Pan Africanism : African Stereotypes

Discussion in 'Black History - Culture - Panafricanism' started by panafrica, May 14, 2003.

  1. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    What Stereotypes have you heard about Africa over the years?

    Africans are Savages.

    Have no Civilization.

    Africa sold African American into slavery.

    Have made no contributions to world culture.

    All African men practice polygamy.

    All African men physically abuse women.

    African women have no rights.

    What stereotypes (if any) do you believe? What have you done to try to educate others against these and other stereotypes able Africa?
     
  2. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    True, I've heard stereotypical language such as you described about Africa and Africans, however, I don't believe any of them.

    I educate myself by finding reading materials that are not culturally biased nor slanted in ways to support those stereotypes. I also make an effort to associate with people whom I respect for knowing more than I about Africa and not be afraid to ask questions when I don't know. Lastly, I try to be humble, yet generous in sharing information with others that I think might benefit from it.
     
  3. poeticdelight

    poeticdelight Member MEMBER

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    References

    ok
     
  4. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    That was an interesting article you posted poeticdelight; however, it had nothing to do with the subject of this thread. In addition, it is against forum rules to post someone's work without their expressed written consent. Please edit your post.
     
  5. poeticdelight

    poeticdelight Member MEMBER

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    this part

    Africa sold African American into slavery. I just wanted you to read.
     
  6. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    That Africa sold African Americans into slavery is one of the most persistant and deceptive stereotypes involving the continent. Africa DID NOT sell African Americans into slavery. Several handful African kings and merchants in a handful of west African countries sold their conquered enemies into slavery. In addition to this millions of slaves were kidnapped and forced into slavery.

    An entire country can not be held accountable for the actions of a misguided tyrant, let alone an entire continent. It must also be pointed out that almost every society in the world had some type of slavery. This was not a unique practice native to Africa. What was unique was "chattel" slavery that Europeans practiced in the Americas, where blacks were treated like animals. The participation of "some" Africans in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade is certainly not a proud moment in our history. However the belief that Africans, not Europeans, were ultimately responsible for black slavery is a deceptive tactic by whites to absolve themselves of the responsibility for how "they" treated African American slaves. It saddens me that there are African American who are actually adopt this viewpoint.
     
  7. monetg

    monetg Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Panny,

    I think P-Diddy's point (and correct me if I'm mistaken, P-Diddy) is that even if only one "misguided tyrant" participated in any way to chattel slavery that was still one too many. Yes, slavery was not a unique practice in Africa but we weren't sold to other African kings to be servants as was the custom. We were sold to strangers to be taken far, far, away for God knows what.
    I saw a program on Channel 13 (maybe HBO) about Henry Louis Gates' journey to Africa to chronicle "the passage" and they spoke to the descendants of one of the Kings who heavily participated in the slave trade. And his descendants spoke of how for generations that family feared for their lives because of their ancestor's involvement in the slave trade. Many saw what he did to be far worse than a betrayal...............

    Scorpiolady
    Scorp............
     
  8. NNQueen

    NNQueen going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Some ways to deal with stereotypes about Africa and Africans -- We should incorporate this lesson plan here at the Pan-African Forum. It's basic, but we all have to start somewhere and with good information. This could even be used in the home and in community-based projects for citizens in our communities.

    What do you think? Is this one possible solution for dealing with stereotypes about Africa and Africans?

    http://teacherlink.ed.usu.edu/tlresources/units/byrnes-africa/aindex.htm
     
  9. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    To Monetg: Scorp is that you? Where have you been hiding, and why the name change? You need to return to the voice chat, so I can tease with you again.

    Anyway back to the topic. I saw the documentary that Henry Louis Gates did on Africa a few years ago as well, it is was flawed to say the least. I try not to come across as a conspiracy theorist, but Gates is the "whitest" black historian you will ever find. First of all, he is married to a white woman (not that being married to a white person automatically makes you a sellout, but it does raise eyebrows). And most of the conclusions from his research always seems to be conservative, or put black people in a negative light. The only works from Gates that I've enjoyed over the years is his reprinting of slave narratives, and that is not his original writting. His famous or "infamous" African documentary series was the topic of debate in several of my graduate history class. My professors (all experts in black & African history), as well as the students who were from Africa felt that not only did Gates not portray Africa acurately. But he seemed to go out of his way to show anything negative he came across. Therefore I would advise anyone to take anything they see from Mister Gates with a grain of salt.

    That being said, I also feel that ONE African selling other Africans into slavery (no matter to who) is one too many. However, I think that we shouldn't blame the entire contient for the actions of a few. That would be like blaming all African Americans for the end of Affirmative Action, Minority Scholarships, and the weakening of other Civil Rights Laws. When the reality is that the movement to end these laws were headed by Ward Connelly, Clarence Thomas, Condolesa Rice, J.C. Watts, and a handful of other black republican conservative idiots (who of course are backed by whites). These individuals have in effect sold out their race for individual gain. Did the African Merchants and Monarchs I previously mentioned do the same? Absolutely! Black History is full of spineless turncoats: Blacks who served as slave overseers; Blacks who ended slave revolts by ratting out their fellow slaves to white slave owners; Blacks who owned black slaves; Black troops who help Europeans conquer and colonize Africa in the late 19th century, etc.

    For individuals who do this there is no defense. And I will make no effort to defend them. However, once again we can not condemn the entire black race (in Africa or across the Diaspora) for the actions of these individuals. Because doing so spreads divisiveness among us, and helps to keep us from being a prosperous people. Did you know that there were Africans (in Africa) that fought to end the slave trade? Some went as far as to intercept slave ships and return them to Africa. Just as their are blacks in this country that are fighting to prevent the end of civil rights laws.

    Stereotypes created by a race about other race are unavoidable, because prejudice and racism are as old as humankind. However, stereotypes are at their MOST dangerous when people WITHIN a race start to believe the negative stereotypes spread about them. This is happening to black people and we must end it with education.
     
  10. ifasehun

    ifasehun Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Henry Louis Gates = Enemy of Black Community.
     
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