Open letter: African writers in solidarity with African Americans

Authors voice support for US protesters seeking justice for George Floyd’s killing, urge more action by African Union.

Protesters gather near the makeshift memorial in honour of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota [Chandan Khanna/AFP]
Protesters gather near the makeshift memorial in honour of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota [Chandan Khanna/AFP]

Dozens of writers from across Africa and the diaspora have co-signed a letter of support for the Black Lives Matter movement in the face of growing protests in the United States following the latest death of an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, at the hands of white police officers.

Read the text below:

As African writers without borders who are connected beyond geography with those who live in the United States of America and other parts of the African diaspora, we state that we condemn the acts of violence on Black people in the United States of America.

We note in dismay that what Malcolm X said in Ghana in 1964 that “for the twenty million of us in America who are of African descent, it’s not an American dream; it’s an American nightmare” remains true for 37 million in 2020.

We condemn the murders of:

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, Amadou Diallo, Ahmaud Arbery, Aiyana Mo’Nay Stanly-Jones, Tony McDade, Pamela Turner, Matthew Ajibade, Rekia Boyd, Eric Garner, John Crawford III, Michael Brown, Shelly Frey, Ezelll Ford, Dante Parker, Michelle Casseaux, Yvette Smith, Darnesha Harris, Laquan Mcdonald, Atatiana Jefferson, George Mann, Tanisha Anderson, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, Rumain Brisbon, Jerame Reid, Frank Smart, Natasha Mckenna, Tony Robinson, Anthony Hill, William Chapman II, Alberta Spruill, Walter Scott, Shantell Davis, Eric Harris, Philip White, Mya Hall, Alexia Christian, Brendon Glenn, Victor Manuel Larosa, Jonathan Sanders, Salvado Ellswood, Joseph Mann, Freddie Blue, Albert Joseph Davis, Darrius Stewart, Billy Ray Davis, Samuel Dubose, Troy Robinson, Christian Taylor, Sean Bell, Brian Keith Day, Michael Sabbie, Asshams Pharoah Manley, Felix Kumi, Keith Harrison McLeod, Junior Prosper, Anthony Ashford, Dominic Hutchinson, Paterson Brown, Lamontez Jones, Bettie Jones, Alonzo Smith, Tyree Crawford India Kager, Janet Wilson, Sylville Smith, Benni Lee Tignor, Yvonne Smallwood, Kayla Moore and all other names, known and unknown, that represent human beings who are our kin.

Our blood.

We support the protests in the United States and across the world as our people demand justice for any and all racial killings whether by police or civilians. We are aware that these are not quiet protests. We do not expect it and neither should the United States of America. The killings were not done quietly. The police brutality and state sanctioned murders were done loudly with no fear of consequences from those who perpetrated them.

We acknowledge the African Union’s condemnation of the United States government’s continual terrorism towards African-Americans. We believe that the African Union can and should do better.

200530163850162

We ask that African governments recognise our alliance and connections with our brothers and sisters across borders, from America to Brazil and through the rest of the diaspora. That they offer those who choose it: refuge, homes and citizenship in the name of pan-Africanism.

We demand that the American legal institutions independently investigate every police killing as well as investigate any complaint against police violence.

We demand that any accused be suspended without pay until a fair trial clears them of charges. In essence, we are asking the United States of America to be brave enough to adhere to its own bill of rights so that it can be the land of the free for ALL Americans regardless of colour, creed or sexual orientation.

We assert that Black Lives Matter. As writers, we raise our fists in solidarity with those who refuse to be silenced. To our brothers and sisters in the United States, we stand with you.

We ask all decent human beings to join us in being our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. As they protest in the United States, please give whatever donations you can to #BlackLivesMatter.

Have signed:

1. Chris Abani
2. Kelvin Nonvignon Adantchede
3. Ali J Ahmed
4. Abdilatif Abdalla
5. Yasmin Abdel-Magied
6. Leila Aboulela
7. Leye Adenle
8. Bisi Adjapon
9. Jose Eduardo Agualusa
10. Ali J Ahmed
11. Julio de Almeida
12. Ayesha Harruna Attah
13. Sefi Atta
14. Meti Birabiro
15. Tanella Boni
16. Nana Brew-Hammond
17. Noviolet Bulawayo
18. Shadreck Chikoti
19. Nana Awere Damoah
20. Tolu Daniel
21. Ibrahim El Khalil Diallo
22. Boubacar Boris Diop
23. Raoul Djimeli
24. Edwige Dro
25. Ainehi Edoro-Glines
26. Chike Frankie Edozien
27. Filinto Elisio
28. Kalaf Epalanga
29. Amir Tag Elsir
30. Mona Eltahawy
31. Ubah Cristina Ali Farah
32. Virgilia Ferrao
33. Aminatta Forna
34. Chimeka Garricks
35. Kadija George
36. Laurence Gnaro
37. Hawa Jande Golakai
38. Isatou Alwar Graham
39. Francisco Guita Jr
40. Helon Habila
41. Osman Ahmed Hassan
42. Suad Sadig Hassan
43. Pede Hollist
44. Abdelmoumin Ibrahim
45. Abubakar Adam Ibrahim
46. Tsitsi Ella Jaji
47. Nozizwe Cynthia Jele
48. Mamle Kabu
49. Mubanga Kalimamukwento
50. Tamanda Kanjaye
51. Precious Colette Kemigisha
52. Grada Kilomba
53. Moses Kilolo
54. David Lukudu
55. Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse
56. Angela Makholwa
57. Nick Makoha
58. Jennifer Makumbi
59. Napo Masheane
60. Mohale Mashigo
61. Makanaka Mavengere
62. Eusebius Mckaiser
63. Jose Luis Mendonca
64. Maaza Mengiste
65. Thando Mgqolozana
66. Niq Mhlongo
67. Amna Mirghani
68. Nadifa Mohamed
69. Natalia Molebatsi
70. Yara Monteiro
71. Merdi Mukore
72. Marie-Louise Mumbu
73. Richard Ali Mutu
74. Kevin Mwachiro
75. Remy Ngamije
76. Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu
77. Mukoma wa Ngugi
78. Nducu Wa Ngugi
79. Natasha Omokhodion-Banda
80. Ondjaki
81. Troy Onyango
82. Tochi Onyebuchi
83. Chinelo Okparanta
84. Gabriel Adil Osman
85. Ladan Osman
86. Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor
87. Nii Ayikwei Parkes
88. Abreu Paxe
89. Mbate Pedro
90. Pepetela
91. Yovanka Paquete Perdigao
92. Hannah Azieb Pool
93. Jorge Querido
94. Sanaa Abu Qussasa
95. Abdelaziz Baraka Sakin
96. Mohamedou Ould Salahi
97. Hassan Ghedi Santur
98. Malebo Sephodi
99. Lemya Shammat
100. Lola Shoneyin
101. Lemn Sissay
102. Kola Tubosun
103. Chika Unigwe
104. Abdourahman Waberi
105. Zukiswa Wanner

The views expressed in this article are the authors’ own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

Source : Al Jazeera

More from Features
Most Read