Africa in the West

I know you’ve seen something like the following before on television at least once: A commercial appears that shows little African children obviously starving and miserable. Some commercials will include Southeast Asian children in the same way, but most will focus on African children.

In center stage is a white person telling you about the children in the commercial: how they’ve hardly eaten or bathed, how they’re sick and possibly dying. Most of all, they tell you that for less than a cup of coffee you can sponsor a child like them. (The assumption being that there are millions like them all over the continent.) The white person will appear as benevolent and sympathetic as possible while sad music is playing in the background. This helps play with your emotions, making you feel sorry for those children. That helps drum up business for the “Save the children in Africa” complex.

You don’t wonder about the fact that there is no mention of the parents of those children. You also don’t think about the fact that this is one of a handful of depressing images about the second largest continent on the face of the planet. The single stories of the African continent have been dominant in the Western media for so long that the whole landmass has been reduced to a giant hellhole country of plagues, poverty and civil wars lost in prehistoric times.

The narrative of Africa being an uncivilized backdrop where the animal population rivals that of the human population has been around for a long-ass time. It’s so prevalent that people, who haven’t visited any part of the continent, believe those stereotypes. Racist white people who pride in their European past, which has been reduced to white skin, European features and great accomplishments, adore those stereotypes whenever black people get uppity.

In the minds of ignorant people in any part of the world, Africa is a large, poor and diseased country in constant war with itself. Its inhabitants are kin to the primates who dwell there. They have no signs of modern civilization anywhere and have made absolutely no contributions to humanity in any time period. The end.

Wrong. The simple, single story of Africa in the West that is passed all over the world hold is as phony as the white supremacy myth it was spawned from. Here are some facts about the place that has been captivated and deplored by the lowly masses that is ignored by the western media:

1. Africa is not a country or a language. It is a huge continent of more than 54 independent nations with more than thousands of languages.

2. There is ample information that human civilization, including what will be known as the White race, began in Africa which was the center of the large supercontinent called Pangaea.

3. African immigrants are highly educated. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe holds seven degrees – two of them are master’s degrees.

4. Eighteen people from Africa have been awarded the Nobel Prize. Two of them are Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

5. South Africa has the most luxurious train in the world known as the Rovos Rail.

6. There are numerous universities in several African nations. They include the Fourah Bay College in Sierra Leone, Liberia College in Liberia, the University of Ibadan in Nigeria and the University of Rabat in Morocco.

7. Some African countries have their own chain of successful restaurants and internet cafes.

8. There are many African cities with tall office buildings and skyscrapers.

9. Africa has a growing middle class.

10. The nation of Ghana has its own stock exchange which is growing.

11. Nigeria has it’s own version of Hollywood known as Nollywood.

12. Vodacom Congo is the largest cell phone company in that nation.

We all know that there are indeed problems going on in the continent such as the AIDS epidemic and the conflict in Darfur. This post is not disputing that. However, the usual story about Africa always being its own victim where the worst possible things that could happen on Earth exist is racist and petty. To spread the problems of a few areas of an entire continent to the entire continent is nothing short of a white supremacist ideology no different than converting an entire group of people from that area into a malfunctioning monolith. Let’s call it what it is, folks.

The massive landmass of Africa doesn’t need any aid from the United States or any other nation, especially if the people don’t ask for it or want it. The deep, hidden scars of White European imperialism and slavery still resonates in the hearts and souls of many Africans and their descendants. They have sound reasons not to trust any form of “aid” coming from industrialized white dominated countries.

But most of them won’t. The single story will live on through the Western media and the hearts of many (white) people. Africa will always be looked down upon in need of white knights to save it from itself, as long as people remain comfortable in their ignorance and allow other sources to tell them how and what to think.

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25 thoughts on “Africa in the West

  1. Yeah, leave to the media to show African children into little babies with bloated stomachs and flies buzzing around on their little tear streaked faces. That’s what the people in the western hemisphere think Africa is about. That a shame. Many African cities are very cosmopolitan. And many Africans are highly educated. But let the media tell they all live in some aids infested village with starving dying natives. That’s the lens of the white man.

