Different But Equal Basil Davidson Analysis

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In Basil Davidson’s video, “Different but Equal”, Davidson examines ancient Africa, and how Africans were perceived in ancient and modern times. Davidson discusses pre-colonized Africa and its history, and how racism prevailed in the past and in modern day. By discussing early civilizations, as well as modern day perspectives, Davidson allows the viewer to have expansive information on how individuals view Africans and their culture. In Davidson’s video, he discusses how people in the past have viewed Africa and African culture, and how that relates to our perception of Africa in modern times. Racism is a present theme in colonialism, and still affects individuals to this day. Due to their skin color, and lack of advanced technology, Africans …show more content…

Davidson calls racism a modern sickness, as during the Renaissance period, black and white people were painted as equals, and portrayed side-by-side each other. The Atlantic Slave Trade brought a sudden switch in mentality, and black people were deemed as inferior to their white counterparts. Davidson, in Modern Africa: A Social and Political History, states, “by the middle of the nineteenth century the leading countries of Europe lost interest in exporting African labour to the Americans. Now they wanted to be able to use African labour in Africa itself. For that purpose they needed to take control of the black people’s continent. So Europe invaded Africa, took possession of Africa, and divided Africa into colonies of Europe. The period of invasion, lasting some twenty years, was more or less completed by 1900. There followed a longer period, between sixty and ninety years, of direct European rule, called colonial rule. This was a time of profound upheaval for all of Africa’s peoples. It brought irreversible changes” (4). Africans were displayed as objects for buying and selling, which robbed them from their individuality and human dignity. Davidson states that the mutual respect that was once there between Africans and white people was forever changed. Boahen, in General History of Africa VII: Africa Under Colonial Domination 1880-1935, reports that there “…still stood an attitude of cultural and racial superiority, formed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and regularly given expression in descriptions of the African as childlike or ‘non-adult’. This latter attitude in turn gave birth to widespread belief that European domination had to last for a very long time”

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