Sample: Mistaking Africa, 4th Ed.

Sampled below is the Preface and Chapter One from Mistaking Africa, Fourth Edition, by Curtis Keim and Carolyn Somerville.

 

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Table of Contents

Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments

Part One: Introduction

1. Changing Our Mind About Africa

Speaking “African”
The Use and Misuse of Stereotypes
Stereotypes over Time
A Word About Words

2. How We Learn

Television Culture
Newspapers
Magazines
The Internet
Movies
Amusement Parks
Other Sources

Part Two: Evolutionism

3. The Origins of “Darkest Africa”

Africans in Antiquity
Western Views of Africans, ca. 1400–1830
Western Views of North Africans, ca. 700–1830
Birth of the Dark Continent
A Myth for Conquest

4. “Our Living Ancestors”: Evolutionism and Race Across the Centuries

Evolutionism
Race
The Primitive African
Lingering Evolutionism

5. Where Is the Real Africa?

Troubled Africa
Disease-Ridden Africa
Helpless Africa
Unchanging Africa
Exotic Africa
Sexualized Africa
Wise Africa
Superior Africa
Where Is the Real Africa?

6. We Should Help Them

Authoritarian Help
Market Help
Conversion Help
Celebrity Aid and Raising Awareness
Gift-Giving Help
Participatory Help
Military Help
The Failure of Help
Beyond Aid
Rethinking Development
Helping Out

Part Three: Further Misperceptions

7. Cannibalism: No Accounting for Taste

8. Africans Live in Tribes, Don’t They?

A Textbook Definition
A Word with a History
The End of the Tribe
Contemporary African Uses of Tribe
Other Tribes
African Tribes in America
Alternatives to Tribe

9. Safari: Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

Where the Wild Things Aren’t
The Good Old Days
The Decline of the Great White Hunting Safari
The Tourist Safari: Animals in Pictures
The Safari from a Distance
Hunting Africa

10 Africa in Images

Photo 1: Indigenous races of the earth
Photo 2: Human zoos: Ota Benga at the New York Bronx Zoo
Photo 3: Picture postcard of an Algerian woman
Photo 4: Tintin in the Congo
Photo 5: Tarzan, “Moon Beast”
Photo 6: “Lose Citicorp travelers checks in Maputo . . . ”
Photo 7: “Ankle-biting Pygmies”
Photo 8: CNN misidentifies Nigeria
Photo 9: Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams” dreams of an all-white Africa
Photo 10: “I am African”
Photo 11: And the winner is . . .
Photo 12: “We face challenges all over the world”
Photo 13: “Jewelry with a global flair”
Photo 14: “Elegant”

Part Four : New Directions: From Race to Culture

11. Changing Views

Changing Paradigms
The Same and the Other
From Race to Culture
The Dangers of Cultural Evolutionism

12. From Imagination to Dialogue

On Being Human
A Kind of Equality
An African Dialogue

Appendix: Learning More
Notes
Works Cited
Index

Preface

Preface

Over the years that we have been teaching Africa survey courses, we have found that students’ ability to approach the continent is deeply influenced by American stereotypes about Africa. Many students filter accurate information through their inaccurate stereotypes, thus making learning less effective than it could be. Therefore, we have written this book for students and others who are just beginning to think about Africa and need to consider how we commonly misperceive and misrepresent Africa. At the beginning of every course, we take time to discuss our heritage of ideas about Africa. We ask students to explore what our stereotypes are, how we have acquired them, where they appear in our culture, and why they persist. As each course proceeds, we find moments when students can pause to think about how our stereotypes relate to the topics at hand.

Africanist scholars have extensively described and criticized American stereotypes about modern Africa. They have had the most obvious successes in improving K–12 textbooks, children’s literature, and news reporting, but their studies apply to numerous other areas of American culture. Thus, we have been able to rely on experts in many fields for both ideas and examples. Our own contributions lie in having gathered and organized many ideas, located further examples, and written accessibly, primarily for undergraduate college and university students.

As in the other editions, the chapters in this volume are brief, and each chapter can more or less stand on its own. Teachers thus have many options for how they use the book, ranging from assigning one or two chapters to basing an entire course on the book’s ideas. In the latter case, students may examine some of the sources referred to in this book and find many new examples. They may also interview Africans or people who have traveled to Africa as tourists or missionaries, on business, or otherwise.

The first, second, and third editions found their way to many readers other than college and university students. Those editions helped diplomats, travelers, church groups, international student advisers, reporters, K–12 teachers, and others to think about how we treat Africa. We hope this fourth edition will be equally useful to readers who are not students.

