Maafa

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the Swahili plurale tantum maafa (disaster, catastrophe). Coined in 1994 by Marimba Ani (in Let the Circle Be Unbroken: The Implications of African Spirituality in the Diaspora) on the model of the Hebrew-derived designation Shoah of the Jewish Holocaust.

Noun[edit]

Maafa (uncountable)

  1. (Afrocentrism) The history of slavery and anti-black racism and discrimination in the United States; the historical enslavement of Africans and associated atrocities, under the interpretation of these as a genocide against them.
    • 2003, Out of the revolution: the development of Africana studies (edited by Aldridge and Young; published by Lexington Books), page 250:
      The Maafa concept explains the conditions of disorganization, disunity, self-hatred, and alienation affecting African people to varying degrees.