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25907 Posts in 9964 Topics by 982 Members Latest Member: - Ferguson Most online today: 37 (July 03, 2005, 06:25:30 PM)
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iyah360
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Higher Reasoning


« on: February 18, 2004, 02:18:16 PM »

Many represented here:

http://sirismm.si.edu/siris/eepaculturegroup.htm
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Bantu_Kelani
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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2004, 03:14:09 PM »

These pictures are amazing Iyah360. Thanks for sharing!!

B.K
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We should first show solidarity with each other. We are Africans. We are black. Our first priority is ourselves.
Africanprince
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« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2004, 03:31:28 PM »

WHOA!! These are deep...

Nice post
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Kwegan
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Roots


« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2004, 04:04:52 PM »

The continuous representation of Black Africa as Bush Africa, and Poor Africa and Laid back Simple Africa as opposed to Dynamic rich Africa and Modern Africa and City Africa is extremely upsetting.

To get it straight that i am not complaining rather i am pointing out my observations. That there is a stereotypical image of Africa that is transmitted into mainstream Western Culture is just the reality of Western Dynamics.

The projection of certain images that are not backed up with an explanation that will lead the viewer to a better understanding of what is being observed is misleading to say the least.

There is a consensus in this society and even with Africans themselves that Africa offers nothing of value other than the superficial appreciation of its smiling people that appear to be happy in spite of the extreme poverty and stagnancy of its culture and people.

This perception breeds the devaluation of Africa and Africans. A peoples greatness is measured (in the west) primarily by the advances they make in society, their buildings, their social intricacy and make up, their schools, their architecture, their roads, and the efficiency of the agriculture and so on.

Pictures such as this depict nothing of the such, they depict nothing that can create Value in the mind of the Western minds that look upon them.

I believe that this continuous misrepresentation of Africa is a deliberate act to create a devaluation of Africa and Africans.

Being African i having been to Africa i have never seen such conditions of living before that was represented in those pictures. Granted that Africa is a Continent and not a Country... Still i saw out of all the picture one not very impressive two story building, save from the Grand buildings of the Church and Colonial Houses.

The whole Slide "Show" is Terrible, absolutely Terrible...The whole Show resembled a freak show fest. I know thats a horrible thing to say, but its true. And you wonder why most African Americans want to be disassociated from Africa, i would too, if these where the things being shown to me as All Africa was.
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Africanprince
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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2004, 05:52:51 PM »

I agree that the media does a horrible job in depicting Africa. There is much more too us then bush life and Lions. However I think these pics are meant to capture cultures and cultural life more then anything else. If they were using these pics to depict African countries then I wouldn't be too happy with them.
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Bantu_Kelani
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2004, 06:05:16 PM »

Kwegan,
It is well known that Black Africans suffer from acute self-esteem like you probably. You are speaking of buildings, schools, architecture and roads. Why are you so attached to our oppressors' judgment? If you take a step back and look at your comment rationally, it is simply is ridiculous, for your continent is rich in culture beyond western technologies. Although native Africans are the poorest people on this earth, many of us still strive to overcome our struggles and make major artistic and intellectual impact in this world. Black Africans have a stunning and colorful culture. Truly all you have to do is look at the many pictures on thie site above to discover it... We, as Black African people, have many problems. And yes Africa can use the buildings, schools, architecture, roads, all the knowledge, skills the West can offer, but Africa magnificence and power rely on its ability to strive as time passes! In due time it will abolish worldwide Afro-pessimism with Worldwide African-optimism and reverse the enslavement, colonization and poverty the West forced on us. Let us not allow the West influence our self-esteem and way of life, as their images and culture are certainly not superior.

Bantu Kelani.
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We should first show solidarity with each other. We are Africans. We are black. Our first priority is ourselves.
Kwegan
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Roots


« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2004, 07:04:18 PM »

I don't think you read my reply, or you don't understand.

What you or i think is one think, and what others think is another. And when i say others, i specifically mean African Americans and other Africans that will come into contact with depictions such as this.

there is a problem when the only images of Africa are of a certain region. The problem is not with the pictures, some of them are Gorgeous-in my eyes. But my eyes are not what the majority or Western Africans use to look at AFrica.

