"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


now we are six

Today marks six years of blogging at Texas in Africa. When I started this blog in August 2005 with the goal of keeping in touch with family and friends while conducting dissertation fieldwork in North Kivu, I never would have dreamed where it would end up. Today, Texas in Africa is a thriving community of smart people who bring a wide variety of perspectives to the discussion from points all over the world. For all of you, I am incredibly grateful.

You've probably noticed some changes around here in the last few months, particularly with respect to the pace of posting. As the pressures of the tenure track mount and my responsibilities as an assistant professor grow more significant, I've given up trying to post every day. Taking that pressure off of myself has helped incredibly, and I think the quality of posts has gone up as I've been more focused and truly interested in writing each one. This is a middle way between quitting blogging altogether and maintaining a now-impossible-for-me pace. Thanks for sticking with me.

Of course, there have been a lot of other exciting changes in the last couple of years as well; some of my posts are picked up by the CSM's Africa Monitor and the Guardian's Global Development blog. I'm also occasionally contributing to the Atlantic.com and in a few other places on occasion. Thank-you to the wonderful crop of editors who make me seem a far better writer than I am, and for the incredible opportunity to engage with even more people from around the world.

On a totally unrelated note, this weekend, I came across a big story here in Georgia, where a new law prohibits undocumented immigrants from attending the state's best public universities. These students, the vast majority of whom were brought to the US as small children, are excluded from the opportunities a high-quality public education can provide through no fault of their own. In response to this law, a group of University of Georgia professors have started an informal university that our state's best undocumented students can attend. They have an Amazon.com wishlist of textbooks and supplies to which anyone can donate, and the products are shipped directly to the school. I think this is a fantastic response to an unjust, discriminatory law. If you feel the same way, I hope you'll join me in purchasing a couple of books to help these students out. If you don't feel the same way, I encourage you to donate to a charity more in line with your views. Thanks for sticking around, and here's to another year of Texas in Africa.


Anonymous Melina said...

Happy birthday, TiA! Thanks for sharing with all of us. I am working on rejuvenating mine and hope it will one day be as informative and inspiring as yours.

Monday, August 29, 2011 9:25:00 AM

Anonymous Jen said...

Thank you for posting the story about Freedom University. I agree that is a great response to a horribly unjust law, I look forward to hearing about their future successes. And of course, happy birthday to TiA!

Monday, August 29, 2011 9:58:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an adjunct professor with four children who must pay full tuition to send my children to the best public universities in the US, I think those tenured professors who have started Freedom U should fund those deserving students with their own salaries, otherwise my children and their age sets, through no fault of their own, will have to fund illegal aliens who may or may not be as deserving as any other student. Please pay for my children's books as well. As Texas in Africa addresses development issues in Africa, the case of illegal immigrants leaving their native lands to benefit from public education, employment, and the wealth of other opportunities and services in America encourages a continuing brain drain drain from areas where their talents and intitiative are extremely needed. The return flow of Somalis, Sudanese, and other Africans who have benefitted from US education is dismal by comparision with those who stay. What is responsible in allowing the best and the brightest to come legally and illegally without recipricol responsibility to return and correct, reform, and repair homelands?

Monday, August 29, 2011 1:28:00 PM

Anonymous Rebecca said...

Thank you for all these years of thoughtful posts! I've truly enjoyed reading your insights.
Here's to another five years at least!

Monday, August 29, 2011 2:40:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday - Texas in Africa.
From Your Biggest Fan,

Monday, August 29, 2011 10:27:00 PM

Blogger Liz said...

I have loved reading this blog for a while now. It is a valuable tool for those of us who have our hearts in Africa, and who hope to work toward sustainable peace and development.

Monday, September 26, 2011 8:47:00 AM


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