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Being in and out of Africa: The Impact of Duality of Ethiopianism

Published in 2009, Jalata, Asafa, Journal of Black Studies - Archived on May 20th, 2015

Title: Being in and out of Africa: The Impact of Duality of Ethiopianism
Author: Asafa Jalata (University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA)
Published: Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 40, No. 2 (2009), pp. 189-214 | On April 29, 2015, a version of this paper was presented as a seminar at the University of Botswana.
Language: English
Keywords: Ethiopianism, racism, colonialism, Abyssinia, Ethiopia, Oromo, Habashas (Amhara-Tigray), Africanness, Blackness, state terrorism, Afrocentricity, Oromummaa (culture identity nationalism), self-determination, multinational democracy

Abstract
This article critically examines how the duality inherent in the concept of Ethiopianism shifts back and forth between claims of a “Semitic” identity when appealing to the White, Christian, ethnocentric, occidental hegemonic power center and claims of an African identity when cultivating the support of sub-Saharan Africans and the African diaspora while, at the same time, ruthlessly suppressing the history and culture of non-Semitic Africans of the various colonized peoples, such as Oromos. Successive Ethiopian state elites have used their Blackness to mobilize other Africans and the African diaspora for their political projects by confusing original Africa, Ethiopia, or the Black world with contemporary Ethiopia (former Abyssinia) and at the same time have allied with Euro-American powers and practiced racism, state terrorism, genocide, and continued subjugation on the indigenous Africans who are, today, struggling for self-determination and multinational democracy. Exposing the racist discourse of Ethiopianism and liberating the mentality of all Africans and the African diaspora from this “social cancer” must be one of the tasks of a critical paradigm of Afrocentricity. Developing Oromummaa (Oromo culture, identity, and nationalism), the Oromo national movement engages in such a liberation project.

Article in PDF format on “Selected Works of Asafa Jalata”   ……   Alternatively, On Gadaa.com

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Ethiopian Language Policy and Health Promotion in Oromia

Published in 2006, Dugassa, Begna F., Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare - Archived on May 5th, 2015

Title: Ethiopian Language Policy and Health Promotion in Oromia
Author: Begna F. Dugassa (Toronto Public Health, Toronto, Canada)
Published: Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare Vol.1, No.2, 2011, pp. 55-64
Language: English
Keywords: public health, Ethiopia, health policy, health education, Oromia, colonial language policies

Abstract:
In the time of HIV/AIDS, epidemics for which we have no vaccination or cure, public health is bound entirely to depend on the traditional health education strategies to stop or contain this disease. This reality demands that we travel extra miles and thoroughly employ every health promotion tool at our disposal. The Ottawa Charter for health promotion stressed the need for public policy to create supportive social conditions for health. This necessitates a commitment to enduring social conditions for health and raises topics that have been neglected by the traditional public health scholars. A close examination of the colonial language policy of Ethiopia reveals that language is not value free and is intermingled with power and has significant public health impacts. In this paper, I critically examine Ethiopian language policy within the framework of health promotion and demonstrate the ways in which such policy creates a barrier for the Oromo people in making life choices. Additionally it hinders them from ensuring the conditions in which they can be healthy. This paper addresses a gap in the research literature on the impacts of colonial language policies on health promotion.

Article in PDF format

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The Conflict between the Ethiopian State and the Oromo People

Published in 2013, European Conference on African Studies, Kumsa, Alemayehu - Archived on August 13th, 2014

Title: The Conflict between the Ethiopian State and the Oromo People
Author: Alemayehu Kumsa, PhD
Published: Centro de Estudos Internacionais do Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL) (5th European Conference on African Studies/ECAS – June 27-29, 2013)
Language: English
Keywords: Colonialism, Abyssinia, Oromo, Ethiopia, Liberation Movement

Abstract:
Colonialism is a practice of domination, which involves the subjugation of one people to another. The etymology of the term from Latin word colonus, meaning farmer. This root reminds us that the practice of colonialism usually involves the transfer of population to new territory, where the arrivals lived as permanent settlers while maintaining political allegiance to the country of origin. Colonialism is a characteristic of all known civilizations. Books on African history teaches us that Ethiopia and Liberia are the only countries, which were not colonized by West European states, but the paper argues that Ethiopia was created by Abyssinian state colonizing its neighbouring nations during the scramble for Africa. Using comparative colonial history of Africa, the paper tries to show that Abyssinian colonialism is the worst of conquest and colonial rule of all territories in Africa, according to the number of people killed during the conquest war, brutal colonial rule, political oppression, poverty, lack of education, diseases, and contemporary land grabbing only in the colonial territories. In its arguments, the paper discusses why the Oromo were defeated at the end of 19th century whereas we do have full historical documents starting from 13th century in which the Oromo defended their own territory against Abyssinian expansion. Finally the paper will elucidate the development of Oromo national struggle for regaining their lost independence.

