Everybody wants to rap about Africa this week. Nelson Mandela is out of hospital. Tunisia’s successful people-led ousting of their government has emboldened thousands among their Arab neighbors. The people of Egypt took bravely to the streets of Suez, Alexandria, and Cairo among other cities (see map below) and recently forced the police to go home! And oh yeah, didn’t the people of Southern Sudan just vote in record turnout to secede from the north a few weeks back?
Seems a fitting time to share some basic political geography of Africa. Of course, it doesn’t reflect the impending bifurcation of Sudan, but it gives places the names that are commonly used for them and all that, and it will save you from looking dafty (or worse, racist!*) while you’re discussing “the Africa” with all your pals. Maybe now Africa will seem less “mysterious” if indeed it previously had.
And while you’re at it, you can turn that geographic literacy into stunning smug commentary on the latest flashpoints of protest across the Map of Egypt.
*so actually not knowing the names and corresponding geographies of African countries does not make you racist. this was a joke just to have some fun with some of the folks who are jumpy about whether or not they are being racist- as if there were no way anyone could ever know for sure? LOL. buuuut, nor does not knowing shit about Africa make you “anti-racist”. Do us all a favor. Save yourself the embarrassment by brushing up a tad on this stuff. And for the love of god, please don’t refer to “Africa” out of wholesale uncertainty when you are really just talking about one specific city, ethnicity, culture or region within the vast, vast continent. Be brave and be specific. You’re smart, you’ll do great. (yes I do mean it).