By Richard Dowden
After a lifetime’s shut remark of the continent, one of many world’s best Africa correspondents has penned a landmark booklet on existence and loss of life in sleek Africa. It takes a consultant as observant, skilled, and sufferer as Richard Dowden to bare its truths. Dowden combines a novelist’s reward for surroundings with the scholar’s snatch of old swap as he spins stories of cults and trade in Senegal and standard spirituality in Sierra Leone; analyzes the impression of oil and the web on Nigeria and reduction on Sudan; and examines what has long past so badly improper in Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Congo. Dowden’s grasp paintings is an try to clarify why Africa is how it is, and allows its readers to work out and comprehend this stunning continent as a spot of idea and great humanity.
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Extra info for Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles
152–153) In his opinion, this acknowledgment of their great past would lead Black people into a great future. Yet, according to Blyden’s philosophy, this was but one element of the African redemption. While Blyden emphasized the African grandeur, 42 African Homecoming he at the same time saw the “power of endurance” (1971i : 200) as the Â�greatest strength of the race. In an arousing lecture to the Young Men’s Literary Association of Sierra Leone, Blyden developed his concept of the African Personality, which, more than fifty years later, would be taken up by Kwame Nkrumah to serve as the cultural foundation of the new, continental Pan-Africanism.
Gilroy 1993: 207). However, it was precisely the glory of suffering and the biblical power of endurance that distinguished the African Personality from the character of other races. He pointed out that Black slaves had made great contributions to the sustaining and enrichment of Europe and the Americas; yet he argued that they had no place in those respective countries. He believed in the self-reliance and self-determination of Africans; but he also argued that they needed to be colonized (by Blacks) to achieve their true independence.
Therefore, when Garvey established the first UNIA-branch in New York City in 1917, the name and the program of the organization soon evoked great enthusiasm and hope among many Black Harlemites. The promise was the resurrection of the “mighty race” that could accomplish anything once it would have retrieved its true substance. The motto under which UNIA was to gain its fame was “One God! One Aim! ” For Garvey and his adherents, the destiny of the Black race lay in Africa. The continent was the legitimate (and only) home of Black people; it was the Promised Land, the destination of a spiritual as well as a physical return movement.
Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles by Richard Dowden