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#Kwibuka30 Lecture at African Leadership University

I was invited by African Leadership University to give a talk on the fight against the denial of the genocide against the Tutsi on the occasion of the 30th commemorations.  

It was an opportunity to remind students that the ideology that led to this genocide is part of the global history of racism and white supremacy. It is not part of a dark history of « the eternal night of African civilization, » as some argue from intellectual laziness (itself racist) or as an expression of Afropessimism.

I used specific examples to show that this racism, which served the colonial power to divide and conquer, was the same racism that struck other Africans and Afro-descendants for other crimes against humanity that are better known today.  

I told them that they needed to dig into this issue and do some research as this story is one of the most symbolic and important in terms of message and lessons to learn.  

In today’s context of a veritable explosion of denialist or conspiracy theories, I insisted that they must choose sources that have been validated by the survivors of the genocide, not by the killers and former collaborators (you’d think this would go without saying, but it doesn’t). No one will better protect and disseminate the lessons of our past than our generations of young African and Afro-descendant students and scholars. None of our memories and histories will be respected as long as one of them is despised.

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