New News Out of Africa: Uncovering Africa's Renaissance

Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Author . Oxford Univ. $23 (173p) ISBN 978-0-19-517747-3

Widespread AIDS, constant internal strife and corrupt, shaky economies form the largely media-driven image of Africa that many Americans possess, argues veteran correspondent Hunter-Gault in this skillful blend of memoir, reportage and political analysis. The author is determined to deliver some "new news"—or good news—out of Africa, and to challenge facile assumptions that it is a dark, hopeless continent ravaged by the "four D's": death, disaster, disease and despair. Based on lectures Hunter-Gault gave at Harvard University in 2003, while a fellow at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research, the book is divided into three distinct though intrinsically interrelated sections: an analysis of South Africa under apartheid and positive postapartheid developments; the painful yet powerful continent-wide transition from colonialism to democratic reform; and how foreign and African journalists can more accurately report an emerging "African Renaissance," particularly in Rwanda, Kenya, Mozambique, Angola, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. Hunter-Gault (In My Place ), who lives in Johannesburg, where she is special Africa correspondent for NPR, has written an incisive, informative work that provides a balanced perspective on the continent's recent past, transformative present and potentially rich future. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/03/2006
Release date: 06/01/2006
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