What Has Africa Got to Do With

Ugwu HilaryWhat has the black man or woman got to do with reason, philosophy, mathematics, science and logic? Down through the history, many have held this affirmation in the truism form.

The reality is that Africans are in a gradual but progressive techno-scientific and evolutionary mass awareness. The transformative effect of positive science comes by a mass movement of people and ideas—the revolution of consciousness. In a more elucidated application of terminology, it is best referred to as renaissance. While mass idea of scientific renaissance might be recondite, the fact remains that pure positivism of science is in progressive metamorphoses. A history of any people is often presented in segmented pages. The African is in a particular phase in the history of his or her existence. This historical phase does not pose in a standstill but in a constant shift to the next. That the previous centuries were not African centuries does in no way indicate that the futuristic centuries would also elude. Every history is born through struggle for self awareness and realization. The new Africa would eventually be born.

The notion that the African is incapable of scientific articulation, abstract mathematical and logical ingenuity has no base in the socio-historical and biological evolution of the human species. The self-realization and scientific awareness of the homo sapience takes a gradual formula and varies from people to people and from culture to culture. To borrow a little from a German thinker; J. W.F Hegel in his hypothesis of phenomenology of Spirit, the human consciousness is evolutionary in the process of self awareness. The cosmic spirit/consciousness embodied in the human race, on the course of time transforms itself from simple to complex, from mythology and superstition to science, from savage barbarity to ethical civilization. The history of Europe is a clear example of this evolutionary trend: there were the barbarians, the witches, sorceries, tribal wars and inversions, religious fanaticism and inquisition, unexplainable diseases and sicknesses etcetera. Gradually, rational evolution started to take effect and the societies instead became aware of the power of the human mind and science. The Frenchman, August Comte, also regarded as the father of sociology perceived the entirety of the history of the human evolution in three phases viz the religious phase(superstition, ancestor worships, animism, pantheism), metaphysical phase(sense of questioning the world and established knowledge) and the positive or scientific phase(pure scientific enlightenment of the human mind). This last phase is the phase that Europe and America enjoys in the present world system.

To say that Africans are rationally and scientifically subordinate is to deny the fact of human systematic evolution in general. Tell me about a history of a people, no matter how developed, and I will point out periods of darkness and confusion along the trend. The perceived problems in the African continent are histories evolutionary steps to the next phase. In Europe, there was a black plague disease that nearly wiped every living person. History has its own mechanism, it was overcome. There had been famine and wars and diseases throughout history, mankind also overcame them. Who then thought that Africa is stuck in time? According to the Greek philosopher, Hiraclitus, change is the only permanent thing in the universe. And that struggle is necessary in both the internal and external mechanism of change.

It is therefore an historical err to presume that because of the present socio-economic and political quagmires in the continent of Africa, the Africans are socially, culturally, scientifically, economically and technologically incapable. Socio-scientific and technological revolutionary evolution is underway. Still, the African intellectual ingenuity should not be evaluated by what the people had gone through in history; what they are going going through now or what they will go through in the future. Every history of a people is like the laver which transforms form crawling caterpillar to a flying colorful butterfly.

To buttress this point, Egypt, Greece and Rome and even the imperial British empire, while the rest of the human race were still deep in the dose of historic epoch, did enjoy certain sound ingeniousness of the human adventures as mathematics, astrology, logic, literature, science and cultural occupation of the world. But by its nature, the term socio-rational evolution does not stand stationary in one particular historical dais. When civilization started in Alexandra, Egypt, it was taken away by the Greece, then by the Romans, then infested and modified by Christian ideologies and philosophies, then spread all over Europe, climaxing in the great sense of American liberty and democracy. The USSR attempted taking over the world with the communist civilization. Although, this feat was a historic failure. Today, the great puzzlement lingers between the gigantic and humongous China (that is awakening) and the rest of mankind. China was considered insignificant in the past. Today, no one can say that any more.

In all these global games, where is the place of the African in the 21st century? The answer is: her appropriate time in underway. Those who presume Africa would remain the misery of the world need to revisit human history in its entirety. African is passing through a phase it must overcome sooner or later. The change of rational human consciousness does not happen in one single day. Historically, it took time for the collective consciousness of the Africans to understand the pendulum of slave trade. It also took time for the African man to realize and fight colonization and imperialism. In this very historic epoch, the Africans are thinking hard and redefining their proper place in the historical route of the global human movement. After the collective consciousness of the Africans has defined who an African is, the next phase would be to define the rightful existential place for the African in this spherical object known as the planet earth.

It took centuries for the Africans to be told who they are and ought to be by imperial colonialism and slave trade. Therefore, the African, need a redefinition of identity in the clarity of indigenous perspective. The mass migration of the Africans across the earth is negatively positive; it undoubtedly exposes the people to the unmitigated racism. Thus it creates a nostalgic euphoria that in ones own home dwells every dignity and self respect. Wake up Africans!

CSN: 29712-2008-20-25


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