edmund_abaka.jpgFORT LAUDERDALE – The community is invited to a lecture about Nelson Mandela on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 3 p.m.  Professor Edmund Abaka, director of African Studies at the University of Miami, will speak on the topic “Nelson Mandela: The Man and His Legacy” at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center.

Nelson Mandela is “the man whose decision to pursue reconciliation instead of revenge enabled South Africa to avoid becoming another Rwanda, Yugoslavia or Liberia,” said Abaka.
“He lived by the message of humility and magnanimity. He promised to serve one term as president of the rainbow nation and he did.  In the process he set a powerful example to incoming Africana National Congress leaders that they should not spend all their time in power.  That is a powerful message to other African leaders, some of whom have heeded the call while others have not.”

Mandela died Dec. 5, 2013 and many world leaders attended his memorial, including U.S. President Barak Obama.

A graduate of the University of Cape Coast in Ghana, West Africa, Abaka earned his master’s degree in European History at the University of Guelph in Canada and a Ph.D. in African History at York.

He teaches general African history survey classes at the University of Miami and offers specialized courses on Southern Africa, Egypt and the Nile Valley, West Africa Since 1800, and Pan-Africanism.

His graduate classes include Africa and the African Diaspora, Slavery and Emancipation, European Expansion in Africa: Colonialism and Imperialism and African Historiography.

Abaka’s research interests cover commodities and trade in pre-colonial West Africa, Slavery and Emancipation, and the African diaspora.

He has published a number of articles and book chapters on kola (one of the original ingredients for Coca-Cola), the colonial period in African history, and African youth. His book Kola is God’s Gift was published in 2005.

The Mandela lecture is sponsored by the Ghana-American Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center and the University of Miami.

*The African-American Research Library and Cultural Center is located at 2650 Sistrunk Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call the Welcome Desk at 954-357-6210.