Veye Tatah was a plenary moderator at the 1st Black European Women’s Congress in Vienna. She is a computer scientist, journalist and a co editor and chief of the Africa Positive magazine printed in Germany.
Africa Positive is a German language magazine with a positive angle on the African continent. The project was founded by Veye Tatah when she became tired of people only relating to war and famine when talking about Africa. The magazine has existed since 1999 and covers politics, culture, sport, tourism, fashion and music.
Beatrice Achaleke was one of the organizers of the 1st Black European Women’s Congress in Vienna. She chaired several question and answer sessions with presenters, held press conferences, attended to conference attendees needs and generally was the glue that held everything and everyone together.
She is the director of AFRA, the International Center for Black Women’s Perspectives in Vienna. She is an activist, anti-racism and intercultural communications trainer, and a member of the Black Austria team.
Measures need to be taken not only to tackle discrimination but to address the disadvantage that has been created by years upon years of discrimination. Migrants create jobs; it is time for the jobs that they create start benefiting them.
Belinda Kazeem led the “Challenges faced by young black communities” working group at the 1st Black European Women’s Congress in Vienna. She studies International Relations and Afrikanistics. She’s a member of the Black Austrian History research group and is an activist, film producer, and is active in the theater.
Belinda has participated in, and contributed to numerous discussions, courses, and exhibitions on topics that include, “Concepts and Practices of Countereducation in Black European Spaces”, “HERMES Summer Course 2006: Heritage on display-Investigating museums in the context of local and regional development”, producing a video installation on Josephine Soliman 2006, and “Hidden Histories-remapping Mozart”.
Dr. Mazama flew in from the United States, where she is a professor at Temple University, to address the 1st Black European Women’s Congress in Vienna. She has 6 university degrees, has taught at 5 universities, has authored or co-authored 11 books, and has written over one dozen articles. Dr. Mazama spoke to us about Equality, Equal opportunities and Challenges for the Black Community in Europe.
Ama Mazama (aka Marie-Josée Cérol) is Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Programs of the Department of Africa American Studies at Temple University. She received her PhD with highest distinction from La Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris III. After graduating from La Sorbonne with Highest Distinction in Linguistics for her doctorarte, Professor Ama Mazama taught at the University of Texas, Pennsylvania State University, before arriving at Temple University in l993. She established a reputation as the principal exponent of the African origin of the Guadeloupian language. In two books, Langue et Identité en Guadeloupe: Une Perspective Afrocentrique and Une Introduction au Créole Guadeloupéen. Her other titles include L’impératif afrocentrique.
She is the Managing Editor of the Journal of Black Studies. Her publications appear in journals in three continents. Well known as an educational consultant for the infusion of African content in American schools Mazama has written several books for teachers in addition to her major scholarly works in Afrocentric philosophy and theory. Two co-edited encyclopedias, the Encyclopedia of Black Studies and the Encyclopedia of African Religion, earned praise for their pioneering work from the National Council of Black Studies. Her scholarly works critique domination and hegemonic philosophies, reveal the cultural, linguistic, and religious bases of Caribbean culture, especially Vodu, and examine cultural and critical methods of establishing an ethic of justice and equity.
I must say that the support from my brothers of the Vienna Declaration has moved me. Villager, Asabanga, and AAPP have all given their support. Here’s a note from Eddie:
Adrianne, I wish to do more than congratulate the Black European Women Congress. Your recommendations to the European Union are powerful and revolutionary. I am also proud of the span of the sisters’ network overseas. Although we are separated geographically, we have another powerful voice in the international arena, and that gives us more power, collectively.
In the past, when we found it impossible to break the silence of the US media, we took our stories overseas and sisters and brothers took up our cause and published our stories in the European media. When we engaged in phone-in campaigns, it was the phone calls from our European brothers and sisters that had the greatest impact.
When we finalize our ties with Africa, South and Central America, and the isles, we will have come full circle with the African Diaspora. We will no longer need white intermediaries to convey for us what we can communicate amongst ourselves.
More power to the Black European Women Congress. I look forward to the day when we will speak with one voice from around the globe.
1. Each Black European Woman attending felt a bond with each other. We were all sisters together regardless of our African origin or European location.
2. Every woman at the Congress made a personal and/or financial committment to be in Vienna and each one made a committment to reach out to other Black European women in their respective countries to spread the word about our network.
3. Emotions ran high as discussions and debates revealed our deep desire to participate in a dialogue about what it means to be a Black Women in Europe. I wept because I was so overwhelmed at the amount of abounding love, and the intense feeling of belonging. This is something Black Women in Europe seldom feel.
4. We left the congress feeling optimistic, stonger and empowered having set our agenda at the EU level. The presence of MEP’s, national and local politicians, and our very own Brenda King validated the need for such a forum.
5. The fact that our congress was covered by the Austrian and international media is joyful as it is one step in the direction of countering negative images of Black European Women.