Guineans are a courageous people, who struggle in the midst of unrelenting poverty and political instability to sustain a rich and vibrant culture. Relying on loving families, the wisdom of their beloved griot elders, and a brilliant musical tradition that has spawned a nation of virtuosi, the Guineans have never lost hope for a better future.
As a beacon for other small nations ravished by centuries of colonial oppression and slavery, Guinea was the first French colony to declare independence and stimulated an intellectual African solidarity that paralleled the Civil Rights Movement.
However, both Guinea’s economy and unique cultural traditions are continually in jeopardy due to the country’s desperate struggle with endless political crises. Ruled by a series of dictators, the Guineans suffered crushing disappointment as each new leader’s promises turned into corruption or cruelty. After a spate of recent massacres and brutal governmental crackdowns—including mass rape—public outcry and international pressure helped stabilize the situation and set up conditions for the first independent and monitored democratic election in Guinean history.
Guineans are finally emerging from these setbacks with a sense of real hope and practical readiness. But they are starting over again, with severe food shortages and no safety net.
After a relatively free and fair democratic election in June 2010, inspiring other poor nations to do likewise, major political change is in the wind, as well as a burgeoning of economic, social, and cultural opportunities.
"We are willing to die