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Blog Post 6

     After watching Classic Man throughout this semester, I have picked up on many key parts of the video that have led me to learn new things about the continent of Africa.  I have learned about Dandies and how their fashion came about.  I have done research on the head wear and hairstyles that have risen around the continent.  I have even learned about the education system in Nigeria and how it was initially directed towards the Western world.  With all of this knowledge about the continent, I believe that the best way to wrap things up for this semester is to talk about the phrase that was written on the chalk board in the music video Classic Man.  Those influential words were none other than “pressure is privilege.

     When I first saw this phrase, I confused me because I didn’t know how pressure could be turned into privilege.  Then I decided to think deeper about this phrase and see what I could pull out of it.  After spending some time thinking about this phrase, I took viewed it as how stress can turn into a diamond.  In other words, dealing with pressure means that there are high expectations for oneself. The continent of Africa has been dealing with pressure for more than a century.  This goes to show that there is a very high expectation for Africa both for its people and its land.

As we all already know, Africa is home to very diverse people with many different backgrounds, but one thing most Africans have in common is the value of their land.  For instance, Namibia has iron ore, gold, chromite, bauxite, and limestone (Minerals in ‘German’ West Africa, 1917).  These minerals are worth a lot and if the Namibians were able to control their minerals before the Germans colonized the land, their economy would be booming.  The same goes for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and their tantalum.  This mineral is used in all cell phones across the world!  Once again, if the DRC had control of the tantalum industry, their economy would also be booming. 

It is really unfortunate how European nations came together to exploit the lands of Africa.  I believe the idea of the colonizing Africa had only one main purpose, to make more money.  To control the land that has those minerals would cost a lot less than having to buy from the people who would live there.  Along with the racist propaganda and people believing that it was the white man’s burden to civilize all other races it lead to the demise of a great continent.  Africa is just now getting back on its feet and it will take a long time to recover from what Europe has done to them historically.  But I believe that this pressure that the continent of Africa faces will lead to them becoming a booming continent again in the future.

References:

“MINERALS IN ‘GERMAN’ WEST AFRICA.” Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, vol. 65, no. 3385, 1917, pp. 768–768. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/41347469.

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Blog Post 5

One of the many things I find interesting about Jidenna in general is his success in America and the American music industry.  Considering the fact that Jidenna was born in Wisconsin, spent some time living in Nigeria, and finally moving back to America, it was inevitable that culture shock would occur.  In an interview with Jidenna after he blew up and became a household name for his song Classic Man, he was asked by the interviewer about his life growing up and moving from place to place.  He then told the interviewer that moving from place to place essentially introduced him to new and different cultures and styles of living (Nanner).  Jidenna then talked about the place he felt the most at connected with which was Nigeria.  This was because he lived there in his early childhood until he was six (Nanner).  In the process of moving to America, Boston specifically, he did note a disconnect between the actions and the cultures between Africans and African-Americans.  This question made me think about how black people in the United States claim their African roots but have never been there before.  This also made me think about the people of Africa and how they viewed African-Americans.  This disconnect between two groups of people that historically were once one the same group lead me to want to research the miscommunications and misinterpretations of how one another lives.

            In a novel titled “Kinship”, written by Philippe Wamba, there is a chapter that discussed how Tanzanian civilians viewed Americans.  The chapter stated that many citizens of Tanzania believed that United Stated was the perfect place.  They had the belief that the United States consisted of all white and wealthy people and no crimes took place there (Wamba, 1999). Boy were they wrong for so many reasons.  Wamba had to explain to the Tanzanians that crimes did take place in America and that America had people from all races.  Wamba even had to explain how millions of West Africans became slaves for hundreds of years.  I am not blaming them for not knowing the truth but this event explains how Western propaganda has led to many African nations to think that Western nations were a step away from heaven.  This imagery of having Western nations being portrayed as the best nations in the world most likely stems back to the precolonial era.  Many white men believed that it was the white man’s burden to help out “developing” nations and with that mindset of them being the chosen ones you can see why they decided to carve up Africa into colonies. 

            The disconnect of African-Americans to the realities of people in Africa is also problematic.  Many people of the United States refer to Africa as a nation where they are all the same people that is obviously not true.  There are multiple nations and even more ethnicities that are on the continent of Africa and to not know the way in which people live shows how big the disconnect is between the two groups.

References:                                                          

Nanner, Natasha. “The Product of a Fusion: Jidenna Interviewed.” Clash Magazine, 2017,
     www.clashmusic.com/.

Kinship: a Family’s Journey in Africa and America, by Philippe E. Wamba, Plume, 2000, pp.
     138–139.

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