I could give a rats ass what white America sees or what White America or Europe think about who we are.

Africa is much more than is depicted there in those pictures...and those pictures carry a racist connotation.

I think its jolly that you have ascended and can see what most people who look at those pictures cannot see, but that still does not take away from the INTENTION that are behind those "exhibitions" nor does it take away from the perspective of the Western African who will look at those pictures and believe that the Trans Atlantic slave trade was a blessing in disguise.No matter how wrong those feelings are, they have a legitamate basis in reality.

And i think that there needs to be FIRST a representation of Africa that will Attract as well give value to Africans outside the Continent.
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Bantu_Kelani
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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2004, 10:35:36 PM »

I understood your post perfectly Kwegan but let me tell you that most Diaspora Blacks, because most of them know nothing about Africa, have a typical aversion in associating themselves with Africa and Africans anyway, even without the negative effects of Caucasian historical and mediatic interpretations (yet they insist on being called African??). I tell you, the Caucasian has screwed the truth up so much, it is not surprising that Blacks like you are not proud of their African brothers and sisters in their realness so fine and necessary. First you said the photos were beautiful, and then you said you are ashamed of them. There seems to be some element of indecisiveness in you, due to I believe a serious self-hatred sentiment at work. Why so many children of Africa try to deny the ROOTS beauty of Africa? Look at these pictures again. They represent blackness in its genuine personality! These people are not westernized Africans strutting boring western garbs, chemical hair relaxed and skin bleached so ingrained in our communities. Should we be proud of such authentic African esthetic or just denigrate our roots people and not fight against the inferiority complex that is destroying us? It is not ironic that you don't see many if any European and Arab being conflicted over their natives to the extent of totally denigrates and or dissociate with them. For instance, European whites of the rural areas of Russia still live in a marginalized way. They still live in hunting and gathering in the forest areas of the tundra, their houses are poorly built etc. Yet, no European perceives them as "underdeveloped", classifies them as "degrating" or even "repulsive".

You don't know how many times I have ignorant people (Black and white) coming to me thinking that Africa is a land of backward, primitive, savage and even cannibal people. Still I let them know all things indigenous African participated in. From pre-historical times to 1500 AD indigenous Africans were in the head in the development of science, culture and technology: from ancient Nubians-Kush, Khemetcu, Sumerians, Babylonian Elamites, Black Sabeans of South Arabia, Kushitic colonists in India, the Shang Dynasty in China, Carthage, the Dogons in Mali, Dahomians, Ashanti etc. etc. Black Africans were far in advance of Europeans and Arabs people living to the north of them as regards to schools, architecture, buildings, transportation, ships and roads! Our native civilization have gone in decline only about 1450-1500 AD when the European explorers and traders established their inhuman chattel slavery in Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas; also when they took away the rich trans-Saharan trade from our ancestors among other things. Yes, it is historical that the Caucasian invaders are responsible of the devastation in Africa so widespread that our high culture never recovered. However any educated and conscious Black person is comfortable with the true image of Blacks and Africa as it represents the vestige of our vibrant and unique culture and way of life. It's offensive to denigrate natives and authentic Africans, for our true nature and cultural traits is not the same as the Chinese, Japanese, Hindus, Westerners and Islamics! Above all, the true knowledge about Africa and Black people is not confined to Caucasian or westernized Blacks historical, cultural, industrial, scientific or aesthetical interpretations and certainly not appreciations.


Bantu Kelani.
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We should first show solidarity with each other. We are Africans. We are black. Our first priority is ourselves.
Kwegan
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« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2004, 12:02:44 AM »

You are not the only person in this world who is in love with their people so lets get that out the way from the get go.

If you can get over yourself for a second you would see that i am not disagreeing with you on the most part. We are on the same side here don't forget that, and i do not appreciate you trying to put me into a category that is far from reality.

I don't know where you get off making assumptions about my character and state of mind from one single thread. You refuse to open your mind to what it is that i am saying. You reality sister is not everyone elses and though your state of awareness is higher than most it still does not NEGATE THE FACT THAT IN OTHER THAT YOU BRING OTHERS TO YOUR LEVEL YOU MUST FIRST REACH BACKWARDS.

