Two South African cultural warriors died last month. I was privileged to know them both, but I was only one among literally millions, in the United States and around the world, who felt the impact of their passionate creativity, energy, and political commitment. All of us have the opportunity and the duty to carry their legacy across generations into the future. For those who don't follow Making the Road on Facebook, I am repeating here the tributes I shared earlier there.
On "Bra Willie Kgositsile": A Short Sharing with Friends, Family & Comrades by Prexy Nesbitt, Chicago (1/12/2018)
Willie wouldn’t want mourning. With that wise San twinkle in his graying Kalaharan eyes, he would say, "Go out and intensify the struggle!" How would he respond to the racist ignorance of U.S. "shit hole" presidents? He would say, "Don’t mourn…Let's out-organize the mf's!" See entire article here
A Note to/on the Passing of A Long-time Comrade/Musician-Troubador. by Prexy Nesbitt, Chicago (1/23/18)
I couldn't take it in. No Hugh Masekela … no struggle music. I met and was at meetings and rallies and demonstrations with Hugh and his poet sister, Barbara, starting in the mid & late 60’s. See entire article here
Strengthening the human links across continents that Bra Willie and Bra Hugh forged so powerfully is a task that falls to all of us, across generations. Making the Road is committed to continuing to play our part. But we can only do it with your help.
So I'm asking you to read the updated announcement below and to pass it on, particularly to teachers in your networks. Pre-applications should be submitted as soon as possible. Final deadlines for full applications are due March 15 for Southern Africa and May 15 for Cuba.
And to ensure that participation in these seminars can extend to younger participants, we also need your help. Ten educators, students, and activists have so far signed up for the Southern Africa or Cuba seminar, and those who cannot pay the full costs themselves are working hard to raise funds. Making the Road is committed to providing partial scholarships to supplement individual fundraising. But how many people we can support depends on you.
Many thanks to those of you who already contributed to Making the Road in December and January. But, if you have not yet done so, please consider making a contribution now - small or large.
You can make your secure tax-deductible donation on-line through the South African Development Fund, which serves as the fiscal sponsor for Making the Road. Be sure to designate your donation for Making the Road. Or you can send a check, made out to the South Africa Development Fund and designated for Making the Road, to SADF, 555 Amory Street, Boston, MA 02130.
A Luta Continua,
P.S. Please note. This email address this is sent from is used for updates related to the Making the Road trips. For personal messages to Prexy, please use his personal email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Making the Road 2018 Travel Seminars with Prexy Nesbitt
Teaching "Africa" in a Transnational Age: Countries, Continents, and Global Social Justice
Stereotypes about Africa and Africans are deeply entrenched, as we have been painfully reminded by the crude words and deadly policies of President Trump. Domestic racism is deeply intertwined with this racist posture towards the world we all live in.
Making the Road travel seminars provide a unique opportunity for educators and activists to strengthen their capacity to combat such racism. These seminars, led by Prexy Nesbitt, are much more than travel. They open new understandings for participants through conversations that connect the Americas and Southern Africa, history to the present, and different generations to one another.
Making the Road can provide you with a unique transnational experience, whether you are a teacher with the opportunity to address these issues in your classroom or a progressive activist working in another profession or organizational context. You can better equip yourselves for action and nourish your inspiration by dialogue with others engaged in parallel struggles.,
Seminar leader Prexy Nesbitt
During the school year, Prexy Nesbitt teaches African history at Columbia College in Chicago, leads educational and cultural tours of Chicago’s South and West Sides, and travels widely for speaking engagements on Africa and on racial and social justice issues. For almost 40 years, Prexy has also led summer travel seminars to Southern Africa, and in recent years also to Cuba (http://makingtheroad.com/past-seminars/). These seminars are designed to make in- person links across national, ethnic, and racial borders, generations, and mental "silos" and to foster progressive analysis and activism across these boundaries.
Born on Chicago’s West Side, Prexy has spent more than five decades as an educator, activist, and speaker on Africa, foreign policy, and racism. Over the course of his career, Prexy has made more than one hundred trips to Africa, including trips taken in secret to apartheid-torn South Africa. An experienced teacher and lecturer at both high school and university levels, he has also worked as a “red cap,” social worker, union organizer, special assistant to Chicago’s Mayor, the late Harold Washington, and a senior program officer with the MacArthur Foundation in Chicago.
Making the Road Seminars
Whether in South Africa, Namibia, or Cuba, you will meet ordinary and extraordinary people who played key roles in Southern Africa's freedom struggles and are engaged in today's transnational struggles against racism and inequality. You will bring back a deeper appreciation of both historical struggles and today's realities, and build lasting ties with new friends. Your teaching will be enriched by your experiences and by bringing these voices into your classroom.
Making the Road seminars also include visits to iconic sites and local communities. In South Africa, for example, participants in 2016 and 2017 visited sites such as Robben Island and District Six Museum in Cape Town, the apartheid museum in Johannesburg, and townships such as Soweto and Khayelitsa. But Southern Africa is more than South Africa, and so seminars also visit one other country each year, Mozambique in 2016 and Namibia in 2017 and 2018. In each country participants meet current activists as well as veterans of the historic liberation struggle.
"In July 2016 I had the opportunity to travel to South Africa and Mozambique with Making the Road, joining a dynamic and inspiring group of activists, scholars and students. I was honored and humbled to be part of a vibrant dialogue with American, South African, and Mozambican change-makers who were not only committed to transforming their communities but also making historical and transnational connections. For me the trip was like a [re]boot camp." - Anita Plummer, Assistant Professor, African Studies, Howard University
Find out more at the links below. Space is limited. To increase your chances of being included, submit your pre-application as soon as possible.