Africa notes Essay

Submitted By Tiffany-Mangelli
Words: 2685
Pages: 11

African History Notes

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

How to make a distinction between reality and misrepresentation?
African studies in US because of the cold war
Why do we think American studies have been marginalized in the American education?
History should be use as a vehicle to create a better society
Embrace all histories
Huge wealth gap in Africa
Forbes in Africa
SOUTH AFRICA = 1994 people believed it had nothing to do with Africa
This course is important because helps us understand how society thinks about Africa
Create new perceptions

Course division: 3 parts –
1. African culture and tradition prior to arrival Islamic and European
2. African vs. Islam – consequences
3. Westernization – Christianity
People in Africa speak more than two languages
Arabic, Somali, Berber, Amharic, Oromo, Swahili, Hausa, Igbo, Fulani and Yoruba are spoken by tens of millions of people.

I. Africa: Perceptions and Realities

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Western misinformation and African Realities
Readings: Bohannan 1-15, 152-156; Grosz-Ngate 32-47

Africa exists in our mind as a concept, a country rather than a continent
Everyone that came to Africa refer to people as a tribe
Tribal = from Africa
The idea of Africa is a disease continent – protect yourself before going to Africa

The Africa We Know
Our blinds spots
The nature of news media coverage of Africa
Giving Africa a false and incomplete identity
Origins of this perspective
Emergence and significance of “Third World”, “Tribe”, and “Tribalism”
Europeans view
The “dark continent” inhabited by “savages”
An understanding stitched together haphazardly and inaccurately
The “noble savage” --? A way to dehumanize savafes
Bohannan page 8
“Philosophical necessity”
The west justification and assumption
An enduring superiority and inferiority complex
An enduring superiority and inferiority complex
Picture advertising campaign
Justification of an organization
Facts assuming all the problems are across Africa
Formation of City-States
Growth spurred by trade
Indian ocean
Atlantic ocean
Emergence of centralized governments
Regulators and protectors
Pattern of development
Earliest states on the desert-Savanna frontier due to a favorable exchange of goods
Overvie of Some African City-States
Lower Nile River Valley
One of the first civilizations to domesticate crops
Centralized rule (Pharaoh of Upper Egypt)
Islam as a link to surrounding lands and people
Northern state
Zimbabwean plateau
A trading powerhouse
Southern state
Middle Niger River Valley
Situated in contemporary Mali
Gold trade
Stable social class system – Horon (nobles, farmers, merchants)  Nvamakalaw (artisan groups)  Jonw (outsiders and slaves)
Example: Nelson Mandela Elder system: simplifying democratic system You have to respect elders because they are leaving and they are going to meet your ancestors. Kind of dictatorship… Spirituality

Myths and Realities
Europeans came to Africa – JUSTIFICATION
The use of terms such as Tribe, Tribals, etc.
The idea of the dark continent
Africa = the land beyond the sea
The dark continent is the absent of history and culture
Fill unknown with something
The savages vs. noble savages
Primitive and uncivilized
Noble savages are better
Slavery = heated discutions
When we hear the word Africa, we think of
Landscape, animals like lions rsting under a lone tree on an endless savanna.
Or Africa may evoke images of poverty, war, wthnic violence, tribalism, disease, etc
North americans (the majority) will conclude that Africa is fundamentally different from the western world
Images and ideas that shape the way we look at Africa are STEREOTYPES
There is poverty and famine in Africa
There is a disease ex. AIDS in south Africa
Violence – Congo, Somolia
Stereotypes show realities but they become stereotypes and misperceptions when we