Datum: 15.02.09 15:13
Kategorie: Kommentare

 

Molefi Asante: We have had Europeans telling our story for too long

Molefi Asante: "We have had Europeans telling our story for too long. They can only tell the story in their own interest "

He is actually the most interesting and prolific autor of the black diaspora. He has published his 65th book titled "The history of Africa. The quest for eternal harmony". This book is a must for those who are honestly interested about the history of Africa. In an Email Interview with simon INOU, the authors helps us to understand the white manipulation of the african story.

Afrikanet: Dr Asante you are Professsor at the department of African-American Studies  at temple University in Philadelphia. At the same time the initiator of Black  Studies in USA and now worldwide. In Europe we are use to "African Studies" or  "études africaines" or "Afrikanistik" in german. Are there any differences  between Black Studies and african Studies? 

BLACK STUDIES WAS A MOVEMENT FOUNDED BY AFRICAN PEOPLE TO UNITE THE  STUDY OF AFRICAN PHENOMENA. AFRICAN STUDIES WAS INITIATED BY WHITE  EUROPEANS AND AMERICANS TO SEE HOW THEY COULD CONTROL OR PREDICT  AFRICA. I THINK THE TWO FIELDS STARTED WITH TWO DIFFERENT OBJECTIVES.  NOW, OF COURSE, THERE ARE WHITES WHO TAKE THE POSITION OF THE  AFROCENTRISTS WHO WANT TO SEE AFRICAN STUDIES THAT ELEVATES AFRICAN  AGENCY, OUR POSITION; AND THERE ARE BLACKS WHO TAKE THE POSITION OF  WHITES THAT AFRICA IS UNIMPORTANT UNTIL ITS ENCOUNTER WITH EUROPE. OF  COURSE IN THE UNITED STATES WE ARE NOW CALLING FOR AFRICOLOGY WHICH  IS DEFINED AS THE AFROCENTRIC STUDY OF AFRICAN PHENOMENA.

You are a prolific author. You wrote more than 60 books and 300 scientific  articles. Your last book hast the title "The history of Africa-The Quest for Eternal  Harmony".  There are many books that have been published about  the history  of Africa. How do you approach the story of the mother continent? And what are  the differences between your work and other authors that are not african  centered? and how do you understand "The quest for eternal Harmony" when  you look at Africa today? 

WELL, MY 65TH BOOK, THE HISTORY OF AFRICA: THE QUEST FOR ETERNAL  HARMONY IS BASED ON THE IDEA THAT AFRICANS MUST TELL THEIR OWN  STORY. WE HAVE HAD EUROPEANS TELLING OUR STORY FOR TOO LONG. THEY  CAN ONLY TELL THE STORY IN THEIR OWN INTEREST. RARELY HAVE THEY  WRITTEN OUR HISTORY WITH THE NUANCES WE UNDERSTAND. THEY USUALLY  SERVE THE INTEREST OF WHITE RACIAL DOMINATION OR PRIVILEGE. NOT ONE  HISTORY OF AFRICA BY EUROPEANS CENSORS WHITES FOR THEIR OCCUPATION  OF AFRICAN TERRITORY. THEY ARE ALL APOLOGISTS FOR WHITE PRIVILEGE.  I  MAY HAVE MISJUDGED OR SPOKE WITHOUT EXAMINING ALL OF THE FACTS, BUT  THE RECORD IS QUITE BLATANT AND OPEN.

In 404 pages you attempt to give a summary of more than 35 millions years  of the african history. At the end of the book there is a brilliant chronology from  the early years till today. Why are you going so far in the african history? 

