celebration of Motherhood (May 20, 2011)
Francoise Pfaff introduced the documentary film and show excerpts from "Mere-Bi" a film on Senegal's pioneer journalist, Annette Mbaye d'Erneville, directed by her son and noted filmmaker Ousmane William Mbaye.

The Impact of Mobile Technology & Telephony in East Africa (April 12, 2011)
J. Kwabena Addo discusses how mobile technology and telephony have affected job and wealth creation in East Africa, and possible lessons for the rest of Africa.

Coffee, Culture and Intellectual Property Rights: The Case of Ethiopia (March 31, 2011)
Heran Sereke-Berhan discusses coffee and intellectual property rights in Ethiopia

Compassionate Conservation in East Africa (March 17, 2011)
Will Travers of the Born Free Foundation offers a multimedia presentation on wildlife conservation in East Africa.

Managing Diversity & Social Harmony in Mauritius (February 15, 2011)
Roukaya Kasenally discusses her native land in a presentation on the challenges and limitations of managing diversity and social harmony in Mauritius.

Omar Ibn Said at the Library of Congress (February 5, 2019)
In celebration of the African American History Month, the African and Middle Eastern Division and the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress co-hosted a special all-day program.
Program schedule

Njinga of Angola: Africa's Warrior Queen (November 9, 2017)
Linda Heywood discussed her book "Njinga of Angola: Africa's Warrior Queen," about this multifaceted and successful 17th-Century African ruler.

Rwanda Women Rising (November 7, 2017)
Swanee Hunt discussed her book "Rwandan Women Rising," the story of how the female population of the tiny African nation led that country's rebirth after the horrific 1994 genocide that left nearly a million dead.

The African Poetry Book Fund Spotlight (February 10, 2017)
As part of the "Conversations with African Poets and Writers Series".
During the annual Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Conference, African Poetry Book Fund
board members discussed contemporary African poetry.

Men in the Arena (December 16, 2016)
Filmmaker J.R. Biersmith discussed his documentary film "Men in the Arena," about two Somali national soccer team friends chasing their dreams against impossible odds. It was shot in Somalia, Kenya and the United States.

Ritual Archives (October 27, 2017)
African studies scholar Toyin Omoyeni Falola discussed ritual archives.

Reintegration of Refugee Women in Post-Conflict Liberia (October 13, 2016)
Olajumoke Yacob-Haliso discussed her research on ethical dilemmas and gender factors that affect returnee refugee women in Liberia.

Where's WANDA in Africa & Diaspora? (September 29, 2016)
Author Tambra Raye Stevenson discussed her "Where's WANDA" book series and how the WANDA (Women Advancing Nutrition, Dietetics and Agriculture) character sparks the imagination of young girls to use food as a healing power in their families and communities.

Malawi Music with Giddes Chalamanda (July 5, 2016)
The 86-year-old Malawian musician, Giddes Chalamanda, performed his music for the first time in America at the Library of Congress.

The Mind of the African Strongman (May 17, 2016)
Herman Jay Cohen discussed his book, "The Mind of the African Strongman," reflecting on nearly four decades of work throughout the African continent. He shared stories of his personal encounters with some of Africa's most legendary leaders and an account of dealing with U.S. presidents, secretaries of State, and other key leaders shaping U.S. foreign policy toward Africa in the post-colonial/Cold War era.

Sailors and Daughters: Early Photography and the Indian Ocean (April 27, 2016)
Erin Haney discussed "Sailors and Daughters," an online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art. This exhibit reveals the expansive maritime societies of Zanzibar, the east African coast and beyond.

The Juneteenth Book Festival Symposium on Black Literature & Literacy (June 19, 2015)
A day-long symposium on Juneteenth, one of the oldest observances marking the end of the enslavement of African descendants in the United States. The holiday has been celebrated in Galveston, Texas, since June 19, 1865, when news of the Emancipation Proclamation first was announced in Texas. Today, Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom with an emphasis on education and literacy. The opened with a history of Juneteenth. Three panels followed on "The State of Black Literature," "The "Stakeholders of Black Literacy" and "Independent Artists: Our Journey as Storytellers of the African Diaspora."

Okey Ndibe (May 21, 2015)
Nigerian-born professor of literature Okey Ndibe read selections from his new novel "Foreign Gods Inc."

The African Heritage House (May 19, 2015)
The African Heritage House overlooking the Nairobi National Park is described by the prestigious Architectural Digest as "an architecture rising from the serene Kenyan plain like an outcropping of earth, a vision of usefulness informed by the African genius for decoration." Designed by American Alan Donovan, the house is a combination of the mud architectures from across Africa.

The Oral History of the Mali Empire (May 6, 2015)
Nubia Kai from the University of Maryland discussed her book, "Kuma Malinke Historiography: Sundiata Keita to Almamy Samori Toure."

Okwiri Oduor (April 17, 2015)
Kenyan author Okwiri Oduor read from her prize-winning short story, "My Fathers Head" and participated in a moderated discussion.

The Making of a King: King Peggy (March 31, 2015)
Peggielene Bartels, also known as King Peggy, spoke about how she became King of Otuam, a small fishing village on the coast of Ghana.

The Growing of Africa's Emergent Leadership (March 26, 2015)
Olubanke King Akerele spoke about her latest book, which presents a documentation of various programs of leadership development over time in several African countries. She discusses the impact of these programs and profiles some of Africa's emergent leaders.

Repatriates, Recaptives and African Abolitionists: The Untold Story of Liberia's Founding in 1822 (February 9, 2022)
The African Section presented this webinar led by C. Patrick Burrowes. Before returning to Liberia in 2017, Burrowes was a tenured professor of communications and humanities at Penn State University. Recently, in August 2021, he uncovered a handwritten document missing since 1835, that sheds light on the 1821 purchase of land that became Monrovia, the capital city for the only United States colony in Africa.

Building Africana Collections and Connecting to Researchers: Interviews with James Armstrong, Field Director, Library of Congress Office, Nairobi, Kenya, 1977-1990 -- Encounters with African Scholars and Researchers (January 26, 2022)
The African Section presented this interview, moderated by Librarian Laverne Page of the African and Middle Eastern Division of the Library of Congress. This was the first webinar in a two-part series.

Building Africana Collections and Connecting to Researchers: Interviews with James Armstrong, Field Director, Library of Congress Office, Nairobi, Kenya, 1977-1990 --Window on Africa: A Visit to the LC Nairobi Field Office (January 6, 2022)
The African Section presented this interview, moderated by Librarian Laverne Page of the African and Middle Eastern Division of the Library of Congress. This was the first webinar in a two-part series.

Navigating Society: Challenges and Female Agency in African Children's Literature (November 4, 2021)
In collaboration with Howard University’s Center for African Studies, and Africa Access, the African Section presented this panel discussion, moderated by Librarian Laverne Page of the African and Middle Eastern Division of the Library of Congress and Swahili language and literature lecturer Dr. Rose Sau Lugano. Panelists included authors, Tricia Elam Walker (Nana Akua goes to School), Aya Khalil (The Arabic Quilt) and Ekiuwa Aire (Idia of the Benin Kingdom).

Modern South African Cinemas: Race, Nation Building, and What It Means to Lose the UCT African Film Collection to the Recent Wildfire (June 2, 2021)
This program was sponsored by the African Section. The speaker was Dr. Cara Moyer-Duncan, associate professor at Emerson College.

Writing Beyond Writing (April 7, 2021)
This program was organized by the African Section. The speaker was Tim Brookes, Director of the Endangered Alphabets Project, a US-based non-profit organization.