Chapter One
Some Questions on Development



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Brief Guide to Reading

Colonial rule generated a great deal of written material which can serve as one of the bases for historical reconstruction. Even the non-specialist in African history would be well advised to look at some original sources, such as the data compiled by Lard Hailey. Approached with care, several of the anthropological texts also yield information and insights with regard to detailed changes in African social structures.

Above all, however, the generations who suffered under colonialism are still living repositories of the continent’s history. The collective knowledge of the African people derived from experience is the most authentic basis of the history of the colonial period. Unfortunately, much of that experience is not yet written down, but glimpses can be got from biographies of prominent Africans such as Namdi Azikiwe, Kwame Nkrumah, Oginga Odinga and Kenneth Kaunda, as well as from the political writings of these and other leaders — notably Mwalimu Nyerere and Sekou Toure. The books by Padmore and Hunton mentioned in the literature for Chapter 5 are even more relevant in this context.

Jack Woddis, Africa, the Roots of Revolt.

Jack Woddis, Africa, the Lion Awakes.

Gann and Duignan, The Burden of Empire.

The first author and his works are well known for supporting the African anti-colonial stand. The second example is a colonialist interpretation which offers a contrast.

Sloan and Kitchen, The Educated African.

Abdou Moumini, Education in Africa.

For data, the first book is useful. From the viewpoint of analysis, Moumini’s book is superb.

Franz Fanon, Black Skins, White Masks.

Franz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth.

Franz Fanon, Towards the African Revolution.

These studies are unique in revealing the psychological aspects of enslavement and colonisation as far as Africans are concerned, whether in the Americas or on the African continent. Fanon does not have any equal in analysing the last stages of African colonialism and the advent of neo-colonialism.

 

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