This book is mostly about what Africa is not. For those readers who want to learn more about what Africa is and who do not have access to an Africanist specialist as a guide, we have included a brief section at the end of the book on how to learn more about Africa and how to find teaching resources.

Chapter One

1. Changing Our Mind About Africa

Most of us who are Americans know little about Africa. We don’t even know basic facts about the continent: that Africa’s 11.7 million square miles make it larger than China, the United States, India, most of Europe, Argentina, and New Zealand combined. Or that its 1.2 billion inhabitants speak up to 2,000 languages. In fact, many Americans think of Africa not as a continent but as one country. We might have studied Africa for a few weeks in school or glanced occasionally at newspaper headlines about genocide, AIDS, Ebola, or civil war, but rarely have we actually thought seriously about Africa. If we do want to learn about Africa, it is difficult to find ample and accurate information in our popular media such as television and newspapers. Africa and its people are simply a marginal part of American consciousness.

Africa is, however, very much a part of the American subconscious. Ironically, although we know little about Africa, we carry strong mental images of the continent. Once you begin to notice, you find that Africa appears in the American public space quite frequently. Although it may not figure often in the news, it shows up in advertising, movies, amusement parks, cartoons, and many other corners of our society. And although most Americans do not possess many facts about Africa, we do “know” certain general truths about the continent. We know, for example, that Africans belong to tribes. And we know that Africa is a place of famine, disease, poverty, coups, and large wild animals.

General images are useful and perhaps necessary for our collective consciousness. We can’t know everything about the world, so we have to lump some things into big categories that are convenient if lacking detail. Life is too short for most of us to become experts on more than a couple of subjects. Thus, these images help us to organize Africa’s place in our collective mind. A war in Congo? A drought in Ethiopia? Ah, yes, that’s more of the “African trouble” category. Elephants being used in a commercial? Yes, wouldn’t it be fun to have an elephant wash your car? There are lots of large animals living in the wilds of Africa, aren’t there?

If our general categories are reasonably accurate, they help us navigate our complex world. If, however, they are inaccurate, these categories can be both dangerous and exploitative. If, for example, we are wrong about Africa’s supposed insignificance, we will be blindsided by political, environmental, or even medical events that affect how we survive. Or, if we think of Africa only as a place of trouble, a large zoo, or a storehouse of strategic minerals, rather than as a place where real people live real lives, we will likely be willing to exploit the continent for our own purposes. France’s former president François Mitterrand demonstrated this possibility graphically when, speaking to his staff in the early 1990s about Rwanda, he noted that “in some countries, genocide is not really important.”[1] Although in the short term the exploitation of Africa might help France or us, in the long term the planet’s society and environment will pay dearly for our failure to care.

Speaking “African”

Anyone who wants to study Africa in depth needs to learn African languages, because language is the major key to understanding how people mentally organize the world around them. Likewise, anyone who wants to understand Americans must examine the words Americans know and use. You can begin to discover American ideas about Africa by trying some free association with the word Africa. Ask yourself what words come to mind when you hear Africa. Be aware that this is not the time to “clean up your act” and impress yourself with your political correctness. Rather, search for the words your society has given you to describe Africa, some of which will seem positive, some negative, and some neutral.

Our students have helped us create lists of words that come to mind using this exercise. Within a few minutes, a class frequently generates thirty or forty words that Americans associate with Africa. Native, hut, warrior, shield, tribe, terrorist, savage, cannibals, jungle, pygmy, barbarian, pagan, voodoo, and witch doctor are commonly associated with “traditional” Africa. “Tourism words” include safari, wild animals, elephant, lion, and pyramid. There are also “news words,” including coup, poverty, ignorance, drought, famine, tragedy, and tribalism. And then there is a group of “change words” (indicating Western-induced change), such as development, foreign aid, peacekeeping, and missionary. Occasionally, a really honest person will come up with “racist words” he or she has heard, like Moorish whore, towel-head, spear chucker, or jungle bunny.

Although some American words might be positive—kinship, wisdom, or homeland—the overwhelming impression gained from studying American language about Africa is that Africa is a primitive place, full of trouble and wild animals, and in need of our help. Regrettably, there still exist many popular and widely held misconceptions of Africa. Internet sites such as Global Citizen, goAfrica, and Aperian Global provide lists of the typical misconceptions about Africa such as the following:[2]

  1. Africa is just one large country.
  2. Africa is poor and disease ridden.
  3. Africa is technologically backward.
  4. Africans all live in huts.
  5. Africa needs aid to help it “develop.”
  6. Africans all speak “African” and share the same culture.
  7. Africa is filled with dangerous animals.
  8. Africa is dangerous and violent.
  9. Africa is mostly jungle.
  10. Egypt is not truly African.
  11. Africa has no history.

