Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Africa - all the same, right?

Kitabkhana has some beautiful quotes in 'How to write about Africa.' Here are a couple of brief ones:

Quoting John Ryle: ...the tendency has been for Westerners—and often Africans too—to seek to impose a single reality, a general explanation, on the whole place.

And Binyavanga Wainaina: Never have a picture of a well-adjusted African on the cover of your book, or in it, unless that African has won the Nobel Prize. An AK-47, prominent ribs, naked breasts: use these. If you must include an African, make sure you get one in Masai or Zulu or Dogon dress.

I remember a guy in college coming to me one evening, all excited. He wanted to share that he had just found out that "Africa wasn't all one country." Jesus.

Canby Depot Museum