September 17, 2015
Intro to Afro American Studies
Bi-Weekly Essay #1

How do we undertake the study of the African experience?
Abstract: We have used numerous of source in order to undertake the study of African experience. As successors of African Americans, it is our responsibility to fully understand the studies of our culture. To fully understand ourselves, we must understand where we originate. To fully exploit and captivate our ancestors knowledge allows us to move forward and become wiser. Also, to understand truly how to undertake African experience, we must first learn the dismemberment from Africa, separate European and Non-European knowledge and learn what African studies is. We must be willing to reexamine our history and be open- minded to the certain customs. So, in order to undertake the study of African experience, we must comprehend historical events that existed in and outside of America.
Critical Review of Scholarship: During the first few weeks of class we talked about the book “Something Torn and New”, it states how Europeans main goal was to overpower the African culture by imprinting their culture and ways of living into the souls of the Africans. We brought up topics of how Africans were the first to not only come up with ideas and that the languages modern times have forgot are where their ancient languages derive. Something Torn and New would also show the value of how important language is to the Africans and how Europeans took and strip their history through colonization, taking over the African history and taking their identity.
Discussion: To undertake the African experience is to learn of the dismemberment from Africa. The dismemberment began in the colonial age; where Europe colonization of Africa searched for human resources to work in America. Something Torn and New demanded the physical removal of human resources, which made them separated from the continent and from their independence. The result of this was the dismemberment of African memory and culture. (Ngugi Wa Thiong’o 6) With the export of human resources to work in America, “the dismemberment occurred in two stages…….the African personhood was divided into two halves: the continent and diaspora” (Ngugi Wa Thiong’o 5) Throughout the dismemberment, Europeans deprived Africans of their identity and as a result of that, Africans lost base with the motherland. This was where Africans were basically forced and sent to the new world as slaves. The Europeans decapitated people and buried people alive, which represented the relationship between Europe and Africa. It showed the slave plantations were owned by many European powers. This was a practice of power and a symbolic act for the Europeans and symbolisms of acts of victory and humiliation. This was where we lost our sense of identity and culture. To understand dismemberment from Africa is to understand how we got deprived of our cultures, languages and identities.
Next thing to do to undertake the Africana experience is to understand the encounter between the languages and separate the European and non-European knowledge. Once these two are separated, we can begin to learn the truth of ourselves. The encounter of both African and Western language was a difficult stage that the African had went through. In Something Torn and New,it states that “The encounter between African languages (Yoruba, Igbo, Twi, Kikongo, and many others) and Western languages (French, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, English) was perhaps the most subtle and most difficult aspect of the cultural confrontation that the African slaves faced in the New World. (Ngugi Wa Thiong’o) Since it was a complex cultural confrontation, it may be hard to separate them and explain the significance of separating them. For starters, the powers that Europeans had over Africans will begin to be deceased. The language and culture the Europeans deprived Africans of will all be put to an end. If these powers are separated, we will not have to learn the history of the conqueror and begin to discover ourselves. Once powers are separated, Africans can focus on themselves and learn just about themselves. Separating the powers will allow the Africans to become wiser and aware of their race and what their capable of. Europeans will no longer be able to label Africana knowledge as folk culture. Also, separating the knowledge of these two will decrease