Decolonization: A Movement Towards Mental Emancipation

In 1933, a book was written by Carter G Woodson entitled The Miseducation of the Negroes. In this book, Carter Woodson demonstrated that western education was organized and fashioned towards colonizing the minds of the negroes in order to make them feel inferior to White superiority.[i] For ages, the Black race has been a common ground for White grand exploitation. It started with the vicious slavery and transatlantic slave trade and culminating with the colonization of the African continent. These saddened events rubbed the Black race of so many things: political and economic independence, mineral resources, manpower, cultural identity, religious beliefs, amongst others. This imperial hegemony lasted for about 500 years until the 20th century.

The 20th century, according to Kwame Nkrumah, was a century of political liberation of the African continent. In his Africa Must Unite, Nkrumah wrote that the African people are now politically aware of the menaces and political shenanigans of colonial imperialism. For him, the African people will not stop until colonialism is dead. He cajoled Africans to seek first the political Kingdom and every other thing will be added to them. Presently all the 55 odd countries in Africa have gained political independence.

But the question is; has everything be added to them? Has colonialism died or it has taken another subtle shape? A Kenyan philosopher called Ngugi Wa Thiong’o once wrote a book titled Decolonizing the Mind, and in his grand work titled Ujamaa, Julius Kambarage Nyerere sounds in consonance with Wa Thiong’o that true African liberation is an attitude of the mind[i] and as Martin Luther King Jr once said in one of his speeches, “the mind is the standard of the man”, we must now direct our focus to liberate the mind from all forms of White supremacy.

[i] Cf. K. Julius Nyerere, Ujamaa: Essay on Socialism, (Nairobi: Oxford University Press, 1968), p. 1. 

[i] Cf. G. Carter Woodson, The Mis-education of the Negro, (Washington D. C: Oxford University Press, 1933), p. 1. 

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