History prof will deliver lecture Thursday

History prof will deliver lecture Thursday

URBANA — A professor of history at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania will deliver the 2014 W.E.B. DuBois Lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday in the University of Illlinois Alice Campbell Alumni Center, 601 S. Lincoln Ave.

Professor Ernest Wamba dia Wamba also is a former senator of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. His talk is titled, "Reflections on the African Renaissance after President Mandela."

It is free and open to the public.

Wamba was born in the former Belgian Congo, was schooled under Belgian colonialism and received his bachelor's and master's degrees at Western Michigan University and Claremont Graduate School in California.

From 1968 to '71 he worked as an adviser in Congo's Ministry of Social Affairs. From 1972 to '80, he taught African studies courses at Brandeis University, Harvard University and Boston College.

In 1980, Wamba became a professor of history at the University of Dar es Salaam. In 1981, while visiting his parents in Congo, he was arrested by the Mobutu regime and imprisoned for five weeks and then held under "city arrest" for a year.

Upon release, he continued his activism among Congolese progressive forces.

He was elected president of the Council for the Development of Social Research in Africa, the leading social science organization for African intellectuals. He also advised the late President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania in his 1994 efforts to address the genocide in central Africa.

In 1998, Wamba was elected head of the liberation organization Rassemblement Congolais pour la Democratic, or Rally for Congolese Democracy. He later became a member of the national Senate and a prominent member of the new government.

The UI Department of African American Studies and the Center for African Studies sponsor the annual DuBois lecture.

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