Wahenga: The Queen's University Black History Journal

Wahenga: The Queen's University Black History Journal

ISSN: 1198 - 2772

Spring of 1994 marked the official launching of the journal "WAHENGA" as the mouthpiece of the Queen's University Black History Collective. "Wahenga" is the plural for a Kiswahili word "Mhenga" which according to the Oxford Swahili-English Dictionary means "an elder who sits on a native council or who is trusted to give sound advice."

Wahenga: The Queen's University Black History Journal is a forum for free reasoned discussion and debate on issues that affect Black people in all spheres of life. Wahenga is published twice yearly - Spring and Fall.

WAHENGA is an interdisciplinary journal that focuses on issues that affect the Black race directly in all spheres of life. Hence it will encourage articles, critical essays, interviews, films and book reviews, and poetry. Topics covered will as a matter of policy include, political liberation and economic development, feminism, black business and entrepreneurship, arts, crafts and religion, the medical sciences, engineering and architecture, social activism and social movements expressed in art forms such as films, drama, music and last but not least the environment. The structure of the journal and arrangement of issues in each publication will, however, be the responsibility of the Editorial Board.

The official language of WAHENGA shall for now be English. Any contribution that would be in a language other than English should have an English translation accompanying the script. In this regard, submissions in any of the African languages or those spoken in the Caribbean and Latin America are welcomed. The Editorial Board will accept contributions in hard copy but would encourage contributors to submit their work in electronic form preferably in Wordperfect or DOS Text format. Submissions can also be sent via the e-mail to this address: Abdullak@QUCDN.QEENSU.CA

The Queen's University Black History Collective, the publisher of WAHENGA, is an autonomous organization comprised of associations, groups and individuals committed to the examination and articulation of the rich and varied historical experiences of Black people every where. The Collective is open to all who are interested in the recognition, promotion and preservation of Black history, culture, customs, traditions and the contributions of Black peoples.

In the quest to establish our identity and proud African heritage, WAHENGA would continually draw attention to issues and events that relate to Africans and Black people on the African continent and in the diaspora. We draw inspiration from the renown African leader, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of independent Ghana who relentlessly spearheaded the African liberation struggle and at every opportunity championed his concept of the "African Personality". His speeches and writings remind us of a leader who was obviously ahead of his time and fought all attempts to denigrate the worth of the black person. After centuries of racial subjugation, exploitation and marginalization, we cannot tolerate any more the practice of others writing our history for us, defining us, or determining our future.

We are also proud to be associated with a continent that has produced some of the finest and great leaders including the disciplined, self-sacrificing, dedicated, as well as honest and unpretentious, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, the first president of Tanzania. We are inspired by his respect for the dignity of human beings and the promotion of African culture and tradition as enshrined in his philosophy of Ujamaa. We are reminded of his statement in 1967 when launching the Arusha Declaration he said: "We have been oppressed a great deal, we have been exploited a great deal and we have been disregarded a great deal." He continued to say that: "It is our weakness that has led to our being oppressed, exploited and disregarded. Now we want a revolution - a revolution which brings to an end our weakness, so that we are never again exploited, oppressed or humiliated."

To echo the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, we believe in peaceful co-existence of all races. But this can not be at the expense of subordination of one race by another. To all justice loving people we implore you not to be deceived by the mass media that uses every opportunity to undermine our unity and integrity and celebrate our misfortunes. Thanks to the Mandelas everywhere around the globe, our rich heritage has been finally liberated. We salute our South African sisters and brothers who have sacrificed their lives for over three and half centuries to resist racist supremacy with an indomitable spirit. The truth endured to the end. The political struggle has been won. We extend a hand of solidarity to all Africans and friends of Africa. We hope all peace loving peoples will lend a helping hand to support the reconstruction of the New South Africa, particularly investment in the youth who are the future of a free Africa. The intellectual deceit that Africans cannot govern themselves or are not "smart" enough to compete in the global economy could only be smashed if we embark on collective efforts to create and promote economic growth, political stability and democracy, and to eschew the relentless drive for political power, avarice and greed. The social conditions in Haiti, Rwanda, Somalia and Angola among others, have their endogenous explanations for sure. But any simplistic conclusions or explanations which do not take into account the tremendous role of external forces, historically and contemporarily speaking, in these societies are untenable. While we can not continually blame colonialism, imperialism and neo-colonialism for all our problems, yet to under-rate their potency is dangerous to our survival.

