I am an African American who is aware of the problems that exist in our relations with Africans.
There is a perception among many blacks in the United States that Africans don't want us over there. There is also a perception among Africans that we don't want to have anything to do with them because they are backward. We are more developed and "civilized" than they are. The list goes on and on.
It is a highly controversial subject. One African, Godfrey Mwakikagile from Tanzania, has addressed this issue in his book, "Relations Between Africans and African Americans: Misconceptions, Myths and Realities" that was published recently in January 2005.
He lived and interacted with African Americans in the United States for many years and writes from experience. Below are sample chapter from his book. Tell us what you think about it. And here are some details about his work:
Godfrey Mwakikagile, "Relations Between Africans and African Americans: Misconceptions, Myths and Realities" (Grand Rapids, Michigan: National Academic Press, 2005), 302 pages, softcover edition, $12.95.
This work looks at relations between Africans and African Americans from the perspective of an African, and of shared perceptions on both sides of the Atlantic. Incorporated into the analysis are stories of individuals who have interacted, worked and lived with members of both groups in Africa and in the United States, including the author himself. Stereotypes and misunderstandings of each other constitute an integral part of this study, explained from both perspectives, African and African-American.
The author, a former journalist in Tanzania and now an academic author whose books are found in public and university libraries around the world, has lived in the United States, mostly in the black community, for more than 30 years. He articulates his position from the vantage point of someone who has lived on both sides of the Atlantic, focusing on a subject that has generated a lot of interest among Africans and African Americans through the years. And it continues to be one of great misunderstanding between the two sides, in spite of increased contacts and communication between Africa and Black America, and between individual Africans and African Americans in the United States and in Africa.
What is the state of relations between Africans and African Americans? How do Africans see black Americans, and how do black Americans see them? What is their experience with American blacks and what is the experience of black Americans with them, individually and collectively, in general? How are Africans accepted by black people in the United States? And how are black Americans accepted in Africa? Do Africans see American blacks as fellow Africans, cousins or distant cousins, or just as Americans?
These are some of the questions answered in this book, written by an African, and based on his experience of more than 30 years interacting with African Americans, and on the experiences of many Africans and African Americans quoted in this study:
Enduring Ties Between Africa and the Diaspora
My Life with African Americans
The Image of Africa in America
The Attitude of Africans Towards African Americans
The Attitude of African Americans Towards Africans
Misconceptions About Each Other
African Americans in Tanzania: Black Panther Leader
Pete O'Neal and Others
Back to the Motherland: Fihankra
An African-American Settlement in Ghana
and Other Diasporans
What Africans and African Americans
Think About Their Relations: Voices From Within
About the Author