Images of Africa: Stereotypes and Realities

Images of Africa: Stereotypes and Realities

Images of Africa

Images of Africa: Stereotypes & Realities

Trenton, NJ
Africa World Press, 2001

Images of Africa: Stereotypes & Realities is not just any other book on Africa. It is a book that offers rare and exceptional insights into the historical and cultural processes through which the various perceptions of Africa since ancient times came to crystallize themselves in the form of negative images and stereotypes so pervasive and profound that the continent, to date, has had a hard time shaking them off.

Working from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives, the contributors to this volume, including Martin Bernal, world-renowned author of the revolutionary Black Athena, add substantially to the pool of new Africanist/Afrocentrist knowledge and revisionism that, in the past four decades or so, has helped to uncover huge chunks of purposefully hidden and deformed African history. This book therefore sets the record straight by deconstructing the multifarious images and stereotypes that, century after century, came to deform, invalidate and misconstruct the African universe, burying it under layers of historical fallacies that explorers, missionaries and 18th- and 19th-century scholars and thinkers consecrated as historical truths in their attempts to denigrate the non-west in general, and Africa in particular.

Contributors to this impressive volume include not only Molefi Asante, who wrote the preface, but also Martin Bernal, renowned author of Black Athena.

Edited by Daniel M. Mengara

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Acknowledgement xi

Preface by Molefi K. Asante, Temple University xiii

Introduction: White Eyes, Dark Reflections
Daniel Mengara, Montclair State University 1

PART I: Ancient European Perceptions of Africa 21

Martin Bernal, Cornell University, “European Images of Africa – Tale of Two Names: Ethiop and N—” 23

Miriam Dow, The George Washington University, “Menelaos, the Cyclopes, and Eurybates: a Post-Colonial Reading of Homer” 47

Buluda Itandala, University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), “European Images of Africa from Early Times to the Eighteenth Century” 61

PART II – Western Imperial Ideology in Theory and Practice 83

Janet S. McIntosh, University of Michigan, “Strategic Amnesia: Versions of Vasco da Gama on the Kenya Coast” 85

Mahamadou Diallo, Universit√© de Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), “Literature of Empire and the African Environment” 105

Kristof Haavik, University of Botswana, “From Crusades to Colonies: Africa in French Literature” 127

PART III – Africa, Orientalism and the West 137

Mongi Bahloul, Universit√© de Sfax (Tunisia), “The North-African Motif in Early American Fiction” 139

Jonathan Gosnell, Smith College, “Mediterranean Waterways, Extended Borders and Colonial Mappings: French Images of North Africa” 159

Valerie Orlando, Illinois Wesleyan University, “Transposing the Political & the Aesthetical: Eugene Fromentin’s Contributions to Oriental Stereotypes” 175

PART IV – Africa in the Americas 193

Jeannette Eileen Jones, State University of New York at Buffalo, “In Brightest Africa’: Naturalistic Constructions of Africa in the American Museum of Natural History, 1910-1936” 195

John Gruesser, Kean University, “From Race to Class: the African American Literary Response to the Italo-Ethiopian War”

Victoria Ramirez, Weber State University, “The Herero in the Hartz: Pynchon’s Re-Presentation of Race Relations in Gravity’s Rainbow” 219

PART V – Media-ting Africa 235

Jessica Levin, Harvard University, ” In the Heart of Sickness: A Life Portrait of Dr. Albert Schweitzer” 237

Martha Grise, Eastern Kentucky University, “‘Scarred for Life?’ Representations of Africa and Female Genital Cutting on American Television News Magazines” 249

Jean Muteba Rahier, Florida International University, “(US-Centered Afrocentric Imaginations of Africa: L.H. Clegg’s When Black Men Ruled the World, and Eddie Murphy’s Coming to America” 261

PART VI – Feminism and Women in Africa 279

Daniel M. Mengara, Montclair State University, “Perceptions of African Feminism: A Socio-Historical Perspective” 281

Bill Gaudelli, University of Central Florida, “African Women: Educational Opportunities and the Dynamics of Change” 307

PART VII – African Literatures: Text and Pre-Text 325

Augustine Okereke, Universit√§t Bielefeld (Germany), “Once Upon A Time… Representations, Misrepresentations and Rehabilitations in African Literatures” 327

David Pattison, University of Lincolnshire and Humberside, United Kingdom, “‘Oxford, Black Oxford’: Dambudzo Marechera and the Last Colony in Africa” 343

Sharmilla Sen, Harvard University, “Playing Africa: The Fictions of Ferdinand Oyono” 375

Index 393

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