The messages that perpetuate such impressions pervade American culture. They are ideas that have deep roots in American history as well as strong branches that entwine our daily lives. At one time in our history, most of white America did not even consider Africans to be equal as humans! By comparison, today’s understanding is positively enlightened. Yet historical misperception, ignorance, stereotype, and myth still cast shadows upon our thinking. Once you begin to look for them, you see inaccurate portrayals of Africa that reproduce the blatant old images in subtler, modernized versions. In fact, a worthwhile exercise is to ask yourself where the words listed above have come from. Home? School? Church? Friends? Television? Newspapers? Magazines? Movies? Books? Amusement parks? It is difficult to get complete and balanced views of Africa in everyday American life. This topic will be discussed further in Chapter 2.

This book investigates the histories of our inaccurate and stereotypical words and ideas and suggests alternatives. For example, Africans are sometimes referred to in everyday America as “natives.” You may or may not think that native is a negative word, but its use is a legacy of the colonial period in Africa, when words were weapons employed by outsiders to keep Africans in their place. In the first part of the twentieth century, most Americans believed that Africans could be (indeed, should be) subjugated because they were primitives, natives. The problem is not the term itself, however. The first dictionary definition of native is someone who belongs originally to a place. Thus, “He is a native of Boston” is a neutral and acceptable use of the word. We also use native in a positive political way in the term Native American, which implies that an American Indian has rights and connections that go beyond those belonging to the rest of us who are more recent immigrants. But the term African native evokes a negative connotation, whether intended or not, that is a holdover from its colonial meanings of primitive, savage, or unenlightened. Why can we think of Africans as natives, but never the Chinese? The answer is that we have long thought of Africans as primitive and the Chinese as civilized. Today, even when we intend no insult to Africans, we have these leftover phrases and connotations that get in the way of conceiving of Africans as real people like ourselves.

You can get around the African native and native African problem in a number of ways. For example, if you are referring to an African living in a rural area, you can say “a rural African.” If you mean someone who is an inhabitant of Africa, just say “an African.” If you mean someone who belongs to the Kikuyu ethnic group, use the words “a Kikuyu.” These phrases are more precise and therefore less likely to create images that evoke stereotypes. And, to avoid even a hint of insult, you might steer clear of phrases like “He is a native of Kenya,” which in most other contexts would be neutral but in the African context might elicit musings on whether you are referring to the stereotype.

The Use and Misuse of Stereotypes

In an ideal world, we would abandon our stereotypes about Africa and learn to deal with Africans as they really are. Human cognition does not allow this, however. Everybody stereotypes. And we do it about practically everything. The reason for this is, first of all, that we are biologically wired to try to make sense of reality, even when it makes no particular sense. Whether through science, history, literature, religion, or whatever, humans strive to understand and categorize what is in front of them. We also stereotype because it is virtually impossible to know everything that is going on in reality, and therefore we are bound to base our judgments on partial information. Moreover, we often use ideas provided by our culture instead of investigating things for ourselves. If our culture has a premade picture of reality for us, we are likely to accept it. One way to think about this is to invert the notion “seeing is believing,” making it “believing is seeing.” Once we “know” something through our culture, we tend to fit new information into the old categories rather than change the system of categorization.

To say that we inevitably use stereotypes is really to say that we use mental models to think about reality. But the word stereotype also implies that some models are so limiting that they deform reality in ways that are offensive, dangerous, or ridiculous. Thus we need to strive to make our mental models as accurate as possible. We should, for example, study African art, history, literature, philosophy, politics, culture, and the like so we can differentiate among Africans. We should also ask ourselves whether we cling to inaccurate models of Africa because they shore up our self-image or allow us to do things otherwise unthinkable.

Following are brief discussions that explore different reasons for the persistence of our misconceptions about Africa. Later in the book we offer extended discussions of many of these topics.

