After reading "The Black Man's Burden," do you agree that colonialism "kills the soul of a people?"

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mrkirschner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would have to agree with Edward D. Morel in that the effects of colonialism go far beyond the loss of life. Your question centers around Morel's essay that is titled "The Black Man's Burden," specifically this quote:

Its destructive effects are not spasmodic: they are permanent. In its permanence resides its fatal consequences. It kills not the body merely, but the soul. It breaks the spirit.

Colonialism breaks the spirit and kills the soul because it strips the African of every freedom. He is no longer the master of his own domain. His future has been predetermined for him. The African can no longer look at his children and say "I did this." The African is exploited at every turn for the advantage of others a world away. The African is faced with the loss of culture and identity. The bounty and resources of their land are no longer theirs, offers them no benefit. When you consider all of these things taken together, the Europeans have stripped the Africans of everything that it means to be human. In a way, this is as corrupt as physically taking their lives.