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For many westerners and the Americans, the word, Africa, denotes images of strangely dressed tribesmen, impenetrable jungles, ferocious animals and safaris. In spite of the occasional highlights, in the press, on civil wars, genocides and other wrong happenings, most of the world is unaware of what constitutes the continent. Curtis Keim intended his book for the American audience who bear robust images of Africa in American advertising, cartoons, movies, and many other aspects of the society (Keim 4). However, this book applies to a larger Western audience who hold prominent misconceptions about Africa.
Africa is a place of poignant stories and great contrasts. This is a continent that the American imagination simultaneously strongly idealizes and vilifies. To being with, Americans’ perceptions of this continent are popularized by media-driven representations of a degraded Hobbesian existence. Intractable patterns of corruption, violence, famine have replaced the former images of a poignant society that was relishing in post-colonial independence. Neo-Malthusians propose that uncontrolled rapid environmental degradation, increasing resource scarcity, and population growth place Africa in this miserable scenario. On the other end, Americans imagination of Africa as a land of exotic animals, picturesque vegetation, and idyllic beauty is informed by the replication of Disney-inspired images and the big game safari stories. This expresses a dissonance between extreme stereotypes which informs a significant ignorance and collective misinformation of a large and diverse audience. Interestingly, Africa occurs in a significant part of the American subconscious, in spite of the idea that the knowledge about the continent does not exist in comprehensive form.
It is arguable that the continent has a beauty and diversity that is not known to the American continent. To begin with, in general terms, America is a hypocritical land that holds positive words, such as kinship and homeland, but maintains ignorance about the land of which such words are really instrumental. This is an overwhelming impression that builds on few notions of wild animals and primitivity. This is a factor that emanates from a consistent American language about limited notions on Africa. An investigation by an American museum, on common perceptions about the African continent, uncovered largely held misconceptions. These messages intertwine with American culture and perpetuate strong impressions. These impressions possess deep impressions that affect every other American. It is, thus, difficult to hold oneself free from such misconceptions.
This large conception largely plays out in the perspective of viewing Africans as inferior. Interestingly, once Africans integrate within Western societies, they suffer from this conception as other individuals look down upon them. During a momentous part of the Western and American history, it is discernible that exploitation and racism have become largely acceptable within the large part of the population. Although the present population never ruled Africa, it is crucial to highlight that the ancestors maintained slavery, segregation, and exploitation on Africans. This is an idea and information that entrenches in the world’s history as certain populations faced constraints in their advancements. The missionaries and colonialists largely profited from exploitation on Africa in terms of trade, wars, and resources’ acquisition. In the end, the practices of exploitation required that Africans be perceived as inferior individuals. This is a philosophy that the Western community thrived on to gain advantage of Africa’s numerous and diverse resources.
It is critical to highlight that development and advancement of Western world was largely dependent on Africa. This is a vital proposition that reacts to the perception of the colonizers and the larger Western society as the entities that brought advancement to the African population. In spite of the idea that the Western society brought some forms of technology and western civilization to the African continent, they hugely benefitted from Africa’s resources. The first type of African resource that the Western society exploited was the people. In the abominable slave trade that occurred for centuries, the colonizers traded Africans as commodities. This trade, in itself, influenced considerable amounts of revenue for the traders who thrived on high prices that slaves fetched.
The slaves were critical in the agricultural and industrial development of the American and western society. This is because the slaves were employable in huge plantations and farms as laborers. The slaves would perform arduous tasks and mechanical work that constrained their energy and development. In addition, African slaves were employable in dangerous factories and utilization of risky machinery that were critical in the industrial development of the American and larger Western society.
In addition, the African continent provided minerals, lands, and scenery. The Europeans discovered Africa in its raw state, and this suggests that there significant amounts of natural minerals in their lands. These resources were principal jewel and trade commodities such as gold and diamond. To date, these minerals have remained prominent sources of money as they fetch high and unreasonable values. In addition, there were minerals that were critical in developing the Western industries as raw materials. It is notable that lands were instrumental in according the western society with food and raw materials for their industries. This suggests that it is false to conclude that the Western society solely helped Africans towards their development since this cost the African continent a great deal.
To begin with, it is vital to clear the misconceptions that Africa is country. This is a statement that is both symbolic and realistic in itself. This suggests that while a section of the Americans hold Africa as a true country, the other section hold Africa as a one place that face the same governance. It is crucial to highlight that the second group holds Africa in this fashion because in spite of their knowledge that Africa has many countries. Africa is held as the second most populous continent that even entails adjacent Islands. In addition, the continent is circled by five seas; the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, the Indian, and the Red seas. It is crucial to highlight that the continent contains 54 countries, as sovereign states, that divide in terms of territories. Besides, the continent contains Madagascar and affiliated Islands.
Africa is large place that usually divides in terms of territories. For instance, there is the Northern Africa that consists of countries such as Tunisia and Libya. Besides, the Eastern part of Africa consists of countries such as Uganda. The Southern part of Africa consists of countries such as Botswana while the central parts of Africa consist of countries such as Zaire. Finally, there is the Western part of Africa that entails countries such as Nigeria. Each of this regions do not, however, similar patterns of climate and life. For instance, the Eastern part of Africa consists of both deserts and tropical climates. These divisions occur even within countries as single countries comprise significant diversity in terms of ecology and population.
Holding African as a .............
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