MY point and if you took your ego out of it for one second is not about how i see these pictures. And let me spell it out for you again...IT IS NOT HOW I SEE THESE PICTURES or HOW I VIEW THESE PICTURES and even HOW YOU SEE THESE PICTURES. The question is how the Africans in the WEST SEE these pictures, and how they Respond and what how the social dynamics influences the messages that these picture project.

take yourself out of this, and take me out of this...(i have self-esteem issues thats great that you don't, but again we can't all be as perfect as you) and lets be realistic about how these pictures perpetuate a stereotype of Africa and Africans which is not necessarily true.

Without looking at whether Black Americans are wrong in their lack of understanding and insight on Africa, generally speaking, the fact remains that these connotations and Values and disvalues are ATTACHED TO PICTURES that PRESENT AFRICANS as living in huts and dancing happily through life.

When they Depict other countries such as China, India, Brazil...the majority of the images the public is bombarded with is NOT of the Rural (no matter how beautiful) communities, we see cities we see beaches, we see night life...things whether you LIKE OR NOT, that Westerners are attracted to and attach to a Civilization. Things that Black Americans will look at and see and prefer.

A lot of African Americans go to the Islands for their vacations...does not Jamaica have rural communities (no matter how beautiful)? But what do you see when you think of Jamaica...you see blue beaches...carnival...you see modern civilization.

Western Blacks have been here long enough to start to think and value what the white society puts value on. The fact that Africa is predominately shown in a certain light is no accident.

That is my only point, so please do not put words into my mouth, or try to psychoanalyze me, cause you ain't that good...

You have a serious passion, that i admire from some of your articles that i have read. And its strange having someone defend Africa against me for once. So i am not mad at you, i totally understand where you are coming from.

But beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder and you are one person and so am i. The underlying connotations exist in these pictures whether you choose to see it or not, someone else can, the majority of people can, so that makes you and I the minority.

I'm not saying to not celebrate how beauty, or our traditions, i am saying that most people do not see it as beauty, but something to hold there nose up to, most people don't understand the complexities.

Lets also have a balance of Municipal images and metropolitan images of Africa. Cause it does exist the representation of the Yoruba, Hausa, and Ibo people is total Alien to what i know of Nigeria and Nigerians, why is that?

What is the meaning behind the omitting of certain characteristics of Africa....shouldn't that be what is at the fore front since that is what this society attaches Value to?


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Bantu_Kelani
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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2004, 04:34:28 AM »

As I look around the US, where I currently live, I see more and more brothers and sisters from all over the Diaspora who I know have the spirit of African pride and liberation in them just as strong as in me. So I don't really buy the crap that the conspirational European-American media and historical interpretations drive all Africans in the Diaspora to loath and dissociate utterly with Africa and its population. And you should know that Western propaganda is only efficient on the ignorant brothers and sisters of this planet who have no pride or love of race. I notice despite your eloquent words your way of thinking has a tendency of viewing things in a WESTERN WAY. It is an Anglo-American (if you live in the US) empiricism that you seek to ape in Africa. And if you truly like our Black brothers and sisters accept their authenticity, freedom and simple but harmonic ways with Nature and self. I truly believe that the rebirths of the Black race will start when within ourselves we accept ourselves without the patronage of our masters or the Uncle Toms of the world. You know, it is because westerners have plundered Africa and are continuing to pea in the African traditions soup that a lot of our brothers and sisters on the continent are dwindling in psychophysical power and influence. Hence, why are you looking in shame at our STILL resilient and vibrant natives? They are certainly not the ones to disrespect..Therefore, it occurs to me that you are in dire need of a debriefing from the intoxication of western ideology, although in your denial you disagree as expected. I recur the depths of African history, the depth of our people rise above other peoples ideologies, even the ones of the westernized/brainwashed Africans. Afrocentric philosophers, thinkers and artists frequently encourage and empower this idea thereby seek to amend the vision of Black people in all places even in Malaysia, Australia and the Middle East as well. Their goals is to educate the world of the roots llifestyles and beauty of dark skinned people so important for all humans in this planet so they can appreciate our traditional culture and capability. This prove to you I am not the only one supporting this stance. As the great brother Malcolm X stated: "Hating Africa (appealing to westerners or not -my own quote) is hating myself". Thanks to the philosophies and opinions of our African liberation fighters, I understand that it is only when we brake form the Eurocentric emotional thought that we can restructure our development and aesthetics in our own glorious and ancestral African way!