Leftover Racism and Exploitation

During much of American history, a large majority of Americans considered racist beliefs and exploitation of Africa acceptable. Racism, according to one definition, is “the use of race to establish and justify a social hierarchy and system of power that privileges, preferences, or advances certain individuals or groups of people usually at the expense of others. Racism is perpetuated through practices that are both personal and institutional.”[3] Although the United States never ruled colonies in Africa, Americans did enslave Africans and maintain both a slavery system and segregation. Moreover, we profited from our businesses in Africa, sent missionaries to change African culture, and did not protest the colonization undertaken by Europeans. This exploitation of Africa, whether direct or indirect, required thinking about Africans as inferiors. In other words, our culture has had a lot of practice, hundreds of years of it, in constructing Africa as inferior. The legacy of racism is obvious in the words and ideas we call to mind when we hear the word Africa.

Our legacy of negativity poses a question: Can we attribute a major portion of our modern stereotypes about Africa to our just not having gotten around to changing the myths we inherited from our racist and imperialist past? Perhaps we no longer need most of these myths, but they persist because only a few decades have passed since the end of the colonial period and it has been a similarly brief amount of time since the passage of the US Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Support for this view comes from the fact that African independence and the civil rights movement made it increasingly unacceptable for news reporters and commentators to use the most blatantly negative of the words we once associated with race and with Africa. Likewise, schoolbooks are vastly improved in their treatment of Africa. One could argue that with greater sensitivity to the issue and more time, Americans will change. To put this idea another way, shouldn’t we give Americans the benefit of the doubt and assume that most people do not consciously intend to exploit or misrepresent Africa? We believe that we should.

Current Racism

We are assuming that most readers are not intentionally racist, because people who are probably wouldn’t read this kind of book. Although the most derogatory images of Africa can no longer appear in public spaces, they persist because we learn them in the more private aspects of our lives, from family and friends, through social media, and often through jokes or offhand comments. Unfortunately, such private racism is difficult to eradicate, because continuing efforts like this book can do little for those who would not seriously consider them. Others of us, perhaps most of us, are a different kind of racist, for although we truly want to believe that all humans are equal, we entertain undercurrents of racist doubt in our minds that make us susceptible to more subtle myths about Africa. It is this real but unintentional racism that concerns us here, because a deeper consideration of the issues can help us see Africans more clearly.

It would be incorrect, however, to say that all or even most of the public stereotypes about Africa come from unintentional racism. First, each of us has negative, nonracist stereotypes about others. Second, not all of our stereotypes about Africa are negative. Inaccuracy and insensitivity are not necessarily racist, even when they have racist roots and produce racist results. This is a fine distinction to make, especially if you are a victim of racism, but it seems a useful distinction if we are to help decent, willing people to see Africa in new ways.

Current Exploitation

We also perpetuate negative myths about Africa because they help us maintain dominance over Africans. From our perspective in the United States, it is difficult for us to see how globally influential our country actually is. In simple terms, we are a superpower. To wield this kind of might and still think of ourselves as good people, we need powerful myths. Whereas in the past the myth of the racial inferiority of Africans was the major justification for Western control of Africans, now cultural inferiority is a more likely reason. Our news media, for example, are much more likely to inform us about African failures than about African successes. And the successes we do hear about tend to demonstrate that our own perspectives on reality are correct. It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out that modern Americans who deal with Africa—bureaucrats, aid workers, businesspeople, missionaries, and others—might have an interest in describing Africa in ways that justify the importance of their own work.

Entertainment

If Africa were portrayed as being “just like us,” it would be quite uninteresting. “Man Bites Dog” sells more newspapers than “Dog Bites Man.” The word exotic describes the point; exotic portrays African culture as excitingly different. Usually this is at the expense of African culture, which is removed from its everyday context in a way that allows us to believe that this culture is exceptional rather than common like ours. Movies and novels thrive on this sort of thing. America, too, is often portrayed overseas as exotic, and we are thus frequently mistaken. In his book American Ways, for example, Gary Althen describes an international student who was misled by myths about exotic America. Coming to the United States having watched American movies, the student expected to find a lot of women ready for sexual activity with him.[4]

We provide African examples in later chapters but give a first illustration here. The story of Cephus Bansah, the chief of the Ewe people in eastern Ghana and western Togo, was published in many news sources in the United States and abroad, including an article in the New York Post.[5] The accompanying pictures show Chief Bansah in full chiefly attire standing on the floor of an auto shop. The short article describes Bansah, who by day works as an auto mechanic and lives in Germany with his German wife and two children, and who by night counsels his people back in Ghana via Skype. The article portrays Bansah positively as a chief who raises money for development projects for his people, but it also stereotypes him, describing the Ghanaian chief and his people as a product of backward and superstitious belief. The “primitive and exotic Africa” theme in the article notes that Bansah keeps a “voodoo” shrine in his German home. The article does not intend to portray Africans in stereotypical ways. But its subtext leaves the reader to think that although Africans may live in the West and marry Western women, they cannot divorce themselves from their African superstitions and backwardness. Yet we would not think of calling Christian ministers or Jewish rabbis, whose homes contained religious objects, backward or superstitious.

