African Imperialism And Its Impact On African Americans Essay

African Imperialism And Its Impact On African Americans Essay

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For as long as Africa has existed, others have sought to wield power over the land, resources and inhabitants. In earlier days, Africans were abducted away into the slave trade and more recently, Africans were utilized as built in labor with their territories during the era of colonization in the 1800’s. However any discussion of Africa after this point of achievement of independence to current day has been grossly underwhelming. Author Frederick Cooper seeks to change our view of African today with his book Africa Since 1940; His writings demonstrate the severely warped manner in which Africa is viewed and seeks to show that despite supposed independence Africa has still been suppressed and therefore put at a disadvantage. This in turn has negatively impacted the way in which we as outsiders view the continent.
One of the reasons Africa was so easily infiltrated by European powers was their use of propaganda and dehumanizing efforts of the citizens, thereby prompting less impediment from European citizens. This as well as the slave trade in the United States has left unconsciously unfavorable view of the people of African, people in developed countries tend to automatically think of them as “lesser”. Cooper proves through his use of highly specific language, that this is not the case. His book proves through examples that others have been conditioned to think this way, and that any lack of development in the continent as a whole is due to the incessant oppression throughout the decades. For example, with independence also arose the opportunity for African states to create their own forms of government. However, often times there was difficulty and the African territories reverted back to “localized systems of “traditional” ...


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...tical of the way Africa and it’s inhabitants have been held back throughout the years his use of specific language and examples clearly show his bias of support towards Africa and against colonization and other events and people that have stunted Africa throughout history. For example, when discussing the ways in which Africans were dehumanized he frequently puts terms the the Europeans used very seriously in quotations to show that he does not agree, “ ‘Scientific’ theories of racial inequality….sharp cultural distinctions between the ‘primitive’ and the ‘civilized’ ” (Cooper 2002, 37). Throughout the book Cooper also consistently uses examples which portrays Africa as the victim to further his subliminal argument that Africa’s ability to develop at a rate consistent with the rest of the world was severely hindered by a series of oppressive regimes and occurrences.

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