Africa Now October 12, 2016
Topics: African World's History and Culture on the U.S. National Mall; and Unrest in Ethiopia
Topics and Guests: On September 24 the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture opened on the U.S. National Mall—fulfilling an idea 100 years in the making. But one must not forget that the story of African people is also presented on the National Mall in the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. An individual who personifies the connection between the two museum’s is Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art who joins Africa Now! today discussing African World's History and Culture on the U.S. National Mall. Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole was appointed the Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in March, 2009. Since the mid-1980’s, Dr. Cole has worked with a number of Smithsonian programs. She currently serves on the Scholarly Advisory Board for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, which just opened on National Mall on September 24, 2016. Before assuming her current position, Johnnetta Cole had a long and distinguished career as an educator and humanitarian. Dr. Cole served as president of Spelman College and Bennett College for Women. She is the only person to have served as president of these two historically Black colleges for women in the United States. She is also Professor Emerita of Emory University from which she retired as Presidential Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Women’s Studies and African American Studies. She is the President of the board of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD). She is a fellow of the American Anthropological Association and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She serves on the board of Gregory University, in Uturu, Nigeria. Dr. Cole is also a member of the Toni Morrison Society. Johnnetta Cole has been awarded 68 honorary degrees and she is the recipient of numerous awards.
On Sunday October 9th the government of Ethiopia declared a state of emergency which will be in effect for six months. This follows months of demonstrations against the Ethiopian government which began in the Oromia region last year in November and spread to Amhara region. In August peaceful demonstrations in the Oromia and Amhara regions were met with excessive force by Ethiopian security forces according to human rights groups. Then last week on October 2, dozens of protesters at a religious festival died in a stampede where rights groups said security forces used excessive force. Joining Africa Now! to discuss the unrest in Ethiopia is Mr. Adotei Akwei, Managing Director of Government Relations for Amnesty International USA.
Originally broadcast on WPFW 89.3FM, Washington, DC. Tune into Africa Now! live on WPFW 89.3 FM in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area or visit www.wpfwfm.org on Wednesdays from 1:00 to 2:00PM (Eastern).