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Anyone else read that ?
I`ve not got too far with it yet - a little but of academic jargon creeps in here and there - `historiography` indeed !
Still, I admire him very much.
5TimothyBurke Primeira Mensagem
Anyway, on Davidson. He was a journalist who became deeply interested in Africa after the end of World War II and turned to the writing of African history. To some extent, I read The Black Man's Burden as a convoluted apologia for some of his earlier writing, which was overly enthusiastic, occasionally fawning, about the new national governments of postcolonial Africa and eager to provision them with a "useful history" that celebrated the past glories of Africa. That being said, his earlier writing is clear and powerful and helped to communicate to a very wide audience that African societies had a history that was deep and complex.
The Black Man's Burden as a book works best in the first half or so; his comparison to Eastern Europe becomes very tortured, I think, though I understand why he tried to make it.
I`m not ignoring your query, it`s just that a) I`ve only just found it and b) Timothy has answered it better than I could anyway.
There is a Basil Davidson tribute issue of Race and Class, the journal of the UK`s Institute of Race Relations - it might give you some ideas where to start if you want to take the interest further. It`s out of print now, so you`d probably have to track down a second-hand copy.
You mentioned you`d seen the same things said better - any recommendations ?
I notice that there still seem to be a lot of books about Africa by people born outside Africa (whether black or white), but the only non-fiction books about Africa by Africans that I come across are books on Anti-Apartheid-Mandela, Biko, Sobukwe etc or books on anti-colonialism or the newly independent Africa of the `60s by, say, Nyerere or Nkrumah.
Are there more modern titles I`m missing out on ?
The one thing I'm hard-pressed to think of is African travel writing by African authors. Arguably Scribbling the Cat fits the bill.
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