Slumbering Africans wake up!

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Impact of Colonialism

Immanuel Wallerstein in Africa: The Politics of Unity while analysing contemporary social movement in Africa observed that because of slave trade and imperialist conquest of Africa ‘the relationship of black man to white man both in Africa and in the Western Hemisphere became unmistakably that of social inferior to superior’. Modern writers have faired no better, the phrase, Third World, which the United Nations and its agencies have glibly adopted as a descriptive term for the categorisation of Africa, carries the same negative connotation. Even though the economic experts will claim no slight is intended, the term still gives an impression of a third rated people in the comity of races. The continent of Africa that for more than 500 years has enjoyed all kinds of interactions with explorers, traders, missionaries, colonialists, investors, pirates and marauders has not ceased to amaze observers. Africa’s peculiar state of comparative retrogression to the rest of the world has led to question like, why have the supposedly valuable interactions with the ‘civilised advanced’ world failed to improve or change for the better, at least in the modernisation and developmental sense, the quality of life of the people of Africa?
The crucial question facing objective analyst of Africa at the beginning of a new millennium is, what has the continent gained or lost from the various intercourses with peoples of the so-called ‘superior race’? It could be argued that in a relationship of master-servant where each is quartered apart, both socially and physically from engaging in any day-to-day informal interaction, there could never have been any intercourse in the true sense of it. What kind of a relationship could there have existed anyway between the exploiters who saw and still see themselves as the ‘superior’ race and the exploited ones who seem to have psychologically accepted the status of the ‘inferior’ race? The artificial gulf based mostly on concocted myths and outlandish misconceptions about the two races would have been and is still too deep, too anachronistic and too inflexible to scientific evidences to permit any meaningful human relationship.
 

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