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Colonial Africa and Its Emerging Cultures

Oni, Samuel and Segun, Joshua Colonial Africa and Its Emerging Cultures. In: Peoples, Cultures and Civilization. The Directorate for General Studies Programme, Redeemers’ University. , Ede, Nigeria, pp. 99-112.

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This paper examines the implication of colonialism on African culture. The period between 1870s and 1900s was a period of profound and revolutionary changes in the history of Africa. It was a period that Africa faced European imperialist aggression, diplomatic pressures, military invasions, and eventual conquest and colonization. The colonization of African societies marked the demise of old African kingdoms and empires and their reconfiguration into different political entities. The political geography of Africa was reconstructed and new African societies were founded on alien ideological and social premises, thus marking the beginning of imposition of new culture over African traditional values. The forced acceleration of the black populations into the new world represented the sustained assimilation of western culture by Africans. While it is an indisputable fact that colonialism has a monumental implication for the contemporary Africa, some people are of the view that colonialism has now become history and that Africans should allow it to remain so. On the contrary however, some scholars have a different view. This is why decades after the end of colonization the intellectual debate over the positive and negative impacts of colonization is still very much alive. This is the crux of this paper, to contribute to the debate on the impact of colonialism on Africa from cultural perspective. Colonialism served as a medium for imposition of foreign culture over African indigenous culture and in this manner, disallowed the later from cultural continuity, growth and changes to reflect changing trends of civilization in Africa. European imperial powers suppressed, disintegrated and distorted African indigenous ways of doing things. This partly explains why some Africans view Western culture as superior while regarding their own African culture as archaic, inferior and primitive and therefore unacceptable for the modern societies. The postcolonial Africa now faces cultural confusion resulting from duality of institutional practices. This confusion has culminated in a dilemma for the continent. The solution to this predicament is a dynamic interplay and harmonization of Africa’s cultural heritage and Western civilization such that can inform good governance and sustainable development in contemporary Africa.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Depositing User: DR SAMUEL ONI
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2017 08:53
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2017 08:53

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