Our natural dark pigmentation, our kinky hair, traditional body-arts, scarifications, sophisticated or plain temples, dwellings and buildings metropolitan or not must be acknowledged for their OWN value to all humanity's creative heritage! Further, the western mediatic depictions of South Asia, India, Latin American coutries, Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad, St Lucia, Brazil, Guyana, Antigua and Cuba, to name but a few, deny the reality of these countries, for  a lot of their inhabitants are living in poverty and some of them are even trying to flee the country as we speak. The European and American propagandists forsake the social, governmental and developmental problems of these nations that make their depictions utterly distorted of course. The archaism, oppression and depravation of the inhabitants of these countries are virtually unknown on western screen television or print media although it is blatant after 500 years of slavery, colonialism and exploitation all Black people of the world suffer from poverty, inferior education and many diseases continually perpetuated by the Caucasians and Negro leader oppressors. Therefore, a full appreciation of African genius and beauty is to be cleared of western propaganda and concepts, at any rate alien to the REALITY of the majority of Black Africans and ideologies of the true Nationalist, Afrocentric and traditionalist Africans. In your posts you are giving evidence that bitterness and poverty have triggered in Black people a disgust of our original/roots selves. And I still cry to you all to seriously start loving yourselves IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, this means loving all Black people in rich nations as in poor nations thus respecting each others, sticking together as ONE just as the Jews, Chinese, Japanese and Hindus ALWAYS stick together and have helped each other to create better standards of living. It is pitiable to see after our physical freedom 100 years ago Black Africans continue to be arrogant for their detriment. As our rich and westernized Blacks scorn and maltreat the natives' poor by subjecting them to the rank of "primitives" and "savages" and force on them harsh employment practices as taught by the white masters, who we continue to follow as an example for our ruin.

Lastly, I am not saying that we have to comply in extreme depravation (and I have to say that I have seen neither a single famished person by extreme paucity nor a repulsive person by the filth of savegery on these pictures by any means). All I am saying is that we have to love our rich traditional lifestyle in any circumstances without the consent of our contempory masters and Uncle Toms out there. In my personal instance, I have lived in Congo a natural and traditional lifestyle and I would have changed this existence for all the trillions of whatever in this world, for I recall my life was decent and "civilized" in the Congo even under the rule of the despot Mobutu Sese Seko. The socio-economic infrastructures in my country (and in all the central Africa) truly collapsed with the genocides that started 13 years ago. Nevertheless, I stay ROOTS and proud in spite of the many scorn and hardship like a Jew, Native American, Hindu and Arab person. Indeed, as ALL PEOPLE OF THIS PLANET it is imperative we appreciate our enduring natives may they be rich or poor and stop promoting alien or westernized values and depictions that do not conform to the reality and the norms of the true Nationalist, Afrocentric and traditionalist Africans and never will.
 

Bantu Kelani.

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We should first show solidarity with each other. We are Africans. We are black. Our first priority is ourselves.
Kwegan
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Roots


« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2004, 10:24:36 AM »

Let the Western thing rest for a second lady...you love arguing....i don't have the same spirit for it that you do.

The people you know is NOT THE GLOBAL AFRICAN COMMUNITY.

You have a lot to offer and some valids things you say, but you will be forever locked in that one spot and possition you are and you will never grow.

You are very lock minded.

In case you ain't noticed Blacks in Western Society have been reared by Western thought and Way of thinking, we being me included think whether we realize it or not, in a European Mindset...some of us are in denile.

The mere fact that you communicate in English and then French too...is the Ultimate of Western Mindset Characteristic. You unlike I have grown to except the images transmitted by places like the BBC and Smithsonian as being ALL of what Beautiful Africa is, which is WRONG. Our Beauty and strenght do not lie only in Rural Areas.

