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Tributes Pour Out for Ron Dellums, Celebrated US Congressman Who Worked to Dismantle Apartheid

Dellums led the African-American fight against South African apartheid by writing the Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986.

Ron Dellums, one of America's most reputable black congressmen passed away on Monday in Washington DC , he was 82.

Dellums an Oakland, California native who served 27 years in congress, was known for his progressive and fiercely anti-war agenda. He opposed every American military intervention during his time in congress, with the exception of sending emergency relief to Somali in 1992, reports the New York Times. As a young politician, he demanded a House investigation into America's war crimes during the Vietnam War.

He dedicated decades-long his career to advocating for racial and economic equality in America and elsewhere—the politician played a major role in helping weaken international support for the South African apartheid regime. He ran a 14-year long campaign against the apartheid government and went on to write the legislation for the Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, which would strict trade embargoes and economic sanctions on the repressive South African government. President Ronald Reagan infamously vetoed the bill, leading congress to override him. It was the first time that congress had rejected a president's foreign policy veto in the 20th century.


Dellums also supported the restriction of foreign aid to repressive African governments in Zaire (present-day DRC), Burundi, Liberia and Sudan.

The popular 2000 Disney film The Color of Friendship, about an African-American family who takes in a white South African exchange student, was based on Dellums' family, and was many young people's first introduction to the activist's work.

He was commonly labeled a communist by right-wing politicans, for his left-leaning liberal standing and for a meeting he held with Fidel Castro in 1977. He responded to such accusations in the Washington Post, stating:

"If being an advocate of peace, justice and humanity toward all human beings is radical, then I'm glad to be called radical, and if it is radical to oppose the use of 70 percent of federal monies for destruction and war, then I am a radical."

He was the first African-American and the first anti-war chairman of the Armed Services Committee.

Dellums is being remembered as a fearless and dedicated leader, committed to his mission of achieving peace, racial equality and social justice in the United States and for black people around the world, even when it threatened his career.

"So here comes this black guy from the Bay Area," he told The Progressive magazine when he retired from Congress in 1998, according to The New York TImes. "Talking about peace, feminism, challenging racism, challenging the priorities of the country, and talking about preserving the fragile nature of our ecological system. People looked at me as if I was a freak. And looking back, I think that the only crime we committed was that we were 20 years ahead of our time."

Tributes have been pouring out for the pioneering congressman and activist on social media.












Stormzy performs during The BRIT Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage) via Getty Images.

Watch Stormzy's Powerful BRIT Awards Performance Featuring Burna Boy

The night saw the British-Ghanaian star run through a medley of songs from his latest album, Heavy Is the Head.

The BRIT Awards 2020, which went down earlier this week, saw the likes of Stormzy take home the Best Male trophy home and Dave win Best Album.

The night also saw Stormzy deliver a stunning performance that featured a medley of songs from his latest album, Heavy Is the Head. The British-Ghanaian star started things out slow with "Don't Forget to Breathe," before popping things off with "Do Better" then turning up the heat with "Wiley Flow."

Stormzy nodded to J Hus, playing a short bit of "Fortune Teller," before being joined onstage by Nigeria's Burna Boy to perform their hit "Own It." Burna Boy got his own moment and performed an energetic rendition of his African Giant favorite "Anybody."

The night was closed off with a powerful message that read: "A lot of time they tell us 'Black people, we too loud.' Know what I'm sayin'? We need to turn it down a little bit. We seem too arrogant. We a little too much for them to handle. Black is beautiful man." The message flashed on a black screen before a moving performance of "Rainfall" backed by his posse.

Watch the full performance below.

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The ornate gilded copper headgear, which features images of Jesus Christ and the Twelve Apostles, was unearthed after refugee-turned-Dutch-citizen Sirak Asfaw contacted Dutch 'art detective' Arthur Brand. (Photo by Jan HENNOP/AFP) (Photo by JAN HENNOP/AFP via Getty Images)

A Stolen 18th Century Ethiopian Crown Has Been Returned from The Netherlands

The crown had been hidden in a Dutch apartment for 20 years.

In one of the latest developments around art repatriation, a stolen 18th century Ethiopian crown that was discovered decades ago in the Netherlands, has been sent back home.

Sirak Asfaw, an Ethiopian who fled to The Netherlands in the '70s, first found the relic in the suitcase of a visitor in 1998, reports BBC Africa. He reportedly protected the item for two decades, before informing Dutch "art crime investigator" Arthur Brand and authorities about his discovery last year.

The crown is one of only 20 in existence and features intricate Biblical depictions of Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit. Historians believe it was given to the church by the warlord Welde Sellase several centuries ago.

Read: Bringing African Artifacts Home

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Still from Youtube.

Watch Samba Yonga's Kick-Ass TED Talk on an 'African Superhero Curriculum'

The co-founder of the Zambian Women's History Museum speaks about the importance of indigenous knowledge in creating Africa's own superheroes.

Co-founder of the Zambian Women's History Museum, Samba Yonga, is on a mission to reclaim Africa's history and indigenous knowledge in a way that allows Africans to centre themselves in their own narratives and become their own superheroes.

She recently spoke at TEDxLusaka about developing a "blueprint for the African superhero curriculum". It's the TED talk that you definitely need to watch this year.

Keep reading...

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