The passage from Snead that focused on repetition was really informative for me. He claims that the lack of repetition in Western culture is truly at odds with, not only the cultures of Asia and Africa, but nature itself. Honestly, after thinking on what he claims I end up completely agreeing. Western culture marks the seasonal changes with holidays that are more and more connected to consumerism rather than the actual nature based origin of the holiday. Christmas came to mind when reading this passage as these days, from this reader’s perspective, the holiday may still be considered a religious holiday but the underlying focus is on buying and giving gifts. The origin of the holiday itself, it is argued, not Christian at all, Continue reading “Lack of Nature in Western Culture”
Towards the end of the poem, Tolson starts to write of Le Premier des Noirs of Pan-African Airways. Contrasting with the beginning of the poem, this section begins to illustrate not the history of Africa, but where the people of Africa are heading, and more specifically Liberia . The plane “whirs beyong the copper cordilleran climaxes of glass skyscrapers on pavonine Cape Mesurado.”. He is calling for us to not look at Africa as it has been historically by the European, but for what it is and what it will be. Snead also mentions that Hegel mentions that the African people are “there” and the European people are “headed there”. Africa is already wonderful in its own right without a report card from Europe that grades Africa as uncivilized because the values differ. Continue reading “On Tolson’s “Libretto for the Republic of Liberia””
“Slavery is in and for itself injustice, for the essence of humanity is Freedom; but for this man must be matured. The gradual abolition of slavery is therefore wiser and more equitable than its sudden removal.” (Hegel, 157)
The racism in the excerpt from Hegel cannot be understated. It is written with this sense of having no doubts in his knowledge, even though it is clear he has attempted to learn nothing about the people of Africa. His judgement of African peoples against the supposed successes of those in the West make for an insulting and shallow explanation of the thousands of years of civilization in Africa.