The Distortion of African History

Africa was and still is an interesting subject in which historical events are greatly affect by outside sources such as european and other western powers. Large imperialism colonization movements took place where economic benefits were thought to be easily accessable and justifiable. Justifications in terms of caucasians believing they were a superior race as to the point of even funding expeditions in Egypt to declare Egyptians, the great civilization, as whites. Ironically, it was originally believed by french scholars that Eqyptians were indeed black but this knowledge funded a movement to disprove this theory as seen on page 17 of Africa/African by Jemima Pierre. While it was important for the Eqyptian text to be read and translated. The scholars translating this information, like many of us, had a preconceived notation of the text as they themselves only really know their culture and way of life. Romila Thapar has an interesting interview about this topic. Fast forwarding to the present, its important to note that like in Egypt racial influences (such as the ebola outbreak) and the distortion of African history or representation is still present to this day. The information about Africa goes through a screening process usually by non-natives of Africa. Whether intentional or not the information is distorted, as I’ve seen, into two extremes. As read in “The Hopeful Continent”, Africa seems to be experiencing a breath of fresh air in which their is economic growth, employment, rising agriculture and tiredness of violance. If you read sources such as american news articles, it hits the otherside of the spectrum with civilwars, political corruption, massacres and assassination depicting them as not desirable people. These reports may indeed be factual, however context is appropriate in articles so that a better mutual understanding between the reader and the reading can be made. This plays along with need for a broader outlook on events instead of writers providing a small lens of arrogance and bias. This is a difficult process but communication is key.

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