This is exoticism. Exoticism portrays only a portion of a culture and allows the imagination to use stereotypes to fill in the missing pieces. Most frequently, when we supply the missing pieces, we extrapolate that other people are more different from us than they are similar. Thus we can too easily sustain our myths about Africans and believe that words such as superstitious, voodoo, and the Dark Continent actually apply to Africa.

Self-Definition

Sometimes we use other people, including Africans, as a mirror. We want to know about them so we can know about ourselves. This very human activity accounts at least partially for our interest in people-watching in parks and the appeal of television sitcoms, movies, literature, history, and many other cultural phenomena. In the case of Africa, we might say that many of us want Africans to be a bit savage so we can feel more satisfied with our own lot in life. The Looney Toons announcer on the Cartoon Network puts it well: “Without nuts like these, the rest of us look crazy.” Perhaps you have never thought of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Elmer Fudd as therapists, but doesn’t Africa often serve the same function? If we focus on ourselves without comparison to others, don’t we look pretty messed up? But if we can see that others are poorer, less educated, or more violent, then it is easier to believe that we are fine despite our problems. To put it differently, we can’t be rich without the poor, developed without the underdeveloped, saved without the sinner, normal without the abnormal, civilized without the uncivilized, and so forth.

Our culture is especially susceptible to this kind of thinking because of the way we conceive of time. Our idea of time as a continuum from the past to the future—rather than, for example, as a circle returning to a golden age of the past—is embodied in our concept of progress. For us, progress generally means going forward, moving on, getting over it, improving ourselves, growing up, and a whole collection of other ideas implying that the past is negative and the future is positive. Of course, if we believe this to be true, we will expect reality to substantiate the belief. Indeed, one way we perceive African reality reveals this way of thinking. We see African community life as basic but impossible to return to in our own communities. And tribalism is something we have gotten beyond. It wouldn’t help to find much that is of use to us in Africa, because that would contradict our understanding of progress.

Positive myths about Africa also serve Western self-definition. Those who are dissatisfied with modern American life might construct Africa to present viable alternatives. Some might search African customs for a more natural way to live. Some might look to Africa for a less racist culture. Some, specifically African Americans, might be looking for their idealized personal and cultural roots.

Stereotypes over Time

As Europeans spread across the world from the 1400s onward, they had to make sense of the new peoples and places they encountered. Over time, and for reasons explained later in this book, Africans and Africa became representative of extreme “otherness.” They were not the only representatives of difference, of course: there were also Aborigines, Native Americans, and so forth. But Africa certainly became a primary symbol that Europeans and white Americans used to express difference. Even black Americans found Africa’s difference useful at times.

Fortunately, with each passing decade, Americans have been treating Africans with less prejudice. Perhaps we are in the midst of a real withdrawal, however slow, from the myths of primitive Africa. Indeed, we cannot afford such myths. Africa, because of its sheer size, population, resources, and modernization, will play an increasingly important role in the world, whether for good or ill, and will have to be taken seriously. Our long-term interest in our shrinking world is to understand Africa with as little bias as possible.

The point is not that an accurate and whole picture of Africa has to be totally positive. Indeed, such a claim would be a continuation of our stereotyping. What we should strive for is a view of Africa as a continent full of real people, both like us and not like us. On the surface this seems easy: “It’s a small world after all!” “Why can’t we just get along?” “All we need is love!” “Just leave them alone.” But these stereotypical, facile solutions don’t automatically work in the real world. As you will find in the pages that follow, seeing others as fully human without desiring to change them into ourselves is exceedingly difficult. It may be, however, the only thing that will make our home—the planet—a safe place to live.

A Word About Words

Before we go any further, a warning is in order. As we wrote this text, we realized that some of the words we use regularly are problematic. For example, in popular culture and even in much academic discourse the word Africa often refers only to Africa south of the Sahara desert.[6] The part of Africa north of the Sahara, from Morocco to Egypt, is sometimes lumped with the so-called Middle East. In this book we talk about the whole of Africa as Africa because the issues we discuss are relevant for the whole. Actually, most of the issues discussed here are relevant for the Middle East as well.

