Analysis Of Basil Davidson's 'Different But Equal'

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In the first segment of his film series, Different but Equal, Basil Davidson sets out to disprove the fictitious and degrading assumptions about African civilization made by various Western scholars and explorers. Whether it is the notion that Africans are “savage and crude in nature” or the presumed inability of Africans to advance technologically, these stereotypes are damaging to the image and history of Africa. Although European Renaissance art depicts the races of white and black in equal dignity, there was a drastic shift of European attitudes toward Africa that placed Africans in a much lower standing than people of any other culture. The continent of Africa quickly became ravished by the inhuman slave trade and any traditional civilization …show more content…

When ancient Greek historian Herodotus travelled to Africa, he described the African civilization and their achievements as “different but equal.” Davidson’s video is a valuable historical resource that presents the viewer with the information to believe so. In summary, Davidson successful traces Africa’s earliest origins and demonstrates that this is a civilization far from having no arts, technology, sophistication and unique culture. Culture and civilization as we know it today can be traced back to Africa, and modern science has verified the early perceptions of Europeans to be wrong. He provides more than adequate evidence of Africa having a history complete with vast and rich civilization, including archaeological finds and specialized interviews with distinguished scholars and philosophers. Despite the fact that society possesses a more positive attitude towards African civilization today in terms of recognition, equality, and acceptance than in the past, negative stereotypes are still acknowledged and modern day racism unfortunately exists. I believe that the existence of Davidson’s work and videos such as Different but Equal are crucial to challenging these stereotypes and discrimination in order to create a more accurate image of Africa and its history. Overall, Davidson proves that the continent of Africa is home to a history that is just as meaningful, comprehensive, and progressive as that of any other civilization in the

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