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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Siba N. Grovogui- How We Step into the World

Siba N. Grovogui of John Hopkins University

When my daughter was in middle school, she had a history project in which she had to create a poster presenting some aspect of the Renaissance Period. She produced a compelling piece entitled The Renaissance Through African Eyes. She depicted, through Renaissance paintings, the presence of Africans in Europe, but more importantly she illustrated the commercial link between Europe and Africa and how this trade contributed to funding Europe’s enlightenment. The teacher was a bit confused as were her peers, especially students of color. What did Africans have to do with the Renaissance? Did African people even exist then? Didn’t they just miraculously appear on the plantations of the New World just in time to harvest the crops?


This proclivity of marginalizing people and their place in world history is a hallmark of how history is delivered in American academic institutions. This is why I find Professor Siba N. Grovogui, of John Hopkins University, so refreshing and why his ideas need to be disseminated and considered. Like my daughter, he is West African-she from Cote d’Ivoire and he from Guinea, and I am so excited by both of their thoughtfulness.


Here is a video of Grovogui sharing some of his ideas. Have a listen and stretch your mind.



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