Open letter: African writers in solidarity with African Americans

by | Jun 14, 2020 | Advocacy, Race

More than 100 authors across Africa have penned an open letter to voice support for US protesters seeking police reforms and justice for George Floyd’s killing. The authors offer support for the Black Lives Matter movement and urge more action by the African Union.

This letter was originally published on Al Jazeera. Read the letter below.

As African writers without borders who are connected beyond geography with those who live in the United States of America and other parts of the African diaspora, we state that we condemn the acts of violence on Black people in the United States of America.

We note in dismay that what Malcolm X said in Ghana in 1964 that “for the twenty million of us in America who are of African descent, it’s not an American dream; it’s an American nightmare” remains true for 37 million in 2020.

We condemn the murders of:

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, Amadou Diallo, Ahmaud Arbery, Aiyana Mo’Nay Stanly-Jones, Tony McDade, Pamela Turner, Matthew Ajibade, Rekia Boyd, Eric Garner, John Crawford III, Michael Brown, Shelly Frey, Ezelll Ford, Dante Parker, Michelle Casseaux, Yvette Smith, Darnesha Harris, Laquan Mcdonald, Atatiana Jefferson, George Mann, Tanisha Anderson, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, Rumain Brisbon, Jerame Reid, Frank Smart, Natasha Mckenna, Tony Robinson, Anthony Hill, William Chapman II, Alberta Spruill, Walter Scott, Shantell Davis, Eric Harris, Philip White, Mya Hall, Alexia Christian, Brendon Glenn, Victor Manuel Larosa, Jonathan Sanders, Salvado Ellswood, Joseph Mann, Freddie Blue, Albert Joseph Davis, Darrius Stewart, Billy Ray Davis, Samuel Dubose, Troy Robinson, Christian Taylor, Sean Bell, Brian Keith Day, Michael Sabbie, Asshams Pharoah Manley, Felix Kumi, Keith Harrison McLeod, Junior Prosper, Anthony Ashford, Dominic Hutchinson, Paterson Brown, Lamontez Jones, Bettie Jones, Alonzo Smith, Tyree Crawford India Kager, Janet Wilson, Sylville Smith, Benni Lee Tignor, Yvonne Smallwood, Kayla Moore and all other names, known and unknown, that represent human beings who are our kin.

Our blood.

We support the protests in the United States and across the world as our people demand justice for any and all racial killings whether by police or civilians. We are aware that these are not quiet protests. We do not expect it and neither should the United States of America. The killings were not done quietly. The police brutality and state sanctioned murders were done loudly with no fear of consequences from those who perpetrated them.

We acknowledge the African Union’s condemnation of the United States government’s continual terrorism towards African-Americans. We believe that the African Union can and should do better.

We ask that African governments recognise our alliance and connections with our brothers and sisters across borders, from America to Brazil and through the rest of the diaspora. That they offer those who choose it: refuge, homes and citizenship in the name of pan-Africanism.

We demand that the American legal institutions independently investigate every police killing as well as investigate any complaint against police violence.

We demand that any accused be suspended without pay until a fair trial clears them of charges. In essence, we are asking the United States of America to be brave enough to adhere to its own bill of rights so that it can be the land of the free for ALL Americans regardless of colour, creed or sexual orientation.

We assert that Black Lives Matter. As writers, we raise our fists in solidarity with those who refuse to be silenced. To our brothers and sisters in the United States, we stand with you.

We ask all decent human beings to join us in being our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. As they protest in the United States, please give whatever donations you can to #BlackLivesMatter.

Have signed:

  1. Chris Abani
  2. Kelvin Nonvignon Adantchede
  3. Ali J Ahmed
  4. Abdilatif Abdalla
  5. Yasmin Abdel-Magied
  6. Leila Aboulela
  7. Leye Adenle
  8. Bisi Adjapon
  9. Jose Eduardo Agualusa
  10. Ali J Ahmed
  11. Julio de Almeida
  12. Ayesha Harruna Attah
  13. Sefi Atta
  14. Meti Birabiro
  15. Tanella Boni
  16. Nana Brew-Hammond
  17. Noviolet Bulawayo
  18. Shadreck Chikoti
  19. Nana Awere Damoah
  20. Tolu Daniel
  21. Ibrahim El Khalil Diallo
  22. Boubacar Boris Diop
  23. Raoul Djimeli
  24. Edwige Dro
  25. Ainehi Edoro-Glines
  26. Chike Frankie Edozien
  27. Filinto Elisio
  28. Kalaf Epalanga
  29. Amir Tag Elsir
  30. Mona Eltahawy
  31. Ubah Cristina Ali Farah
  32. Virgilia Ferrao
  33. Aminatta Forna
  34. Chimeka Garricks
  35. Kadija George
  36. Laurence Gnaro
  37. Hawa Jande Golakai
  38. Isatou Alwar Graham
  39. Francisco Guita Jr
  40. Helon Habila
  41. Osman Ahmed Hassan
  42. Suad Sadig Hassan
  43. Pede Hollist
  44. Abdelmoumin Ibrahim
  45. Abubakar Adam Ibrahim
  46. Tsitsi Ella Jaji
  47. Nozizwe Cynthia Jele
  48. Mamle Kabu
  49. Mubanga Kalimamukwento
  50. Tamanda Kanjaye
  51. Precious Colette Kemigisha
  52. Grada Kilomba
  53. Moses Kilolo
  54. David Lukudu
  55. Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse
  56. Angela Makholwa
  57. Nick Makoha
  58. Jennifer Makumbi
  59. Napo Masheane
  60. Mohale Mashigo
  61. Makanaka Mavengere
  62. Eusebius Mckaiser
  63. Jose Luis Mendonca
  64. Maaza Mengiste
  65. Thando Mgqolozana
  66. Niq Mhlongo
  67. Amna Mirghani
  68. Nadifa Mohamed
  69. Natalia Molebatsi
  70. Yara Monteiro
  71. Merdi Mukore
  72. Marie-Louise Mumbu
  73. Richard Ali Mutu
  74. Kevin Mwachiro
  75. Remy Ngamije
  76. Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu
  77. Mukoma wa Ngugi
  78. Nducu Wa Ngugi
  79. Natasha Omokhodion-Banda
  80. Ondjaki
  81. Troy Onyango
  82. Tochi Onyebuchi
  83. Chinelo Okparanta
  84. Gabriel Adil Osman
  85. Ladan Osman
  86. Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor
  87. Nii Ayikwei Parkes
  88. Abreu Paxe
  89. Mbate Pedro
  90. Pepetela
  91. Yovanka Paquete Perdigao
  92. Hannah Azieb Pool
  93. Jorge Querido
  94. Sanaa Abu Qussasa
  95. Abdelaziz Baraka Sakin
  96. Mohamedou Ould Salahi
  97. Hassan Ghedi Santur
  98. Malebo Sephodi
  99. Lemya Shammat
  100. Lola Shoneyin
  101. Lemn Sissay
  102. Kola Tubosun
  103. Chika Unigwe
  104. Abdourahman Waberi
  105. Zukiswa Wanner

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