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Similarities Between Shadows Of Your Black Memory And Between Tides

Decent Essays
Following the Berlin Conference, European colonizers began to swarm Africa and aimed to bring and impose their Western beliefs and traditions on the supposedly helpless African Americans. As a result, many Africans were forced to assimilate to the new culture and struggled to decide between which heritage to internally accept. Valentin Yves Mudimbe’s Between Tides and Donato Ndongo’s Shadows of Your Black Memory both illustrate the relationship and conflicts between three cultures: the traditional African, the European, and the Christian culture. The main characters of each, Pierre Landu and the nameless narrator, are victims of the civilizing mission and face the battle of finding which culture they truly belong to. Though both make significant progress in constructing a coherent identity, they do so in differing ways and to a different extent––Pierre learns to cope with his ultimate decision, while the narrator more confidently embraces his future. A civilizing mission during the 19th and 20th centuries was an attempt to Westernize non-Europeans, coercing them to adapt to their culture. Following the Berlin Conference in 1884, Europeans began to see it as their duty to colonize the indigenous people––primarily those of African origin. Europeans brought and imposed their language, religion, and educational institutions on the Africans because they viewed them as backwards, uncultured, and uneducated. In Shadows of Your Black Memory and Between Tides, both the narrator and
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