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Immigration and new media’s impact on democracy: Milton Allimadi and the Black Star News

August 6, 2010

by Ann Garrison

This is the passport photo of Milton Allimadi, a Ugandan American graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism and the editor and publisher of the Black Star News in New York City.
Milton Allimadi, in his investigative news journal, the Black Star News, offers an unusual forum for reporting on Africa, which is so little known to most Americans, including even African Americans, because there’s so little coverage of Africa in the dominant American press, and what little there is is superficial or misleading.

Allimadi’s recent piece, “Will Obama Administration screw Africa, like all the rest?“ compared the struggle for civil and political rights in Africa to those of the American South during the 1960s:

“This is abominable and harkens to the days when, here in the United States, elections used to be held in the Southern states while Black voters were either barred from voting, being lynched, being ‘disappeared’ or showered with water cannons.”

After reading this essay, I finished editing a radio interview for Womens’ International News Gathering Service with Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, the FDU-Inkingi presidential candidate whom Paul Kagame arrested and prevented from entering Rwanda’s 2010 presidential race, which is now heading into its sham conclusion in Aug. 9 “polls.” I had to type up and read Victoire’s final statement because my telephonic internet connection to her in Rwanda failed at the very end, so I introduced it, with Milton Allimadi’s words in mind, by noting that it’s reminiscent of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and the Peace Movement that was so much more active then than now:

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza
“I want to be a leader of all Rwandans seeking political change which can help us overcome ethnic division,” she said, “and embrace a new vision where people are judged on the basis of what they contribute to the welfare of their country and not which party, racial or ethnic group they belong to.

“I dream for a Rwanda where people gather around ideas and not ethnicity, a country respected for its value and not its military might.”

As I did so, it occurred to me that Milton Allimadi and his Black Star News are examples of exactly what Colored Opinions, the blog, was created to explore: “the impact of migrants on democratic development, at home and abroad, and the possibilities new media offer to migrants for democratic development.” In this case, a very positive impact. The Black Star News, like the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper and Global Research, is one of the few news sources that regularly features African voices and news and analysis of the Pentagon’s militarization of Africa, its use of African proxy warriors, and the foreign scramble for African resources, including not only oil, but also cropland, timber, hydropower and the mineral wealth essential to modern manufacture for war.

San Francisco writer Ann Garrison writes for the San Francisco Bay View, Digital Journal, Examiner.com, OpEdNews, Global Research, Colored Opinions and her blog, Plutocracy Now. She can be reached at anniegarrison@gmail.com. This story first appeared in Colored Opinions.

One thought on “Immigration and new media’s impact on democracy: Milton Allimadi and the Black Star News

  1. Aimable

    As a Rwandan who moved to Canada over a decade ago, I agree that new media will continue to help us migrants speak out against dictators back home. With more light shining over these dictators' abuses, there is no doubt that a new democratic era will be ushered in sooner than if there had not been any new media.

    Reply

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