The annual celebration of Black History Month allows an approach to African American culture through initiatives that promote knowledge of the country’s African roots. One month a year is not enough to know in depth where the stems of the tree that the community is today come from, but it ignites curiosity and allows a small gap to be opened through which light, air and the desire to go further enters. If you have already reached that point, we recommend five readings on the History of Africa that, although they do not offer – not even close – the complete portrait, are fresh looks, new perspectives and above all, from there.
1. On the other side of the mountain, from Minna Salami (Today’s Topics).
This is how you would see the world if you were not always told by a white European man. A new way of seeing the world and understanding knowledge. Minna Salami challenges the status quo with the ease of a good storyteller and the incisive gaze of a great thinker.
The premise is simple: if only people with power have always told us what is important, how many valuable ways of being and thinking have we missed?
2. The Mis-Education of the Negro, by Carter G. Woodson (The Associated Publishers).
«The Negro is not educated. They only inform him of other things that they do not allow him to do. ”In 1933 the American historian and educator Carter Woodson wrote a powerful and prophetic denunciation of the curricula that still rings true. Woodson inspired Black Americans to demand relevant learning opportunities that included their own culture and heritage. By issuing this challenge he laid the foundation for more progressive and egalitarian educational institutions and the seed of Black History Month.
3. Things falls apart, by Chinua Achebe (Contemporary pocket).
Okonkwo is a great warrior whose fame spreads throughout West Africa, but by accidentally killing a great man of his clan he is forced to atone for his guilt with the sacrifice of his stepson and exile. When he is finally able to return to his village, he finds it filled with British missionaries and governors. His world is crumbling, and he can’t help but rush into tragedy.
This passionate parable about a proud man who, forlorn, witnesses the ruin of his town was published in 1958 and has since sold more than ten million copies in 45 languages.
4. Africa beyond the mirror, by Boubacan Boris Diop (Oozebap).
The Senegalese writer Boubacar Boris Diop brings together different essays in this book with the same premise: for the attacked and humiliated in Africa, cultural resistance is more imperative than ever. The image that we receive from Africa not only does not correspond to reality, but also seeks to make each African ashamed of his memory and his identity. Therefore, speaking is a moral duty for all those who have the possibility to make themselves heard. This book is born from this responsibility. Structured in four parts, Diop emphatically denounces the action of Mitterrand’s France in the Rwandan genocide, at the same time that he elaborates a self-critical speech around the African writer, reflects on the economic exile of young people, the cultural challenges of globalization or the nefarious role of the elites and presents a masterful introduction by two of the great Senegalese figures of the 20th century, Leopold Senghor and Cheikh Anta Diop, which, like the rest of the book, is a sincere and coherent invitation to overcome an imaginary still impregnated because of racism.
5. We Are the Heirs to World’s Revolutions: Speeches from the Burkina Revolution, by Thomas Sankara (Pathfinder).
“Our revolution in Burkina Faso is inspired by all the experiences of men since the first breath of Humanity. We want to be the heirs of all the revolutions of the world, of all the liberation struggles of the peoples of the Third World. We draw lessons from the American Revolution. The French Revolution taught us the rights of man. The great October Revolution allowed the victory of the proletariat and made possible the dreams of justice of the Paris Commune. ” Thomas Sankara.