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Being in and out of Africa: The Impact of Duality of Ethiopianism

Published in 2009, Jalata, Asafa, Journal of Black Studies - Archived on May 20th, 2015

Title: Being in and out of Africa: The Impact of Duality of Ethiopianism
Author: Asafa Jalata (University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA)
Published: Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 40, No. 2 (2009), pp. 189-214 | On April 29, 2015, a version of this paper was presented as a seminar at the University of Botswana.
Language: English
Keywords: Ethiopianism, racism, colonialism, Abyssinia, Ethiopia, Oromo, Habashas (Amhara-Tigray), Africanness, Blackness, state terrorism, Afrocentricity, Oromummaa (culture identity nationalism), self-determination, multinational democracy

Abstract
This article critically examines how the duality inherent in the concept of Ethiopianism shifts back and forth between claims of a “Semitic” identity when appealing to the White, Christian, ethnocentric, occidental hegemonic power center and claims of an African identity when cultivating the support of sub-Saharan Africans and the African diaspora while, at the same time, ruthlessly suppressing the history and culture of non-Semitic Africans of the various colonized peoples, such as Oromos. Successive Ethiopian state elites have used their Blackness to mobilize other Africans and the African diaspora for their political projects by confusing original Africa, Ethiopia, or the Black world with contemporary Ethiopia (former Abyssinia) and at the same time have allied with Euro-American powers and practiced racism, state terrorism, genocide, and continued subjugation on the indigenous Africans who are, today, struggling for self-determination and multinational democracy. Exposing the racist discourse of Ethiopianism and liberating the mentality of all Africans and the African diaspora from this “social cancer” must be one of the tasks of a critical paradigm of Afrocentricity. Developing Oromummaa (Oromo culture, identity, and nationalism), the Oromo national movement engages in such a liberation project.

Article in PDF format on “Selected Works of Asafa Jalata”   ……   Alternatively, On Gadaa.com

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Urban Centers in Oromia: Consequences of Spatial Concentration of Power in Multinational Ethiopia

Published in 2010, Jalata, Asafa, Journal of Oromo Studies - Archived on April 1st, 2014

Title: Urban Centers in Oromia: Consequences of Spatial Concentration of Power in Multinational Ethiopia
Author: Asafa Jalata (University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA)
Published: Journal of Oromo Studies, Vol. 17, No. 2 (2010), pp. 39-74.
Language: English
Keywords: Oromo, Oromia, indigenous people, centralization and spatial concentration, formation of garrison towns

Abstract
This paper examines the essence and characteristics of cities and urban centers in Oromia and the major consequences of the centralization and spatial concentration of Habasha (Amhara-Tigray) political power in a multinational Ethiopia. It specifically demonstrates how the integration of indigenous Oromo towns into the Ethiopian colonial structure and the formation of garrison and non-garrison cities and towns in Oromia consolidated Habasha political domination over the Oromo people. Ethiopian colonial structure limited the access of Oromo urban residents, who are a minority in their own cities and towns, to institutions and opportunities, such as employment, education, health, mass media and other public services. In addition to exclusion, the Oromos have been prevented from developing autonomous institutions, organizations, culture, and language, and have been subordinated to the institutions and organizations of the Habasha colonial settlers in their own cities, towns, and homeland.

Article in PDF format on “Selected Works of Asafa Jalata”   ……   Alternatively, On Gadaa.com

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The Oromo, Gadaa/Siqqee Democracy and the Liberation of Ethiopian Colonial Subjects

Title: The Oromo, Gadaa/Siqqee Democracy and the Liberation of Ethiopian Colonial Subjects
Authors: Asafa Jalata (Department of Sociology, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee) and Harwood Schaffer (Agricultural Policy Analysis Center, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee)
Published: AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples Vol. 9, Issue 4 (2013): 277-295.
Language: English
Keywords: Gadaa (indigenous democracy), Oromia, Oromo/Oromummaa, Ethiopian colonial subjects/nations, national self-determination, Ethiopian colonialism

