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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which led to our being branded as irresponsible and lacking in self-confidence” (Document 6). Even in their own lands, lower-class Africans did not have the opportunity to display their capabilities in the government and other careers. Instead, they were given low-paying jobs that did not require skill, such as on plantations and in factories (Spielvogel and McTighe 235-236). A West African Verse expresses an African native’s sorrow over how white men destroyed his family, taking away their pride and strength, and reduced him to an undignified servant (Document 5). Although many natives were intelligent, the Europeans
You cannot condemn people for preferring to be lied to. The truth at times can be an assortment of explicit despair and ferocity. Before I was enlightened about the glorious antiquity of my African people White supremacy dullard me with historical erasure. I was under the illusion that our past began with the dreadful system of slavery, share cropping and the Jim Crow era. Not once did I ever stop to think of a black civilization prior to being plucked out the arms of mother Africa.
Imagine walking down the middle of 5th Avenue, always having to worry about getting discriminated against, pushed into the street, or even shot. That’s exactly what John Howard Griffin had to worry about as a recently converted black man in the South. I chose the ‘Post-Colonial’ lens because ‘Black Like Me’ is about the black culture being kept down by other races in America, which accurately describes this lens. In the book ‘Black Like Me’, it shows precisely just how the black culture is oppressed in society and as author John Howard Griffin goes deeper into Southern black culture, he soon finds out just how unjust and biased white culture used to be.
Roots, Rhythm, and Rocks I like the essay, “Roots, Rhythm, and Rocks” written by Joseph C. Phillips. Initially, I felt like Phillips, incited by the negative characteristics of his roots—Africa. Granting that the essay was consumed with the deceitful, provoking and infuriating—dissimilar—perceptions between the Africans and black Americans, I was; however, impressed and captivated by his perception on how well-off American life compared to African. This essay enlightened my certainty and conviction on how we—American born—devalued the American achievements and privileges.
Towards the close of the nineteenth century and the start of the twentieth century, European imperialist governments in their quest to expand their territories for various reasons aggressively scrambled and invaded the African continent. Initially, the gullible African societies, most of which were decentralized, welcomed the foreigners but after realizing the stakes some mounted resistance (Johnston,43). As expected, the more sophisticated imperialist governments prevailed in most of the colonies and subdued the natives. The effects of the foreign presence were monumental, and it would take more than half a century for these colonies to free themselves from the oppressive rule and become independent governments. Until the late 1800’s,
Chimamanda Adichie’s TED talk on “The Danger of a Single Story” argues that Western culture creates a mythology surrounding Africa as a starkly different place than Western culture, an idea which Chinua Achebe echoes in his essay, “An Image of Africa,” in order to endorse the need for multiple stories to combat stereotypes. For example, Adichie mentions how her American roommate in college was astonished to learn that Adichie spoke English very well and that she knew how to operate a stove. In pointing this out, Adichie reveals the construction of the narrative of certain expectations of what it means to be African, which the roommate implies to mean a lack of knowledge of operating a stove and to not be able to speak English. The roommate
The assumptions concerning the aspects of race in the United States affect the foreign and domestic policy between 1492 and 1877 in various ways. The American population during this period was comprised of different races that has impacted on the way policies were formulated both foreign and local. Foreign policies were created not just for security purposes but to manage America’s relations with other countries. Color was a prominent assumption which affected the foreign and domestic policy during the time period between 1492 and 1877. Many would associate the color black with darkness and evil.
“The wear and tear of a continent, nearly twice as large as Europe, and rich in vegetable and mineral productions, is much easier conceived than calculated,” states Equiano (199). Africa is a fertile country, but in order to get rid of slavery, he suggests taking advantage of the country’s production. Equiano wrote to his letter to the British in efforts to stop slavery, but suggesting they use Africa’s size and richness to expand their profits does not help the argument against slavery. In actuality, it confirms that the Africans should be used for Britain’s
In the New World of freshly established British colonies in America, European settlers felt they could justify enslaving Africans because of their dark skin and different culture. The ignorant colonists told themselves it was acceptable to treat Africans as animals of a different species and to dismiss their sense of humanity by putting themselves above the Africans in their minds and in the social hierarchy of colonial America. From 1619 to 1750 when the American colonies were in need of a larger labor force, it was easier for the colonists to enslave Africans because they viewed the darker-skinned race as being inferior and uncivilized. Europeans ignorantly turned their heads away from the similarities between African and colonial societies
Race and gender provided the foundation for the colonization and enslavement of Native American and Africans, and class worked in consequence of these constructs. Through American colonization, our understanding and adoption of these social constructs altered completely. Before, neither Native American, Africans, or Europeans truly identified with ‘race’; emphasis was mainly put on gender and class. After colonization, the intersection of race, class, and wealth becomes truly apparent through the enslavement and maltreatment of African women. The subordination of African women supplied the British with the “legal foundation for slavery and the future definitions of racial difference.”
European contact with sub-Saharan Africa around the 1500’s was not mutually beneficial because they had different needs. The economic exchanges and political relationships were based off of European’s relations with the Upper class of Africa, however not the majority of Africa. Due to the massive expansion of Europe, they wanted to continue to grow, and the only way to do that was to open trading ports all around the world. In the end, Europe benefited from trading with Africa and they are the ones who ended up
Lawrence (2004) describes racism as the normalization of dynamics—cultural, historical or interpersonal—that accords privilege and preferential treatment to white individuals, at the expense of people of color. This essay will analyse the role of imperialism and colonisation on racism and race relations, some of the theories relevant to racism