Adesanmi, who was born in Nigeria, won the 2010 Penguin Prize for African Writing for his non-fiction collection of essays titled, “You’re Not a Country, Africa: A Personal History of the African Present.” His book is considered groundbreaking for his thoughts on the African diaspora.
He joined Carleton’s department of English Language and Literature in 2006 after rejecting offers from Princeton University and other American universities.
“Carleton University is devastated by the sudden death of Prof. Adesanmi, director of our Institute of African Studies and a remarkable writer, poet and political commentator who was celebrated for his eloquence in speaking truth to power,” school officials wrote on its website.
The plane was en route to Nairobi, Kenya, a popular tourist destination because of the area’s fast-growing economy and East Africa’s popular safari parks.
Tewolde GebreMariam, chief executive officer of Ethiopian Airlines, told CNN that the pilot was having trouble with the plane’s flight control and was returning to the airport just before the crash. This is the second crash in six months of a Chicago-based Boeing 737 Max 8. Last October, a Lion Air 737 Max 8 crashed during a flight from Indonesia in October, killing all 189 passengers and crew.
The black boxes from the Ethiopian Airlines have been recovered, and they will help investigators learn more about what caused the crash. GebreMariam said the airline would listen to the recordings in Europe although Boeing is based in the U.S.