Journeys through the Black Atlantic:

Exploring the political aspirations and achievements of Black Atlantic people and cultures

The Black Atlantic is a network of cultures spanning Africa, North and South America, the Caribbean and Europe forged, in the first instance, by the transatlantic slave trade. This timeline records some of the political, intellectual, aesthetic and activist work done in this transnational cultural formation since 1945.

2003

12

Apr

“Nations enshrine mediocrity as their modus operandi, and create the fertile ground for the rise of tyrants and other base elements of the society, by silently assenting to the dismantling of systems of excellence because they do not immediately benefit one specific ethnic, racial, political, or special-interest group. That, in my humble opinion, is precisely where Nigeria finds itself today!"

- Chinua Achebe, There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra -
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1969

09

Sep

Machine gun
Tearing my body all apart

Machine gun
Tearing my body all apart

Evil man make me kill ya
Evil man make you kill me
Evil man make me kill you
Even though we're only families apart

Well I pick up my axe and fight lik a bomber
(you know what I mean)
Hey and your bullets keep knocking me down

Hey I pick up my axe and fight like a bomber now
Yeah but you still blast me down to the ground

The same way you shoot me down baby
You'll be going just the same
Three times the pain
And your own self to blame
Hey machine gun

Oooooooooo

I ain't afraid of your mess no more, babe
I ain't afraid no more
After a while your your cheap talk don't evern cause me pain
So let your bullets fly like rain

'cause I know all the time you're wrong baby
And you'll be goin' just the same
Yeah machine gun
Tearing my family apart
Yeah yeah alright
Tearing my family apart

Don't you shoot him down
He's about to leave here
Don't you shoot him down
He's got to stay here
He ain't going nowhere
He's been shot down to the ground
Oh where he can't survive no no

Yeah that's what we don't wanna hear any more, alright
No bullets
At least here, huh huh
No guns, no bombs
Huh huh
No nothin', just let's all live and live
You know instead of killin'

- Jimi Hendrix -
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1955

28

Aug

“Southern trees bear a strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swingin' in the Southern breeze
Strange fruit hangin' from the poplar trees"

- Billie Holiday, Strange Fruit -
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1948

11

Jun

“What then did you expect when you unbound the gag that muted those black mouths? That they would chant your praises? Did you think that when those heads that our fathers had forcibly bowed down to the ground were raised again, you would find adoration in their eyes?”

- Jean-Paul Sartre -
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