All these make it the more important to challenge ourselves to the task of providing a common front, a forum for all black people and our genuine supporters to systematically explore the possible avenues for social and political rejuvenation. This is exactly what WAHENGA is determined to accomplish in a modest way. The worst crime that we could commit against the Black race is to accept racial inferiority as a natural phenomenon. The Darwins of this world would like to think otherwise but we challenge them to give us proof that the Black race has accomplished or contributed nothing to human civilization. The marginalization and silencing of the contributions of Black people and the tendency to establish human and international relations on myths, historical fallacy and injustice is intellectual dishonesty of the highest order.

We expect WAHENGA to play a central role of serving as a forum for free and reasoned discussion and dialogue, and to provide an objective assessment of where we are as a people and the collective responsibility to fulfil the mission of black emancipation. As one of Black Africa's talented artists, the Rastafarian Bob Marley put it in his 'Redemption Song' the problem is one of mental slavery. It has more to do with our psyche than our physical existence. "None but ourselves can free our own minds", he rightly asserted.

We would also like to take this opportunity to encourage and invite articles and contributions from women and on feminist issues. The problem facing the Black woman in these hard times is doubly agonizing and a realistic appraisal of the situation would be more than welcomed. We also welcome comments and suggestions on how to improve on subsequent publications are highly desirable and would be greatly appreciated.

The journal, beside work from the members of the Editorial Board will encourage contributions from all who are interested in promoting the vision of the Collective.

The Editorial Board is comprised of:

Abdulghany F. Mohamed
Boniface Gebe
Chris Dill
Jacqui Massaba
Saburi Babalola
Shahabadeen Karim

Correspondence and Manuscript Submissions:

We are interested in receiving interdisciplinary analyses, short pieces on topical subjects, reviews, poems and short stories. Views expressed are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect those of the Editorial Board or the Queen's University Black History Collective

Submissions for the Fall 1994 issue are now accepted. All correspondence, submissions and subscriptions should be sent to:

Editorial Board, Wahenga: Queen's University Black History Journal, Queen's University, c/o International Centre, John Deutsch University Centre, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6


to the e-mail address: Abdullak@QUCDN.QUEENSU.CA

Subscription Rates:

1 Year:  C$12 (Regular),  C$10 (Students),  C$15 (Institutions)

To give you an idea of the contents of our first issue the following was the table of contents:

Editorial Notes

A Well Wisher                                      Anne-Marie Stewart

There's a lot of Black History out there           Colin Rickards

Some Facts about Black History
in Canada: An Educational Tool                     Black History Ottawa

The Antidote to Prejudice                          Colin Rickards

Integrating Black History within
the Canadian Education System:
With an emphasis on Post-Secondary Studies         Afua Cooper

Re-Locating the Black American Freedom
Struggle in an International Context:
Sudrashan Kapur's "Raising Up a Prophet"           Ian Petrie

Blacks and the Post-Civil Rights Struggle          Chris Dill

Black Out on Black Architecture                    Rohan Walters

Queen's Medical Faculty Expels
Black Students in 1918                             Ian Malcolm

The Pursuit of Excellence                          Vincent Lawrence

Class of 1852 Brings Black Student
to Queen's Campus                                  Ian Malcolm

Deconstructing the Queen's Spirit                  Amina Ally

Scary Costumes                                     Zoe Boxx

The Victim is Guilty                               Boniface Gebe

Conscious Poets                                    Nambitha Mpumlwana

Karibuni Wageni Wetu (Welcome Our Guests)          Abdulghany Mohamed

Executive Report

The Editorial Board and the Executive of the Queen's University Black History Collective gratefully acknowledge the support from the Ontario Anti-Racism Secretariat, Ministry of Citizenship and the Queen's Alumni Association whose generous financial and moral support helped the establishment and publication of this journal.

Organization: Queen's University at Kingston
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 1994 15:24:16 EDT
Message-ID: <94222.152416ABDULLAK@QUCDN.QueensU.CA>
Newsgroups: soc.culture.african,soc.culture.african.american
Subject: Black History Journal

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar
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