Creating African Americans Chapter 1 Summary

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In Chapter 1 and 2 of “Creating Black Americans,” author Nell Irvin Painter addresses an imperative issue in which African history and the lives of Africans are often dismissed (2) and continue to be perceived in a negative light (1). This book gives the author the chance to revive the history of Africa, being this a sacred place to provide readers with a “history of their own.” (Painter 4) The issue that Africans were depicted in a negative light impacted various artworks and educational settings in the 19th and early 20th century. For instance, in educational settings, many students were exposed to the Eurocentric Western learning which its depiction of Africa were not only biased, but racist as well. Westerners were skeptical about Africa’s…show more content…
This chapter addresses the central argument that African history and the lives of Africans are often dismissed. For example, the author underlines that approximately 50,000 African captives were taken to the Dutch Caribbean while 1,600,000 were sent to the French Caribbean. In addition, Painter provides excerpts from the memoirs of ex-slaves, Equiano and Ayuba in which they recount their personal experience as slaves. This is important because the author carefully presents the topic of slaves as not just numbers, but as individual people. In contrast, in my high school’s world history class, I can profoundly recall reading an excerpt from a European man in the early colonialism period which described his experience when he first encountered the African people. What was never presented was the point of view from the African Americans because it was seemingly dismissed. It was eye-opening to read about the experience from an African’s perspective because it brought a whole new light to my understanding of what it meant to be a slave and the struggles black Americans face here in the US, even
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