You accuse me of having self esteem issues and Hating my own because i believe that the types of images braodcasted out of Africa is mostly always destructive and negative, and showing Africa and Africans in ceratin conditions?

Is it not True...Am i Lying...?

My father is Nigerian and my Mother Togolese....lived in both countries at some point in my life and i Know how my people are Traditional...and how my people are Beautiful, and we are not Beautiful and traditional, because we live in a certain area or live in hut.

You have a lot of good this to say...And i don't think that we should be arguing or wasting energy trying to make me the enemy when the real war is outside of us.

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Oshun_Auset
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« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2004, 11:15:32 AM »

I guess I'll put my 2 cents in...

On this site in particular, pictures of us Africans in our natural and traditional cultural state should never be looked at as negative. For me...being an African born and raised in the West, it is quite refreshing. I surround mself with these possitive images of MYSELF/OURSELVES to combat the negativity around me daily. I disagree that most depictions of Africans are in "huts"...that may have been true in the past...but not today. Today the Western propoganda machine depicts most Africans on the continent as living in Urban slums and having tribal conflicts! We rarely see traditional life(our pre-colonial existance)...most of the glimpses we see via western propaganda are because of shows dedicated to the wildlife of Africa, and ehtnic conflicts on CNN (they may HAVE to go to a rural village to get the animals filmed, and if we are killing each other they HAVE to broadcast that, of course the reasons behind it are never given).

Personally, I see nothing beautiful about Africans living in the urban environment here or at home. The overwelming majority of us live in poverty in the city, so I don't see why that is so great. The masses are suffering, what's good about showing the few that aren't? We need to get over trying to corrolate and justify ourselves by "western" standards of lifestyle. I understand many of the Africans in the West think that there aren't even cities in Africa(Will Smith said he didn't know until he made the movie Ali...shame on him for not going home before that)...but that is because of pure ignorance of self, not just because of the current western propoganda. The enemies media machine cannot be used to repair the African immage(africans don't control it). We can only repair ourselves by organizing and educating the masses. Africa and her  people(at home and abroad) will always be depicted in a negative light by her enemies, if not in a "negative" light, we are portayed as trying our hardest to be as "European/White" as possible, which is just as negative. Either way it is not our reality, and never will be until we have self determination.

I think the pictures on this site are beautiful and need to be showed more, so that our cultural strength can be demonstrated to our people. European conquest didn't destroy our traditional life...that is wonderful, and something to be proud of.    
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Forward to a united Africa!
iyah360
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Higher Reasoning


« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2004, 11:29:09 AM »

A valuable lesson I have learned is that THE WAY an idea is presented is just as important as the idea. I look at the roots people of Africa, and through my research have learned that it is from these people that the WORLD owes the origins of the worlds religion, culture and civilization. These two things(the image AND the HISTORY)perhaps should be presented TOGETHER to the prejudiced western audience in order to destroy inherent illusions of superiority complex. As a Caucasian American, it was THIS COMBINATION THAT TRUELY OPENED MY EYES AWAY FROM A RACIST UPBRINGING and into OVERstanding. This of course involved much self work and challenging assumptions that are fostered from childhood which I will admit is EXTREMELY hard for Caucasian people to do (as should be obvious from the many posts on this site). BUT . . . it IS POSSIBLE . . . perhaps it is in the best interest for us together to develop an EFFECTIVE educational method to deal with these problems.

For example:

It is interesting to study some of the ideas of the Mbuti of the Ituri forest . .. they say that they have deliberately chosen to live simply for the mere fact they already KNOW what the outcome of misguided civilization leads to . . . destruction, corruption and death -- (this is one of the most advanced conclusions to ever be reached by human beings . . . yet from a western eye, all we see is the "backwardness" of these people) -- it is from this perspective that they developed one of the most advanced ethical systems ever devised and more importantly PRACTICED. It is from this code of ethics that sprang the 42 negative confessions of the Egyptians which was co-opted into the 10 commandments of the "Jews".

