I really love the piece, but somehow it reeks of victim mentality. It’s like, it was up to the white man to either exterminate you, or spare you. It is the outlook of the white man that has decided the destiny of Africans. Somehow, I find it difficult to believe. Was the African civilization so vulnerable that a manipulative Western civilization came and conquered it? I say the same thing about Indians and in fact, Leo Tolstoy wrote this about Indians:
I have received your letter and two numbers of your periodical, both of which interest me extremely. The oppression of a majority by a minority, and the demoralization inevitably resulting from it, is a phenomenon that has always occupied me and has done so most particularly of late. I will try to explain to you what I think about that subject in general, and particularly about the cause from which the dreadful evils of which you write in your letter, and in the Hindu periodical you have sent me, have arisen and continue to arise.
The reason for the astonishing fact that a majority of working people submit to a handful of idlers who control their labour and their very lives is always and everywhere the same — whether the oppressors and oppressed are of one race or whether, as in India and elsewhere, the oppressors are of a different nation.
This phenomenon seems particularly strange in India, for there more than two hundred million people, highly gifted both physically and mentally, find themselves in the power of a small group of people quite alien to them in thought, and immeasurably inferior to them in religious morality.
— “A Letter to a Hindu”
In an essay about Africa, once I read that it was the Africans who helped slave traders catch Africans. Similarly, in India, it was the Indians who helped the British ruled the country for more than 100 years.
The real change in Africa (or anywhere else) won’t come with the change in attitude of the Western civilisation. The real change in Africa will come when the Africans decide that they want to change. Why depend so much on how the Africans have been depicted merely by a magazine — the National Geographic — why attribute so much power to a magazine for the destruction of an entire continental culture?