Week 6 Blog Post

Imperialism created the Africa we see today. For example, in British colonies, “colonial policy also depended on constructions of racial differences” (Pierre 18) and in the French colonies as “’Blacks’ (or ‘Africans’) [were racialized] through both its political and juridical practices” (18). These racial divisions created racial distress between Africans. The north, seen as white, and south, seen as black, was created by Europeans. At the same time, Ancient Egyptian culture was decided to be a European history and written as a white society, practically stealing it from African culture and dividing Africans in classes they did not construct themselves. Europeans saw black Africans as unable to create such culture meaning that ancient Egyptians must have been white. Simultaneously, this division by European imperialistic powers created a Pan-African identity as Africans began to construct an identity based around the anti-imperialism efforts that is still seen today.

During the depression, white settlers in Africa “used local political power and influence to deny Africans access to land effectively ‘proletarianizing’ them” and using them as an inexpensive labor pool. (Bayley 89-90) After the depression and World War II, a push towards African independence occurred as European countries were more tired, had less money, and no longer wanted to put the work into maintain their colonies. This led to a tumultuous decolonization process as these African colonies were not prepared to rule themselves. They were not industrialized nor educated how to nor did they have easily available resources as Europeans had taken them. As new African countries scrambled to create an economy, ethnic division rose as European powers created come countries that divided cultural groups, and some that forced together hated people. As African groups fought each other, power voids were created as Europeans fled the continent. This is seen in Guinea-Bissau as “no president has served a full term since independence from Portugal in 1974.” (The Economist)

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