Gates' report stirs important dialogue aboutAfricans and our relations with ourselves and others.

By SEIBERT L. MURPHY

Special to USAfricaonline.com

I feel that Prof. Henry L. Gates' workis vital to the community of Africans around the world. It isimportant that we take a serious and honest look at the Africancontinent and learn what Africans did and did not do throughouthistory. I feel that by examining facts and uncovering the truth wewill really be free to contribute fully to the future in Africa andaround the world.

I do not necessarily agree with all of the findings made in theshow mistakes can and will be made by all investigators, scholar ornot. But Prof. Gates certainly caught the attention of my colleaguesand friends form all walks of life and I appreciate that. His work istimely and stirs important dialogue about Africans and our relationswith ourselves and others.

This is probably the best time for Gates' work to be aired. As weenter the brave new technology age, we have the ability to do betterscientific investigation, share information more effectively andanalyze facts more completely. I feel that the showing of thisprogram and programs like it reinforces the fact that Africans areable to embrace technology and media for their own gains. We shouldcontinue to encourage more works about Africa. I'd like to see morepresentations about the story of Africa through the eyes of others ofAfrican descent.

Gates has stimulated a dialogue in the African community, on thecontinent and in the Diaspora. I think that serious dialogue has longsince been needed. The dialogue enhances knowledge my hope is thatthe goal of knowledge is to encourage greater wisdom to the people.Our wise choices allow us to effectively meet the simultaneous needsfor economic, academic, security and scientific development.

I think that the best stories of Africa, Asia and South Americaare yet to be told. I hope that scholars continue to criticallyexamine African culture and influence on the continent and around theworld. It is only through knowledge that we gain respect for ourpast, appreciation for our present and hope for the future.
Murphy is based in Virginia. E-mail: seibert.murphy@jhuapl.edu



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Families mourn Kenya air crash victims: 'It's sad... all those bodies floating everywhere.' The second week of February has started with a largely unsuccesful search for more bodies in the Atlantic ocean (off Ivory Coast), where the crash of Kenya Airways flight 431 took place, with169 passengers and a crew of 10, on January 30, on its way to Lagos, Nigeria. Recovery efforts are made more difficult by the logistical and technical handicaps of air services and sea rescue operations in most of the African continent.

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