Explain the African-American Criticism concept of "Africanism."  Next, consider Graham Greene's novel The Comedians as an example and expression of Africanism, with particular focus on the...

Explain the African-American Criticism concept of "Africanism."  Next, consider Graham Greene's novel The Comedians as an example and expression of Africanism, with particular focus on the Voodoo ceremony that Brown attends in Part II, Chapter II, section I.

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thetall | (Level 3) Educator

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To address the criticism of "Africanism" by the African-American we need to understand the term "Africanism". "Africanism" includes perceptions of the white community towards African and African-American culture. These perceptions are likely informed by fear of the community or their desire for the African or African-American society. This is where the criticism come in because African-Americans believe that this perception is misguided as it does not involve their input towards this conception.

An awareness that black experience is historical and cultural: that it has ties to African language, cultural practices and attitudes, that it is formed through the experience of slavery and violence, that it has endured a long and troubled negotiation with white culture, so that black aesthetic production in white cultures is marked by white culture positively and negatively. (John Lye, Ph.D., Brock University)

In The Comedian, Graham Greene is in support of the criticism by the African-Americans in that he speaks against the American imperialism against Haiti. He also points to problems facing the country as consequences of American imperialism. 

In Chapter II, section I when Brown attends the secret Voodoo ceremony which he considers unpleasant. He does not even try to understand the need for the ritual and why it is important to that community. Through the protagonist the culture involved in the ritual is depicted as distasteful and even unnecessary. 

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