The Increased Misinterpretations of Africa Essay

594 Words3 Pages
Africa, compared to other continents, is probably the most misrepresented of them all. Little is known about Africa which results to stereotypical descriptions of the continent. Due to the lack of knowledge of Africa, research done by scholars may be illegitimate or seen as offensive to indigenous Africans. These stereotypes are often inaccurate and fallacious representations of Africa. A general stereotype of Africa is that the whole continent is represented or labeled as the dark continent who face poverty, violence and despair. Since Africa is comprised of a desert or jungle like terrain, most Westerners view Africans as primitive beings who are uneducated. Africans are thought to live in rural areas, practice strange customs, and…show more content…
For some reason, usually explained as African inferiority, Africans are considered as outsiders and incapable of contributing to technology, the global economy (except in subservient positions as locations of raw materials for export or captive markets), politics, art, or history (Harth). While it is inevitable that Africans lack some innovative advantages Westerners have, it doesn't imply that Africans are incapable of progressing in an advanced future. However, it is implied that Africans are unintelligent beings who are not capable of Western standards. Since Africans are primitive, they are described as savages or cannibalistic barbarians. The images of Africans as inferiors was reinforced further by arguments of several Christian missionaries, ministers, and others who explained that an African was better off a slave in Christian society than free in 'African savagery'”(Harris 1998). These degrading characteristics of Africans were derogatory myths. There are also more geography, population and poverty myths. Africa is seen as an area comprised of jungles and deserts full of safari and animals with no sign of city life. However, it is worth mentioning that in actuality only 5% of Africa is jungle (McCarthy 1983). This proves Africa isn't all rural but if there was a city, it would be poverty stricken full of violence. Along with poverty comes with the issue of under population
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