So now, if one looks at the apparent simplicity of these people JUXTOPOSED with a TRUE HISTORY lesson, the picture becomes clear . . . this can do MUCH to defuse racism within the individual confronted with this presentation.

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Yann
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« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2004, 11:39:48 AM »

Quotes from Kwegan:

Quote
“The continuous representation of Black Africa as Bush Africa, and Poor Africa and Laid back Simple Africa as opposed to Dynamic rich Africa and Modern Africa and City Africa is extremely upsetting.”

“There is a consensus in this society and even with Africans themselves that Africa offers nothing of value other than the superficial appreciation of its smiling people that appear to be happy in spite of the extreme poverty and stagnancy of its culture and people”

“Pictures such as this depict nothing of the such, they depict nothing that can create Value in the mind of the Western minds that look upon them.”

“Africa is much more than is depicted there in those pictures...and those pictures carry a racist connotation.”  

“IT IS NOT HOW I SEE THESE PICTURES or HOW I VIEW THESE PICTURES and even HOW YOU SEE THESE PICTURES. The question is how the Africans in the WEST SEE these pictures, and how they Respond and what how the social dynamics influences the messages that these picture project.”


“When they Depict other countries such as China, India, Brazil...the majority of the images the public is bombarded with is NOT of the Rural (no matter how beautiful) communities, we see cities we see beaches, we see night life...things whether you LIKE OR NOT, that Westerners are attracted to and attach to a Civilization. Things that Black Americans will look at and see and prefer.”  
 
”A lot of African Americans go to the Islands for their vacations...does not Jamaica have rural communities (no matter how beautiful)? But what do you see when you think of Jamaica...you see blue beaches...carnival...you see modern civilization.”

 

I think what is emerging here is a skewed idea that ‘modernity’ (and I use this term quite guardedly) automatically means advancement. The fact that there are modern, westernized cities in Africa of the nature that I assume you refer to, is as a result of a colonial legacy that has damaged millions of minds, of Africans in Africa, of Africans in the Diaspora and yes, of Europeans who are now disconnected form their own African roots. It is this piece of history that has brought these ‘modern’ cities to Africa at the cost of millions of lives. I honestly see nothing there to celebrate.  

You also state that the images on the website posted originally are images of  ‘poor Africa’ and ‘bush Africa’. Well many of these cultures represented here have lived in harmony with their landscape for centuries, they may be seen as monetarily poor by modern western standards but those standards are certainly not my own. It is also good to remember that many of these same indigenous cultures are not rural at all but quite urban. African cities, ports and trading towns are the blue prints for the modern European cities today. Many of the yardsticks by which we measure development and advancement are quite dangerously flawed. It is similar to earlier Europeans saying a country, region or people had no government system because it did not resemble the systems of European manufacture. Also there is the racist statement that many of us have grown up learning in our school history books, that ‘Civilization’ starts when a culture has a script and begins to record its history. Certainly we see how this negated many many ancient, glorious world cultures, not just African ones.  In these times where newly emerging thrust is toward sustainable development and poorer countries using their resources and natural skills for the benefit of their own people, the idea of ‘development’ and what constitutes development becomes crucial. Now living in harmony with nature certainly does not have to mean poverty, and living true to ancient traditions does not have to mean it either. But what may be required is a paradigm shift to see this discussion objectively. Especially in terms of what constitutes development.

Another thing is your concern about how westerners and Diaspora Africans view Africa. I can see why this would concern anyone, especially an African. Diaspora Africans tend to be often rather naïve about African history and even more so about the African present. However we must see the hailing of our indigenous cultures in their natural state as a very big first step for the African in the Diaspora who needs to identify with his or her ancient culture. This is not just for a sense of cultural identification but also the redressing of ancestral wrongs where we were taught that our people had nothing of value before Europeans came. How pointless it would then be to hail European influences in Africa over the indigenous, vibrant lively cultures from which all world cultures sprung? The point is getting the source, the root, and the ancestry. That is the first step. And a mighty one indeed. While you may be right to infer that many do not see these depictions as being of value, that does not excuse us colouring the picture to suit their tastes of what they may want to see of Africa, especially as the urban reality of most Africans is not too rosy either. While perhaps an excusable stage in ones development may be to see those who were trodden upon have the same material excesses and trappings as their oppressors, this certainly cannot be the end of the journey and certainly leads nowhere. What we must do is start from the source, the further backward we look the further forward we look…