  2. Its been said before and most in the black blogasphere know this – unfortunately “the white supremacy myth” is still very much believed even in places in africa. So I’ll do my part – like,reblog and facebook share.
    An Excellent Post!

  3. Have you seen the documentaries “Hidden Colors” & “Hidden Colors 2”? Both dispel myths about Africa (and Black people, in general) and give a lot of information that is not told to us; even Black History Month in the U.S. has nothing on this. Please purchase the DVD and watch it with others. I guarantee that they will be blown away by knowledge.

  4. Unfortunately, blacks (all blacks) are supposed to always have an inferiority complex. Blacks are supposed to see themselves as “cursed” for being black, and when white people insist on only showing these images their goal is to imply that black people are inherently incapable of doing anything but being slaves to white people or the arabs. They feel like they NEED to ignore and actively dispute facts like the ones that you have presented. The “Dependent Starving African” trope is just a way of justifying their past crimes, both in Africa and in the West. It was useful to the Europeans who invaded and colonized parts of Africa, but it is also useful to American racists who want to control the self-esteem of black people in American and the Caribbean for their own aim. There is a sick logic behind it all.

    This information isn’t even hard to find out, so there must really be a concentrated effort in denial and ignorance.

    1. And that denial and ignorance is not out of innocence, but out of their unwillingness to feel. They purposely want to feel the way they do because they know their culture is filled with destruction of other people for the sake of conquest. So, they do the worst possible thing and blame the victims for being what they are.

      1. Exactly. There is a specific logic behind their method. Its like when you only see images of indigenous people when they are on reservations or are “primitive”. The idea that they need white people to rescue (aka oppress) them in order to contribute or exist is fundamental to a lot of western ideas. It reads just like:

        “Oh, won’t you look at that? Africa such a terrible country! Where would you be without slavery/colonization!? You’d be in a genocide ridden country wearing loincloths! Just like in Save the Children!”

  5. Great post by the way! Very informative and well written. I wish more people made posts like these, and more people thought to learn this themselves.

      1. Part of me thinks that if a lot of black children were taught facts like the ones you put up there, it would help combat the slew of negative images and “white is right” messages they are assaulted with daily, even in their own lands. They would be able to know that there is more to Africa than conflict and primitive villages.

      2. Yea, We can not expect the media to teach them such things, especially the 95% owned by white males. It’s sad, but we can’t look to them to see us as people. They will only see us as ‘the other people’, and they can get away with it as long as they still have money and power.

  6. Anything to do with white people placing themselves in a supposed position of lending assistance to blacks is anything but assistance. Personally, I believe it has a whole lot more to do with either the further maintenance of white supremacy, make me feel good about myself or outright guilt. From Django to Shawty Lo to the very recent soccer fans in Italy chanting the ā€œNā€ word at their own team players. Things of this nature will continue to happen because on a subconscious level and an overwhelmingly tortured history between blacks and whites, we as a group still place a certain amount of fear within the hearts of whites by our mere presence. Brothas and sistas, that is the essence of POWER!

  7. As usual another great post. Africa as by no means as terrible as it is portrayed in the West, and when you consider the long and ongoing history of the oppression of thecontinent and its people, its current state is actually astonishing. Shit happens everywhere, not just Africa. I remember being shocked when I learnt of the thousands of homeless kids present in the ”developed nation” of Germany. Take a walk around any major western city and you will see varying levels of deprivation. Since Africa is the most materially rich nation on earth, whites need to advertise it as terrible in order to justify their continuous invasion and exploitation of the territory. Africans have proven that we are capable of surviving the middle passage and possess superior intellect and skills. We are by no means the only race of people being exploited by europeans, perhaps the most, but I believe that all peoples suffer similar and high levels of oppression at the hands of whites.

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