Africa and the West: The Legacies of Empire

Africa and the West: The Legacies of Empire

Africa and the West: The Legacies of Empire

Africa and the West: The Legacies of Empire

Synopsis

This volume, written by leading African and Western specialists, is among the first to provide a broad interdisciplinary view of African culture that allows contemporary Africa to be understood on its own terms--freed from Western ethnocentric preconceptions and values. The book begins with an overview of current African scholarship, followed by Philip Curtin's historical essay on Africa's 400-year relationship with European culture, with special emphasis on the mass migrations brought about by the slave trade. Discussions of indigenous cultural symbols and religious belief systems reveal a rich and continuing heritage and deepen our understanding of modern African society. Several chapters are devoted to the intellectual and cultural life of Francophone Africa--its major writers and scholars and the deep cultural conflict experienced by French-speaking African elites. A chapter by Leopold Senghor, former president of Senegal and a leading cultural figure in Francophone Africa, offers an eloquent statement of the post-colonial African world view. A new form of imperialism--the control of the mass media by powerful industrial nations--and the dangers it poses to African identity and autonomy are examined. Other topics covered are the evolution of African legal and judicial systems and recent developments in African musicology.

Excerpt

In late May 1982, over three hundred scholars, clergymen, representatives from the public sector, and private citizens from three continents gathered in Columbus, Ohio, to participate in a threeday symposium on "Africa and the West: The Challenge of African Humanism," sponsored by the College of Humanities of The Ohio State University. The majority of the essays in this volume were originally presented, in a somewhat different form, at that symposium. The unifying thread which links them together is a common concern for the lingering social, political, economic, and cultural consequences of the European penetration of Africa as seen a quarter of a century after most countries of Africa achieved their independence.

During our work on this volume and the symposium which preceded it, we were assisted in so many different ways by so many different people that it would be very tedious to mention them all by name; nevertheless, we would like to express our appreciation to a few whose contributions proved indispensible to the success of this project. Our deepest gratitude is expressed in the dedication, but the support and encouragement of William E. Nelson, Michael Curran, E. Garrison Walters, Robert Stull, Jonathan Green, Bruce Mathews, and Earl Vance were also crucial at various points along the way; Jan Adams, Phyllis Newman, Dorothy Shoemaker, Connie Dantuono, Edie Waugh, and Shari Lorbach also provided invalu-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.