The African Predicament and the American Experience: A Tale of Two Edens

The African Predicament and the American Experience: A Tale of Two Edens

The African Predicament and the American Experience: A Tale of Two Edens

The African Predicament and the American Experience: A Tale of Two Edens

Synopsis

Mazrui examines the importance of Africa--historically, culturally, and economically--in the development of the West, particularly the United States. And he contrasts this demonstrable importance with the combination of neglect and malice directed at Africa and those of African descent by the West and by the United States in particular.

As Mazrui illustrates throughout, this is a tale of two Edens: Africa as the Eden of Lost Innocence and America as the Eden of Current Power and Future Fulfillment. People of African ancestry have been part of the vanguard for the Edenization of America. But America is also influencing the first Eden: Africa. America is a major force in the liberalization of black people in Africa; and black people are a major force in the democratization of all people in America.

Excerpt

This book is about Africa as the Eden of human ancestry, America as the Eden of human achievement, and how the two have shared a destiny in history. Autobiographically the book is also a product of my own academic career, which has traversed at least three universities in Africa and at least three others in the United States.

In a more immediate sense, the book goes back to a series of lectures I gave at Harvard University in 2000. The lectures were called the Macmillan-Stewart Lectures and were delivered at the invitation of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard. I am indebted to Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and his colleagues at Harvard for giving me a very stimulating week in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In the original research for this book I was assisted greatly by my colleagues at both Binghamton University and Cornell University in New York. Special thanks are due to Professor Ricardo Laremont, Mr. Ruzima Sebuharara, and Professor Locksley Edmondson, for the original Harvard Lectures.

In the subsequent preparation of this book for publication, I benefited from the editorship of Dr. Thomas Uthup, Dr. Amadu Jacky Kaba, and Mr. Patrick Dikirr. Dr. Uthup was particularly resourceful in guiding me towards relevant bibliography.

Four women were pillars of strength in different stages of typing and . . .

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