FOR ME, THE ORIGIN OF HUMANITY, CIVILIZATION, AND CIVIL SOCIETY IS  AFRICA. IT WAS IMPORTANT IN THIS BOOK TO REVEAL THE CHARACTER OF  AFRICAN AGENCY. I WANTED TO PROVIDE THE FACTS THAT WOULD ALLOW US  TO VIEW AFRICA FROM ITS OWN PERSPECTIVE. THERE IS NO BLACK AFRICA AS IF  THERE IS A WHITE AFRICA. ANY PERSON IN AFRICA WHO IS NOT BLACK IS EITHER  A INVADER OR SON OR DAUGHTER OF AN INVADER. THERE IS NO MIDDLE EAST  THAT IS IN AFRICA. THERE IS NORTHEAST AFRICA. THE MIDDLE EAST IS A  MISNOMER. THERE IS NO SUCH CONTINENT. IT IS CLEAR AND SIMPLE POLITICAL IDEOLOGY AND TERMINOLOGY. AFRICA IS ONE AND MY BOOK TREATS THE CONTINENT AS ONE WHOLE.

In your book you wrote: " No continent has ever had as many viable  kingdoms and empires for as log a time as the continent of Africa" (P. 93). Why  are the eurocentric perspective about Africa ignores these facts and what are the  main problems while studying Africa today? 

I THINK THAT EUROPE HAS IGNORED ALL INFORMATION FROM AFRICA THAT  CASTS AFRICA IN A POSITIVE LIGHT. SUCH INFORMATION DOES NOT FIT THE  IMAGE THAT EUROPE CREATED ABOUT AFRICA. WE HAVE NOT BEEN IN CONTROL  OF OUR IMAGE AND THEREFORE WHITE AUTHORS WROTE CRAZY, IGNORANT  STUFF BEFORE WE HAD BLACKS TRAINED IN HIEROGLYPHICS AND ANCIENT HISTORY.

One major problem inside the african history and historiography is the role  of KEMET or Ancient Egypt. How do you respond to those who argue that  Ancient Egypt was an african civilisation but not a black civilisation? 

THE FARTHER BACK YOU GO IN HISTORY, THE BLACKER THE PEOPLE. IT IS  BELIEVED THAT WHITE OR PALE COLORED PEOPLE DID NOT EXIST MORE THAN  15,000 YEARS AGO. IN FACT, ONE WRITER HAS ARGUED THAT WHITES GOT  THEIR COLOR ABOUT 7000 YEARS BCE, BEFORE THE COMMON ERA. EGYPT WAS  A BLACK COUNTRY IN ITS ORIGIN, ITS MANIFESTATIONS, AND ITS RITUALS. THE  ANCIENT GREEKS, HERODOTUS AND ARISTOTLE, AMONG OTHERS SAID THAT  THE EGYPTIANS WERE BLACK WITH WOOLY HAIR. BOOK 11 OF HERODOTUS'  EGYPT IS A GOOD STARTING PLACE. ALSO ARISTOTLE SAYS THAT EGYPTIANS  WERE VERY BLACK IN HIS BOOK, PHYSIOGNOMONICA, THAT THE EGYTIANS AND  ETHIOPIANS ARE VERY BLACK. UNTIL THE INVASIONS BY THE ASSYRINS,  PERSIANS, GREEKS, ROMANS, ARABS, TURKS AND FRENCH AND BRITISH, EGYPT  WAS A BLACK CIVILIZATION. THE PEOPLE WHO BUILT THE PYRAMIDS WERE  BLACK. THE ARCHITECT IMHOTEP WAS BLACK; THE KING ZOSER WAS BLACK. 

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This book provides a wide ranging history of Africa from earliest prehistory to the present day. Much African historiography has been about writing Africa for Europe without writing Africa for itself, as itself, from its own perspectives. This book redresses that by letting the perspectives of Africans themselves take centre stage. It uses the cultural, social, political, and economic lenses of Africa as instruments to illuninate the ordinary lives of Africans. The result is a fresh new survey that includes a wealth of indigenous ideas, African concepts, and traditional outlooks that have escaped the writing of African history in the West.

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The History of Africa: The Quest for Eternal Harmony 

Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (April 18, 2007)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0415771390

ISBN-13: 978-0415771399







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