An African Voice: The Role of the Humanities in African by Robert W. July

By Robert W. July

Through the paintings of major African writers, artists, musicians and educators—from Nobel prizewinner Wole Soyinka to names hardly ever identified outdoor their local lands—An African Voice describes the contributions of the arts to the fulfillment of independence for the peoples of black Africa following the second one international struggle. whereas focusing on cultural independence, those major humanists additionally show the intimate connection among cultural freedom and real political fiscal liberty.

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They brought with them as well the constraints of the McCarthy era that had weighed so heavily on Americans irrespective of race. In his remarks Du Bois went on to urge that Africans take the road of socialism already traveled by Russia and China, not the backward betrayal into colonialism represented by the United States. These were bitter words to the American blacks who had devoted their lives to ending discrimination in their own country, and their dismay was compounded by the expressed approval of Du Bois's indictment by delegates, who, despite their socialist leanings, made no complaint of the French colonialism that still controlled their lives.

Davis was always talking about the importance of American foreign aid. They all sounded like Americans, not like blacks. Later, at the time of the civil rights movement, I thought of Davis and his insistence of racial integration through persuasion, through assent, through legal means. " Presence Africaine and the Expression of Cultural Freedom 39 The views of Richard Wright were somewhat different, Diop went on. Wright was of a more philosophic turn of mind. He saw Western ideas and values working their way into the policies of developing nations through Western-educated leadership.

There was no time to be wasted, no time for transition, no reflection over questions of appropriateness and adaptability to African conditions. Little attention was paid to the possibility that the machines and procedures introduced might not suit African needs, that there was scant experience in dealing with these imports, that the rush to modernization might intensify Europe's grip on African economies, or that much of African life still reflected traditional PresenceAJricaineand the Expression of Cultural Freedom 21 standards and institutions that satisfied and worked.

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