It is tragic that most of the black population in the West and the Caribbean (despite having descended from Africa) have never actually visited Africa and most likely will not; but are so brainwashed by the system that they have become the main opponents to the very practices that has its roots in their own history. When we think of Africa, images of famine, poverty, sickness, and war are embedded in our minds. “AIDS,” “Tribal Warfare,” and “Chaos” are the associative key terms that remain in our thoughts. Most people don’t realize how these concepts have become part of our lives. All of our negative perceptions of Africa have come from colonial history, literature, and the media. These sources have managed to demoralize and demonize all things that originate from Africa. These are just some of the common misconceptions about Africa:
Africa is mostly jungle and desert
Firstly, there is no actual difference between a forest and a jungle other the fact that the former is used to depict some sort of paradise somewhere in North America or Europe and the latter is used to describe a barbaric place somewhere in Africa. The way in which the words are used is a deliberate attempt to create a negative image of all things black or African. Secondly, the physical geography of Africa is as diverse as the people who live there. Africa is a continent of astounding ecological and geographic diversity. Africa’s geography includes high snowy mountains, rich tropical forest, open grassland, mixed savanna (grasslands and trees), pine forests, and temperate climates. Think of any climate in the world (except Antarctica), and you can most definitely find it somewhere in Africa.
African Ankh Cross Represents Evil
When the Roman Emperor Constantine claimed to have had a vision of death outside the walls of Jerusalem he made the symbol of punishment and death (the cross) synonymous with Christianity; Constantine's cross was made from a sword and a spear, a sign that a soldier could make, and non-Christians and later even Christians have learned to hate and fear the brutality that was associated with this symbol for over a thousand years. Fast forward to today, the African Ankh Cross for many blacks represent a symbol of evil, some even associate the symbol with devil worship. However, the true meaning of the African Ankh Cross is life (immortality) and death, male and female, balance. It can also represent zest, joy of life, and energy. It's closely related to the looped cross that can mean fertility and life. The Ancient Egyptians used the African Ankh Cross to stand for a word meaning life. It is also called crux ansata, Latin for cross-with-a-handle. I wear my African Ankh Cross with pride, and quite surprisingly white people generally tend to admire and acknowledge the true meaning of the African Ankh Cross but black people do not.
African Voodoo is Devil Worship
Despite the negative perception of Voodoo in most people's minds, many of these stereotypes have nothing to do with Voodoo. Voodoo originated in the African kingdoms of Fon and Kongo as many as 6,000 years ago. The word "Voodoo" comes from the Fon language, in which it means "sacred," "spirit" or "deity." Many of its rituals, even those that include the sacrifice of live animals, focus on respect and peace. Its religious leaders become community leaders, providing guidance and settling disputes. Leaders also frequently provide medical care in the form of folk medicine. Priests, priestesses and other practitioners typically dedicate their work to helping and caring for others. Voodoo is not only practiced in Africa but also in the Caribbean (Jamaica and Haiti) and parts of North America. Its followers believe in the power of their ancestors, but as with all popular religions some of its followers portray some element of the supernatural. However, common sense would dictate that if Voodoo could in-fact do what we have been led to believe that it does, every slave would have walking around with a rag doll. “We greatly fear the things we do not understand”.
Africans are uneducated and their religion is primitive
Although access to education is often limited in numerous countries in Africa due to the cost of school fees, uniforms, and school supplies, there are countless numbers of highly educated people living in Africa. In fact, according to the 2000 US census, immigrants born in Africa have the highest level of educational attainment in America when compared to other immigrant groups - 49% of African immigrants to the United States age 25 years and older possess a BA or higher compared with nearly 33% of Europeans, 45% of Asians, 6% of Central Americans, and 25% of South Americans. Africans are widely considered as people with inferior forms of religion and logic, earlier researchers and missionaries portrayed African religion as primitive and barbaric and ridiculed them tremendously. On the contrary, the traditional religions of Africa are human in the deepest sense, because they focus on people and their everyday problems.
Africa is Poor
Africa is actually one the wealthiest continents in the world in terms of natural resources. Many countries in Africa contain rich reserves of valuable minerals like coltan, diamonds, gold, and bauxite, as well as other valuable commodities like oil, gas, and timber. With such an abundance of resources, the people of Africa should be among the richest in the world. While there are many wealthy people living on the African continent, this wealth has not historically translated into better living conditions for the average African person. There are numerous reasons for this including colonization, corruption, armed conflict or rebellion, as well as the policies of international financial institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Fast forward to today - Africa’s economy is growing faster than the economies of every other continent, and about one-third of Africa’s 54 nations have a yearly gain in gross domestic product of more than 6 percent. From Ghana in the west to Mozambique in the south, Africa's economies are consistently growing faster than those of almost any other in the world. At least a dozen have expanded by more than 6% a year for six or more years. For example Ethiopia will grow by 7.5% this year, without a drop of oil to export. Once a byword for famine, it is now the world's tenth-largest producer of livestock. Acording to demographers, economists and industrial and agricultural experts all over the world -Africa possesses all the ingredients to be the planet’s dominant economic engine for decades (perhaps the entire 21st century). Those ingredients are already lifting a continent once ignored by all but novelists and revolutionaries into the big leagues of global economic dynamism.
“Her $3 billion fortune makes Oprah Winfrey the wealthiest black person in America, a position she has held for years. But she is no longer the richest black person in the world. That honor now goes to Aliko Dangote, the Nigerian cement king. Critics argue that Aliko is too close to the country's soiled political class, nonetheless his $10 billion fortune is money earned, not expropriated. “
Read about an Afican American experience in Zinbabwehttp://abocww.com/aboc-personal-stories/the-story-of-an-african-american-in-zimbabwe/
Read about the growing economy in Africa
1) 10 False Perceptions About Africa (www.getloud.com)
2)The Sun Shines Bright (www.economist.com)
3). American Perceptions of Africa Based on Media Representations (Jamie B. Wallace)
This is a page of protest against all forces that threaten the freedom of our people at home and abroad. We will not allow the media to condition our minds and influence our actions. We demand "Emancipation from Mental Slavery".