International Development


Define Culture

Define Culture


Posted By on April 12, 2015 1:19 pm

Culture – and how it’s defined – has been on my mind for a while. Thanks to National Poetry Writing Month (#NaPoWriMo), I wrote a poemthing about it. Here’s “Define Culture.” Enjoy.

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I recently joined the founding team of Africans in the Diaspora (AiD), a new organization that seeks to correct the imbalance of power in African development. But this post isn’t really about that organization. I’d like to tell you a story about Lindiwe, an elderly African philanthropist I met on my travels. Her story is one I will carry with me, always. So, I think you should hear it,, too.

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I have witnessed the daily grind of empowerment of black South African lesbians, watched them sink and wade through the cultural stigma that surrounds them like a mist, clouding the world’s perception of their lives as ordinarily human. Thus, I have come to re-affirm my belief that we must also celebrate our proud perseverance, our steady survival, just as fervently as we do our big, bold acts of bravery.

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The African Union Protocol on the Rights of Women is the first comprehensive legal framework for women’s rights in Africa that seeks to “improve on the status of African women by bringing about gender equality and eliminating discrimination.” Except, it doesn’t explicitly name protections for LGBT African women. Moreover, Liberia President Sirleaf isn’t the only African woman who needs convincing that it should be included.

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Scott Lively is one of three American pastors who visited Uganda in 2009 and whom gay activists accuse of helping draft the original version of Uganda’s infamous “Kill The Gays” bill, which called for the death penalty for LGBT people in the country. So now, Sexual Minorities Uganda, a non-profit umbrella organization for LGBT advocacy groups in Uganda, is suing his ass.

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