Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Confronting Africans and African-Americans
Written by Abdoulie John
Tuesday, 09 January 2007
Femi Ojo-Ade, Professor of French at the Department of International Languages & Cultures at St. Mary's College of Maryland (USA), last Friday, delivered a public lecture at the Alliance Franco-Gambienne (AFG), Kairaba Avenue.
The lecture was organized by the University of The Gambia (UTG), the subject of the public lecture was based on "Africans and African-Americans: Fallen Dream or Millennial Renaissance?"
Speaking on the topic, Prof Ade made a survey examining the relationship among continental Africans, African-Americans. The presentation also explored such relationships in terms of contacts and friendship, travel to countries of the diaspora, cross-cultural communications, thoughts and stereotypes, and education involving knowledge of the diaspora.
Far from putting the issue into pessimistic perspective, the Nigerian born lecturer and writer was realistic in his analysis. He highlighted the "Wall of Misunderstanding" between the two entities and he called for more Afrocentric education in the curriculum (from elementary school to college) as a means of re-educating people to have a better perspective of the African diaspora and to dispel myths and negative stereotypes about African people. To him, these are the questions that confront Africans and African-Americans.
Viewed in this context, he defined the African as someone who has faith in Africa. According to him, expatriate Africans should not only strive to rectify centuries of misunderstanding, but upsetting the very historical, political and economic basis upon which the African continent has been built. "I am always coming back to Africa. That’s what gives me the sense of humanity and strength to pursue the long journey of life", he asserted.