An Episode of Colonial History: The German Press in Tanzania, 1901-1914

An Episode of Colonial History: The German Press in Tanzania, 1901-1914

An Episode of Colonial History: The German Press in Tanzania, 1901-1914

An Episode of Colonial History: The German Press in Tanzania, 1901-1914

Excerpt

Among the many problems that beset the independent countries in Africa there are some which most Europeans hardly know about, but which are real enough for the Africans themselves. One of these is their sense of inferiority, the “sad deficiencies in our evaluation of ourselves” which are a clear sign that “psychologically Africa has been most severely brutalised by the impact of colonialism;. ” If the Africans want a future, they must know about and appreciate their own past. African historians must, therefore, like all other historians, glorify their past. “A truly African historian has a duty to recover for his race lots of self-pride …” ;. Thus the direct corollary of this problem is the urge to write a new history of the continent in which Africans are actors on their own account, opposing colonialisation in different ways, actively, passively or adaptively, by armed resistance, by diplomacy and intrique, and by learning to use the colonialists' powerful techniques for their own ends.

In Tanzania much research is being done with the help of available knowledge in the form of memories, traditions and other orally preserved material, but of course much of the work relies on written sources kept in archives and libraries. Thus, John Iliffe's book on “Tanzania under German rule 19051912” ; is to a large extent an analysis of German politics based on records of administrative bodies, of the Reichstag and of associations in Germany and in her “Schutzgebiet”, but the new perspective of the author does lead to a rather different picture from the one found in the “standard work” on the history of East Africa by Harlow and Chilver.

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