The Mind of Black Africa

The Mind of Black Africa

The Mind of Black Africa

The Mind of Black Africa


The violent colonization of Africa by European nations toward the end of the 19th century--a colonization justified by theories about the "African Mind" promulgated in the Age of Reason--had a profound impact upon the mind of Black Africa. After World War II, the mind of Black Africa rebelled; this rebellion led to a struggle for the self. After Africans achieved political independence, the new African leaders betrayed their own people. Africans now have the responsibility of restoring and reaffirming their true inheritance--the mind of Black Africa.


The colonization of Africa by European nations in the nineteenth century had a profoundly negative impact on the lives of Africans. One form of this impact was the violent manner in which European nations subjected Africa to colonial rule. The colonization of Africa was a result of the negative perceptions that Enlightenment Europe formed about the intellect of the Africans. As colonization was imposed, the colonial systems sought to control the African mind in order to control African behavior.

A critical issue in this study is the serious cultural conflict between the European perceptions of the African mind and the African perceptions of it. This cultural conflict led to political conflict in the twentieth century. In this study, the terms the African mind, the mind of black Africa, and the African carry the same general meaning. That the African perceptions of the African mind and the European perceptions of it could not be reconciled was mainly a result of differences in culture. It was also a manifestation of the so-called scientific enthusiasm of the Enlightenment.


Beginning with the Enlightenment, four phases marked the drama of the African mind. During the first phase, leading figures in the Enlightenment formed unsubstantiated opinions and conclusions about the lack of intellectual potential among Africans. The conclusion that the cranial cavity of the Africans was smaller than that of Europeans led to the corresponding . . .

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