We also warn readers that not all Africans are the subjects of the stereotypes discussed in this book, assuming we consider the millions of European Africans in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and elsewhere to be Africans. Another group of Africans who aren’t the subject of stereotypes are those of South Asian descent residing in countries such as Kenya and South Africa.

Likewise, terms such as Westerners and Americans, and the pronouns we and our, are frequently distortions of the truth. There is, you will agree, no such thing as an average American, just as there is no such thing as an average African. In writing this book, we found ourselves generalizing and perhaps overgeneralizing about Americans for the sake of calling attention to “our” stereotyping of Africans. We need to remember, however, that in every era there have been Americans who did not accept the general view and who spoke out on behalf of Africans.

One of the biggest difficulties with generalizing about American views of Africa concerns the inclusion of African American views. The problem is complex because American culture is complex. Until at least the 1960s, for example, it was quite common for African Americans to think of Africans as having primitive cultures. This should not be too surprising, considering the dominance of European culture and the fact that most information about Africa was filtered through European American eyes. Thus when we say that “we Americans” believed Africa to be primitive, it can be taken as somewhat accurate for black as well as white Americans.

However, African Americans since well before the American Revolution have resisted white efforts to define black reality, and therefore they cannot be said to have invented the idea of African primitiveness, even if they believed in portions of it. They were victims in much the same way that Africans have been victims. Moreover, African Americans have largely rejected white American interpretations of race, and many have attempted to teach America about African achievements. Until the mid-twentieth century such teachers were largely ignored, but their efforts make it more difficult to generalize about Americans.

In this book, we have usually focused on white American myths about Africa—because they have been the most dominant, the most negative, and the most in need of change. Although we include a brief summary of African American perspectives in Chapter 5, the subject deserves a fuller treatment. What seems most strikingly similar about white and black American perspectives on Africa is that all of us have generally “used Africa to think with.” Whether Africa has been constructed in a negative or positive manner, we have used the continent to reflect upon who we are in relation to each other and in relation to Africa. Much of this thinking, negative and positive, has stereotyped Africa in ways explained in this book.


Notes

[1] Julian Nundy, “France Haunted by Rwanda Genocide,” Telegraph Group Limited, April 14, 1998, accessed October 23, 2012, http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/61/120.html.
[2] Zoe Kelland, “Africans Are All Poor and 15 Other Myths,” Global Citizen, accessed February 3, 2017, https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/africans-are-all-poor-and-15-other-myths/; Anouk Zjilma, “Top Ten Myths and Misconceptions About Africa,” accessed February 3, 2017, http://goafrica.about.com/od/peopleandculture/tp/Top-10-Myths-About-Africa.htm; and AperianGlobal.com, “Debunking Common Myths and Stereotypes About Africa,” accessed February 3, 2017, http://www.aperianglobal.com/debunking-common-myths-stereotypes-africa/.
[3] This is the American Anthropological Association’s definition, cited in Carol C. Mukhopadhyay, Rosemary Henze, and Yolanda T. Moses, How Real Is Race? A Sourcebook on Race, Culture, and Biology, 2nd ed. (Lanham, MD: Alta Mira Press, 2014), 207. Hartigan defines racism as “an elaborate system of beliefs interwoven with material conditions and interests and that it is both a product and function of power and forms of inequality that, in turn, derive from historical practices and social relations, and operates through a tight combination of material interests and ideological conditioning,” in John Hartigan Jr., Race in the 21st Century: Ethnographic Approaches (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015), 29.
[4] Gary Althen with Janet Bennett, American Ways (Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press, 2011), 121.
[5] Yaron Steinbuch, “He’s a Mechanic in Germany and a King in Africa,” New York Post, April 7, 2016, accessed June 30, 2016, http://nypost.com/2016/04/07/hes-a-mechanic-in-germany-and-a-king-in-africa/.
[6] The academic bifurcation of Africa into north and sub-Saharan, due to political and geostrategic reasons, has been questioned by some African studies scholars. See Mervat Hatem, “Africa on My Mind,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 41, no. 2 (2009): 189–192; and Carolyn Somerville, “The ‘African’ in Africana/Black/African and African American Studies,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 41, no. 2 (2009): 193–195.

We hope you have enjoyed this sample of:

Mistaking Africa

Fourth Edition

by Curtis Keim and Carolyn Somerville

Copyright © 2018 by WESTVIEW PRESS

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