Abstract:
This paper explores the potential role of the Gadaa/Siqqee system of Oromo democracy in the development of a democratic multinational liberation movement of the colonized nations within the Ethiopian Empire in order to dismantle the Tigrayan- led Ethiopian terrorist government and replace it with a sovereign multinational democratic state in the Horn of Africa based on the principles of indigenous democracy. After a brief introduction, this study describes the presence of a democratic, Siqqee/Gadaa administration among the Oromo in the Horn of Africa in the 16th and 17th centuries and the subsequent changes that made them vulnerable to colonization. It further examines the essence and main characteristics of Gadaa/Siqqee, showing that it provides
a contrasting political philosophy to the authoritarian rule of the Ethiopian Empire. The study shows that in the face of oppression and exploitation the Oromo people have struggled to preserve and redevelop their indigenous democracy, written records of which go back to the 16th century, long before European nations embraced the principles of democratic governance. It also explains how it can be adapted to the current condition of the colonized nations within the Ethiopian Empire in order to revitalize the quest for national self- determination and democracy and to build a sovereign democratic state in a multinational context. Furthermore, the piece asserts that this struggle is truly a difficult one in the 21st century as the process of globalization is intensified and regional and local cultures are being suppressed under the pressure of dominating cultures.

Article in PDF format (Gadaa.com)

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Promoting and Developing Oromummaa

Published in 2012, Jalata, Asafa, Seminar Presentation - Archived on January 13th, 2013

Note: Repost due to server data loss.

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Title: Promoting and Developing Oromummaa
Author: Asafa Jalata
Published: Seminar Presentation
Language: English
Keywords: Oromummaa, national liberation, settler colonialism, social emancipation

Abstract:
As any concept, Oromummaa has different meanings on conventional, theoretical, and political, and ideological levels.

Although the colonizers of the Oromo deny, most Oromos know their linguistic, cultural, historical, political, and behavioral patters that have closely connect together all of their sub-identities to the Oromo nation. There is a clear conventional understanding among all Oromo branches and individuals on these issues. The Oromo national movement has gradually expanded the essence and meaning of Oromummaa. The colonization of the Oromo and the disruption of their collective identity and the repression and exploitation of Oromo society have increased the commitment of some Oromo nationalists for the restoration of the Oromo national identity and the achievement of statehood and sovereignty through developing the intellectual, theoretical, and ideological aspects of Oromummaa. In other words, some Oromo nationalists and their supporters have started to further develop the concept of Oromummaa as a cultural, historical, political, and ideological project for recapturing the best elements of the Oromo tradition, critically assessing the strengths and weaknesses of Oromo society, and for formulating a broad-based program of action to mobilize the nation for social emancipation and national liberation.

In this paper, I argue that the critical and thorough comprehension of all aspects of Oromummaa is necessary to build a more united Oromo national movement. First, the paper introduces the conventional meaning of Oromummaa through identifying and explaining the major cultural and historical markers that differentiate the Oromo from their neighbors and other ethno-national groups. Second, it examines how Ethiopian settler colonialism has slowed the full development of Oromummaa by suppressing the Oromo national identity and culture, by killing real Oromo leaders and creating subservient or collaborative leadership, and by destroying and outlawing Oromo national institutions and organizations. Third, the piece illustrates how Oromo diversity can be recognized and celebrated within a democratic national unity. Fourth, it explores the concept of national and global Oromummaa as history, culture, identity, and nationalism. Fifth, the paper demonstrates how expanded Oromummaa can serve as the central and unifying ideology of the Oromo national movement for social emancipation and national liberation.

Seminar Presentation in PDF format

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The Oromo in Exile: Creating Knowledge and Promoting Social Justice

Published in 2011, Jalata, Asafa, Societies Without Borders - Archived on March 31st, 2012

Title: The Oromo in Exile: Creating Knowledge and Promoting Social Justice
Author: Asafa Jalata (University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA)
Published: Societies Without Borders Vol. 6, No. 1, 2011, pp. 33-72 (40)
Language: English
Keywords: Oromo, Oromia, Indigenous Peoples, State Terrorism, Genocide, Colonization

Abstract:
This paper explains how some Oromos who were forced to leave their country, Oromia, by successive colonial Ethiopian governments and live in exile have been organized in foreign lands to liberate their people and country by supporting the Oromo national movement. By demonstrating how global and regional forces have collaborated in the colonization, continued subjugation and dehumanization of the Oromo people, the paper illustrates how the Oromo people have lost their cultural, political, and social rights that are enshrined in the UN Universal Declaration of human rights and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and how they are still facing state terrorism and genocidal massacres. The financial support from powerful Western countries as well as the support from China to the Tigrayan-led Ethiopian government is threatening the survival of the Oromo people in the 21st century. In response to these gross human rights violations, Oromo activist intellectuals and other Oromos in the Diaspora are engaged in creating knowledge and promoting justice for their downtrodden people on global level.

Article in PDF format   ……   Alternatively, On Gadaa.com

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