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"African Colonial values"
African Colonial values
Melissa T. Littlefield
Question #3

It has been the trend of early writers to position African values as being inferior or less developed than the western values of colonial interlopers. Often this was done to offer some form of validation of the conquering of Africa by white interests (Kom 149). Many African writers, however, have begun taking a direction concerning African tradition and viewpoints that combines a reverence for old African traditions with favorable comparison of those traditions against the value systems of the colonial European powers. In the past several decades African writers have begun to embrace the goals of the Black Studies movement(Osha 175). Traditional African values are given this status to make Blacks aware of their past and also to to point out that the traditional African view of the world may have more merit than Eurocentric views. Traditional African views hold that African perspectives honor the community instead of focusing attention on the individual.

African religious tradition is one viewpoint that African writers have been pointing to as having important relevance. Chinua Achebe relies heavily on traditional African religious beliefs in her novel, "Things Fall Apart". It is religion which holds the Ibo people together in the face of incursions by white missionaries. It is religion which helps direct the lives of the people to act in a just manner. It is religion which puts man in a respectful position toward nature. However, a striking comparison between African religious beliefs and Christianity is shown in a passage of the book which not only negates the white viewpoints of African religions as being inferior and barbaric, but also suggests that some aspects of Christianity may not be as wholesome as whites would like to believe.

In this passage, a wise man of the village named Akunna was having a discussion comparing the two...

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