As someone from the Caribbean I must comment on your statement about the depiction of countries, especially Caribbean countries by the mass media. You seem to believe that the depiction of Caribbean nationals as fun loving beach combers, and partiers to be an attractive one, but I can tell you that many of us who live here do not see it so at all. As a matter of fact, just as western civilization, ‘modernity’ and globalization was imposed upon Africa, this touristy, wealthy, fun loving nightlife image was also imposed on the Caribbean. I am certain the original Amerindian inhabitants did not spend their days and nights partying as if they had nothing else to do, neither did the African slaves, nor the Indian and Chinese indentured laborers, nor the Syrian traders. Maybe the whites that came as slave owners had the leisure time but the rest of us certainly did not.  So you see how images get further skewed?  The heart of many Caribbean islands IS in their rural, folk traditions. It is one of the key elements, especially in Trinidad, from which much of our indigenous, still forming “Caribbean identity’ sprung as well as the breeding ground for retaining many older ancestral traditions. You may see the image of the Caribbean depicted as positive. But I do not share that view, No not at all.

Perhaps what might be a better question to ask is how do we get this paradigm to shift? How do we get people to see these very images that you find such an offensive view of Africa in their isolation as something of pride, not just in an ancestral history but as living breathing vibrant surviving cultures in spite of European encroachment? To me that is certainly a bigger success story than the building of mock European cities and the infiltration of cable T.V  

yan

 
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Kwegan
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« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2004, 12:18:38 PM »

There is a difference between whether the skewed perspective is correct and whether it exists.

there seems to be trouble separating between the two.

If something exist you deal with its existence you don't ignore it.

If prejudice exist you deal with the prejudice you do skim over it if what you want is to lift that prejudice.

My initial comment was not directed towards this site projection of certain images...but rather the broad projection of certain images by European institutions that perpetuate a certain way of life in Africa WHICH IS NOT THE REALITY FOR ALL.

Whatever we think is irrelevant...What the majority of our people think is what is of concern.

That most of what Black Americans and Euro born Africans think of when we say AFRICA. THIS IS A PROBLEM.

It is a problem because they DO OPERATE IN A EUROPEAN MINDSET, and because WE DO ATTACH VALUE TO MODERN AND WESTERN CHARACTERISTICS.

Africa was building Stone and multiple story houses on a large scale LONG BEFORE EUROPE.

The Idea that Certain characteristics are WESTERN and therefore should be detested is Worrying.

That some of us do not know of ourself enough to know that Africans had intricate plumbling facilities when Europeans where living in their own feces.

How can you attach characteristics to the west that where African first. Was it not from Africa that the greeks imported their pillars from to hold up the most magnificent of their buildings.

Did not Africa have a Iron long before most of the world....where we not the keepers of the greatest Schools and libraries and Ships and castles? Didn't Africa Out show the European fleets all the way up the sixteenth century BC. Wasn't it Africa that had the first Democracies, wasn't our political systems Envied by the West...did we have the greatest kingdoms this world has ever seen and some existing within the same period...are we not the people who after coming out of the Arab Slave trade, Fought and put off the colonization of Africa for FOUR HUNDRED YEARS????


The Dynamic of Africa and its people are extremely COMPLEX and MIGHTY. We have had existed people who have lived in what may appear at first glance to be simple conditions through out the epoch of our greatest empires...Africa is multi faceted, we are not a single face, so i can the hating please stop.

In order for us to reach and succeed our past glories we need to be on top of not only OUR GAME not only ours but the European Game. We need to know how to lift up our nations, yet at the same time stay true to our spiritual identity.

We need to know how to do things BETTER.

Western Civilization is not all bad...lets not throw the baby out with the bath water, it cannot be all bad since the core of what they Know was taught to them By Africa.

realizing that there exists an Africa that isn't Rural life is NO DISREPECT or Disloyal to the civilizations and the prototype of the civilizations that gave birth to African light.
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