Did you know 2011 was the International Year for People of African Descent? This was decided by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2009.
This is the introduction on the official website.
‘On 18 December 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the year beginning on 1 January 2011 the International Year for People of African Descent. The Year aims at strengthening national action and regional and international cooperation for the benefit of people of African descent. This includes their full enjoyment of economic, cultural, social, civil and political rights, their participation and integration in all political, economic, social and cultural aspects of society, and the promotion of a greater knowledge of and respect for their diverse heritage and culture.
Around 200 million people who identify themselves as being of African descent live in the Americas. Many millions more live in other parts of the world, outside of the African continent. In proclaiming this International Year, the international community is recognising that people of African descent represent a distinct group whose human rights must be promoted and protected.
The main objective of the Year is to raise awareness of the challenges facing people of African descent. It is hoped that the Year will foster discussions that will generate proposals for solutions to tackle these challenges.’
I don’t think this has been publicised well enough. Either that or I’m not making an effort to look for such things. I’ve taken a look at the events calendar for this and I couldn’t find one event taking place in Africa itself which I found a bit odd. Surely it’d make sense to have at least one event in the year that celebrates those of African descent taking place in Africa. There are events in the U.S., France and Switzerland which is OK if there’re also events in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya for example. I think it’s important that the bridge between those in Diaspora and those in Africa is maintained and encouraged despite difficulties. Especially for young children.
I’m not trying to rubbish the year long event but I think it’s a massive mistake not to have an event in Africa. Take a look at the site, support and spread the word if you like the look of it. And if I have missed an event in Africa, let me know.