Around twenty years ago, a young English journalist by the name of Robert Tewdwr Moss packed his bags and headed to Syria. Much like his colonial forbearers of the previous century, Moss was drawn explicably to the romantic, even Orientalist ideals of this most Arab of nations.
I know that the Church has committed untold amounts of suffering and evil in the name of Christ. (There is no religion, philosophy, or worldview, for that matter, that hasn't, all to greater or lesser degrees of distortion).
We'd begin with contemporary Paris, the Charlie Hebdo cartoons and bloodshed. We'd then quickly turn to Caché. If I were teaching again, this is how I'd start my literature and film class about colonialism.
I am successful when my students and conversation partners begin enclosing and confining these colonial categories in quotation marks, recognizing their construction and significance, historicizing them, disrupting them, and depriving them of their power.
The night we arrived the waves were crashing onto the street and the next morning that same shoreline stretched out to sea for a kilometer, revealing incredible tide pools. Neon coral, clown fish, eels, starfish and sea urchins showedthemselves in just a few inches of water.
Africa is still a child and needs to grow up. But it's growth has to be on its own terms. It is time for Africa to re-evaluate its 400 years of colonialism and the last 50 years of aid. Each has changed the continent in some many ways.