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Remembering the Dismembered Continent by Ayi Kwei Armah

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1885, Berlin: European and American globalizers set up colonies that impoverished Africans by exporting raw resources to fuel European and American prosperity. 1960s: "Independent" Africa's rulers, far from uniting Africa to create prosperity by processing the continent's fabulous resources, opted to maintain the colonial system in return for loans and grants, while chanting Pan-Africanism at hotel conferences. In this destructive drift, a minority of lucid scholars, spearheaded by Cheikh Anta Diop and Théophile Obenga, argued that instead of following Europe and America, we'd do better to retrieve Africa's own multi-millennial heritage of philosophical and cultural values, the best of which, like Maât, centered on political unity and social justice, would be our surest guide into a regenerative future. These essays show exactly why. They also suggest ways in which we can heed the call of our most creative thinkers, to prepare for the long-postponed rebirth of African society.

1885, Berlin: European and American globalizers set up colonies that impoverished Africans by exporting raw resources to fuel European and American prosperity.

 

1960s: "Independent" Africa's rulers, far from uniting Africa to create prosperity by processing the continent's fabulous resources, opted to maintain the colonial system in return for loans and grants, while chanting Pan-Africanism at hotel conferences.

 

In this destructive drift, a minority of lucid scholars, spearheaded by Cheikh Anta Diop and Théophile Obenga, argued that instead of following Europe and America, we'd do better to retrieve Africa's own multi-millennial heritage of philosophical and cultural values, the best of which, like Maât, centered on political unity and social justice, would be our surest guide into a regenerative future. These essays show exactly why. They also suggest ways in which we can heed the call of our most creative thinkers, to prepare for the long-postponed rebirth of African society.


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  1. Lone voices crying out in the wilderness 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 11th May 2015

    Mr. Armah stands among a very select group as an original thinker and a man of dignity. He is an African treasure, of the purest sort, a humanist possessed of a clarity of thought that is as rare as it is precious. One imagines that in the fullness of time, the simple, central tenet of his life's work: that we are all endowed with the same dignity of our humanity, and that the use of science and unvarnished evidence can point the way not only for Africans to reclaim the humanity that we have lost track of, but also lay waste to the lies that have been the very edifice on which enemies of Africa have built their era of domination over us. There is no possibility for a better world when a small minority of the world's population, on the basis their greater penchant for brutal genocide, decides to write the history of the rest of us through the narrow prism of their murderous vision. Mr. Armah's essays explores these issues, lays out the outline of the work to be done to restore balance for Africa's humanity, and sets forth examples of how such work is to be done. And he does so in prose that is as exhilarating as it is inspiring, and life affirming. There is none better. And the greatest tragedy for Africans in these days might very well be that the wisdom and gifts of the prodigiously talented Mr. Armah, are not better broadcast.



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