How do these early theories of African history still affect western views of the history of black Africa and its peoples? ...

How do these early theories of African history still affect western views of the history of black Africa and its peoples? 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBbMxJuAQY0&feature=player_embedded

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9jlPNVnKWA&feature=player_embedded

 

Asked on by sara212

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Much of what ends up coming out of the video clips is the notion of how imperialism and colonialism impacted the narrative of African History.  The difference in perception between both Western History and African History is revealed in the oral tradition of historical development.  The fact is that imperialism had a detrimental impact on two levels.  The first is that those who were the torch bearers of this history were wiped out due to old age, enslavement, breaking of villages, so that this history never went on a formal record.  In addition to this, enslavement and the displacement of slaves from Africa made its historical tradition impossible to pass down.  In the end, Western thought for a long time believed that there was no history to Africa because it was never "on record."  Consciously or not, Western thought did much to destroy this historical record through its actions that served to silence and served to negate African History.  I think that there is a general consensus that suggests this is not the case today.  The opening of the first video where an Oxford History Professor would claim that there is "no history to Africa" is not something that would be suggested by even the most novice of professionals today.  There is a general understanding and acceptance that Africa's history became profoundly skewed and distorted by the West and that there was history even before the West entered into African historical consciousness.  We now know that we can obtain a great deal of historical detail on Africa, removing its label of the "dark continent," through a simple search that integrates the role of the West in the process of African historical identity.

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