Telling "the African story"

We often hear political and business leaders and Africanists talk about the need to “tell the African story.” For us, “tell the African story” means nothing. In other words, it is a cliché of no value. We don’t know what it is supposed to mean. It may be that the idea of a definitive “African story” gains traction as a response to bigoted representations of the continent that have been influential in Western journalism and thinking. But like the idea of the need for “positive stories about Africa”, it’s facile and unhelpful. Our suspicion is that political and business leaders say that when they feel uncomfortable with airing real problems that ordinary Africans experience. The phrase also assumes–as our blog title mockingly suggests–that Africa is a Country.

Read more: Telling “the African story” » AFRICA IS A COUNTRY.

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