Article in PDF format   ……   Alternatively, On Gadaa.com

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Millions on the Margins: Music, Ethnicity, and Censorship among the Oromo of Ethiopia

Published in 2011, Mollenhauer, Shawn Michael - Archived on June 20th, 2012

Editor’s Note: Republished after acquiring the full dissertation from the author (document attached below).

Title: Millions on the Margins: Music, Ethnicity, and Censorship among the Oromo of Ethiopia
Author: Shawn Michael Mollenhauer (Music Department, University of California-Riverside, USA)
Published: Thesis Collection
Language: English
Keywords: Africa, Censorship, Ethiopia, Ethnicity, Ethnomusicology, Oromo

Abstract:
This dissertation will demonstrate how music among the Oromo people of present day Ethiopia functions as a system for the preservation and negotiation of a uniquely Oromo identity, as well as a vehicle for resistance against the hegemony long ago established by outside ethnic groups. I will demonstrate how a long history of censorship of Oromo music by various ruling elites has made censorship one of the major features of Oromo social and aesthetic processes. This dissertation will therefore investigate the dynamic of the processes and dialogues through which Oromo identity becomes manifested, and in which music plays a deep role. In Ethiopia, a nation officially “independent” of European colonialism, “Ethiopian” culture was always equated with that of an ethnic minority. Not until the fall of Haile Selassie were the voices of other histories and previously peripheral groups given a chance to participate in the dialogue of Ethiopian statehood. I will use my ethnographic research from the US to Ethiopia to explore the relationship between performance art and state power in Ethiopia. Marginalized under Selassie, embraced and then shunned under the Derg and the current regime of Meles Zenawi, Oromo music demonstrates these complicated relationships. Oromos use music to “remember” past histories, bolster a sense of community among Oromo speaking groups, and fuel anti-colonial nationalism directed not at a European invader, but a black African one. Oromo music is used by the current regime in Ethiopia to present a face of multiculturalism. Yet while the government selectively preserves Oromo culture, Oromo musicians continue to be imprisoned, intimidated, and disappeared for making certain kinds of music. Because of this, various forms of censorship (both external and internal) have become a part of the Oromo music making process. Ethnic identity in general, and Oromo identity in particular, is performative. Music, like the ethnic identity it is used to bolster, is a performative act that creates a space for a polyvocal and heterogeneous dialogue through which Oromo identity is constituted. What can the relationship between Oromo music and the Ethiopian state tell us about ethno-nationalism, censorship, and memory? What does the selective preservation on the part of both Oromo and the Ethiopian government tell us about the role of performance in maintaining history and ethnic identity?

Dissertation in PDF format

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Millions on the Margins: Music, Ethnicity, and Censorship among the Oromo of Ethiopia

Published in 2011, Mollenhauer, Shawn Michael, Thesis Collection - Archived on May 17th, 2012

Title: Millions on the Margins: Music, Ethnicity, and Censorship among the Oromo of Ethiopia
Author: Shawn Michael Mollenhauer (Music Department, University of California-Riverside, USA)
Published: Thesis Collection
Language: English
Keywords: Africa, Censorship, Ethiopia, Ethnicity, Ethnomusicology, Oromo

Abstract:
This dissertation will demonstrate how music among the Oromo people of present day Ethiopia functions as a system for the preservation and negotiation of a uniquely Oromo identity, as well as a vehicle for resistance against the hegemony long ago established by outside ethnic groups. I will demonstrate how a long history of censorship of Oromo music by various ruling elites has made censorship one of the major features of Oromo social and aesthetic processes. This dissertation will therefore investigate the dynamic of the processes and dialogues through which Oromo identity becomes manifested, and in which music plays a deep role. In Ethiopia, a nation officially “independent” of European colonialism, “Ethiopian” culture was always equated with that of an ethnic minority. Not until the fall of Haile Selassie were the voices of other histories and previously peripheral groups given a chance to participate in the dialogue of Ethiopian statehood. I will use my ethnographic research from the US to Ethiopia to explore the relationship between performance art and state power in Ethiopia. Marginalized under Selassie, embraced and then shunned under the Derg and the current regime of Meles Zenawi, Oromo music demonstrates these complicated relationships. Oromos use music to “remember” past histories, bolster a sense of community among Oromo speaking groups, and fuel anti-colonial nationalism directed not at a European invader, but a black African one. Oromo music is used by the current regime in Ethiopia to present a face of multiculturalism. Yet while the government selectively preserves Oromo culture, Oromo musicians continue to be imprisoned, intimidated, and disappeared for making certain kinds of music. Because of this, various forms of censorship (both external and internal) have become a part of the Oromo music making process. Ethnic identity in general, and Oromo identity in particular, is performative. Music, like the ethnic identity it is used to bolster, is a performative act that creates a space for a polyvocal and heterogeneous dialogue through which Oromo identity is constituted. What can the relationship between Oromo music and the Ethiopian state tell us about ethno-nationalism, censorship, and memory? What does the selective preservation on the part of both Oromo and the Ethiopian government tell us about the role of performance in maintaining history and ethnic identity?

Dissertation in PDF format

Keywords: , , , , ,
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