So now Niger is an official news item. CNN and the Guardian have published stories about this. And CNN added to the African-as-victim parade by using this picture:

Niger famine

To be sure, this is an amazingly bad situation that the western world has barely even known about until now, and the sooner the news gets out the better. But aren’t these images of starving African children adding to the world’s perception of Africans as victims? And if all Africans are victims, the thinking goes, maybe they should can be pitied rather helped…

It’s a slippery slope and let’s try not to go down it. One issue with Live 8 was that it was performed mostly by whites. We need affirmative images of Africans showing them in control of their own destiny, not more images of them starving and dying in what most of the world writes off as an endless and hopeless cycle of despair. <p style="text-align:right;font-size:11px;letter-spacing:.05em;color:#808979;">Technorati Tags: | | | </p>