Illiteracy in the African Continent

Topics: Western culture, Colonialism, Culture Pages: 5 (1834 words) Published: February 25, 2013
19th Century Africa

Zebbra Hickson


American InterContinental University


The late 19th century Africa we will look to see the validation of illiteracy in the African continent and what educational system and religious practices shaped the culture of West Africa. This paper will investigate what was the African Culture prior to the nineteenth century.

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Globally, non-Western cultures suddenly found that they were defined as outposts of new colonial empires developed by Europeans, resulting in the weakening of traditional cultural practices, political leadership, and social systems that had been in place for centuries.” (Sayre, 2013, pp. 410-411). The settlement of new colonial empires viewed as a gateway for the Western culture to concur new land from the indigenous colonies that were already established. The expansion of Western colonial empires would reap the benefits and expand Western economic and political power in distant lands in the nineteenth century. (Sayre, 2013, pp. 410) The European entrapment was a result in weakening of traditional cultural practices, weakening political leadership, and illuminating social systems that had been in place for centuries. This resulted in the taking away of the traditional cultural system of the indigenous cultures that were with them for thousands of years. As the Western Cultures made their stance more prevalent to the indigenous culture they believed that the Western Culture was had more value than their own, but the truth of the matter, which shows in Paris that the Western Culture was just fishing to find other lands to make their empires look strong when in fact they were weak. To show how the western culture was at a brink of failure, in 1800-1848 the city of Paris grew to approximately 1 million people, which doubled in size in 48 years. This resulted in overcrowding and very dangerous environmental conditions such as garbage and raw sewage and sea level dangerous levels of bacteria. The odors that produced from the strong vapors induced vomiting and fleas and rats from the uncleanness that carried disease throughout the land. (Sayre, 2013, pp. 410) These diseases were Cholera, dysentery, typhus, and typhoid fever to say a few. In 1848 the agricultural economy conditions worsened. A famine in Ireland killed many millions of people. In Paris over 19,000 people were killed due to a disease epidemic.(Sayre, 2013, pp. 410). Now to look at all that the Western Culture was going through from 1800-1853 we can see why the European's sailed to other lands to bring chaos to others in distant lands to bring order and power to themselves. It is a myth of Africa being an illiterate continent before the European's arrived according to Diallo Ibrahima. This myth was conquered up by the European's to justify their colonial agenda. West Africans were literate indigenous beings before the arrival of the European to the African Continent. Africans were crafty, they had an educational system under an Islamic language spread widely throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. (Diallo, I. ,2011) According to Professor Diallo, a research language and culture professor says, "when western colonial powers arrived on the shores of Africa, not only did they strive to impose their own education model and their languages, but they elaborated strategies to systematically destroy or undermine any form of indigenous knowledge and education in Africa."(Diallo, I. ,2011) The Western civilization has brought confrontation to the lands abroad dramatically to implement their plan of power. The values of these countries were jeopardized by the mistreatment by the Western Civilization by force of their Western values and culture on the African culture, as well as their deception to gain land and monetary...

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Sayre, H. M. (2013). Discovering the Humanities (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ/USA: Pearson. Retrieved from
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