Enantchè Noumi: The Black Academy is launched

Mrs Aïssatou Diallo, Patron of the Black Academy, delivering her speech at the official launch of the Black Academy.

On this picture, Mrs Aïssatou Diallo, Patron of the Black Academy, delivering her speech at the official launch of the Black Academy. Photo Credit © Lys Y. Seng.


Friday, 15 July, the Mannheim Castle hosted the launch event of the Black Academy.  Giant posters of black icons (Africans and Afro-descendants) of the past and present such as Thomas Sankara, Kwame N’Krumah, Chimamanda Adichie, Ayodélé Ognin and Aïssatou Diallo[2]contrasted with the imperial style paintings of the former masters of the house.

On this day, Mannheim Castle had portrayed the Black Academy’s philosophy, its genesis and its objectives.

Indeed, Black Academy aims to make visible the skills and expertise of black people. It also aims to complete the incomplete speech on Africa, as well as to correct and deconstruct the prejudices and discriminations of which black people are victims. (See our activities) In short, it is a question, in the words of Aïssatou Diallo, Patron of the Black Academy, of restoring « the Tedhoungal « [3] of black people, because « colonialism has challenged our dignity and continues doing so nowadays ».

 She also raised the importance of the Black Academy, as well as the urgency of working to ensure that black and afro-descendant people can  »live with dignity, interact with it, make it the criterion of their goals, achieve it in everything they implement.  »

 This was confirmed by further speeches like the one of Prof. Dr. Carola Lentz, Director of the Goethe Institute and second Patron of the Black Academy as well as Sylvia Löffler and Claus Preißler representing the city of Mannheim. 

People in presential and online were able to get a foretaste of the often veiled expertise of black people. Jennifer Owusu with her group and Sakhile Matlhare explained the history of black people through art and in doing so emphasized the need not to impulsively associate African arts with beauty. These are forms of transmission of expertise. Jennifer Owusu, for example, who grew up in Germany, told how she, through dance, learned from her Ashanti culture but also from her troupe members Burkinabe and Guinean cultures.   

They were also able to get a general overview of the www.black-academy.org platform, and to clarify any questions about the project and future activities directly with the team members.  

But this is only the beginning!

As Nicole Amoussou, the project coordinator, says, « the expertise and skills of people of black descent are indispensable in meeting the current challenges of our planet« . 


 [1] Enantchè Noumi means Thank you in Fon, a language of Benin
[2] Ms Diallo is one of the patrons of the Black Academy. She was selected because of her commitment to the development of her country. For example, she has built ten schools and three clinics in the highlands of Guinea. Despite her great contribution to the development of her country. Madame Diallo has not received the visibility that many Western development actors receive. It is precisely this kind of person and expertise that the Black Academy wants to promote.
[3] Tedoungal is a term used in the Fulani or Pulaar language, and is best translated as dignity.