African American Integration and Independence

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Integration and Independence

In the latter half of 1885 several European empires gathered together for a conference in Berlin. At this meeting of utmost importance, the various European powers laid claim to their African colonial territories, thus dividing the continent like a birthday cake among themselves. The new boundaries now united thousands of cultures, nations and ethnicities under the banner of white ethno-centricity. Thus began the final colonial dominion of Europe which would last well into the 20th century. Although the white minority has relinquished it?s stranglehold on Africa, the ramifications of hundreds of years of political dominion can be found throughout the continent. In 1962 during the heat of these independence movements, the world?s black population watched intently to see if indeed the African race could overthrow their colonial oppressors to bring about a new world order. Half a world away, men of African descent were fighting for an independence of their own. With the American Civil Rights movement in full swing, blacks everywhere stood on the brink of bettering the world for themselves and their children. The American essayist James Baldwin states in his essay ?Down at the Cross? the meanings of the words integration and independence. (Baldwin 337) He claims that each word carried its own fiery meaning but the intent of the movements sparked by these words has not completely fulfilled its purpose. The colonization and political exploitation of Africa was rooted in extreme ethno-centric views. Integration and independence cannot manifest themselves as reality as long as there exists feelings of racial superiority.

The colonization of the world by Europeans can be traced t...

... middle of paper ... inferiority lives on (James 34) and until it dies Africans will remain second rate citizens segregated from and dependent on the white world.

Works Cited

Baldwin, James. ?Down at the Cross.? 1955. James Baldwin: Collected Essays. Ed. Toni Morrison. New York: Library of America, 1998. 296-347

Ingalls, Leonard. ?Portuguese Back Rein over Africa.? New York Times: July 19, 1960.

James, C.L.R. ?African Independence and the Myth of African Inferiority.? 1958. Education and Black Struggle: Notes from the Colonized World. Boston: Harvard Educational Review, 1974. 33-41

Vansina, Jan. ?African Resistance and the Liquidation of the European Empire.? 1978. African History. New York: Longman Group Limited, 1995. 513-530

White, William S. ?New World of Africa?s Gold Coast Arises from the Ashes of Colonialism.? New York Tines: May 15, 1951.
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