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Author: Tejumola Olaniyan
Title: The OAU and the politics of official production of knowledge
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1992
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Source: The OAU and the politics of official production of knowledge
Tejumola Olaniyan

Evanston, IL: Program of African Studies, Northwestern University
no. 4, pp. 6-7, 1992
Author Biography: Tejumola Olaniyan is a member of the Department of English of the University of Virginia. He was a 1991-92 fellow of the Institute.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.4761530.0004.005

The OAU and the Politics of Official Production of Knowledge

TEJUMOLA OLANIYAN

A chief preoccupation of nearly all postcolonial societies since formal independence has been one intractable struggle against a most insidious enemy: the continued subordination to "alien,"—by which is usually meant Western—and most often supremacist logics (for instance, we no longer have "Empire" but "Commonwealth"), and the production of subjects and subjectivities within those logics. The unfailingly despairing question, "Whither then our Independence?," has led to that unmistakable spectacle of the twentieth century—the struggle against subjection and its multi-various forms, against submission of subjectivity, known popularly as the struggle for "difference" or "identity." The two texts I will examine in this essay, the Organization of African Unity's Pan-African Cultural Manifesto, released at the end of the First All African Cultural Festival held in Algiers, Algeria from July 21st to August 1st, 1969, and the same organization's Cultural Charter For Africa drawn up seven years later in Port Louis, Mauritius, locate themselves firmly within this problematic of subjection. [1] Both texts have the status of "official" documents, proclamations against subjection on behalf of a continent, nay a race, by a congregation of its select representatives. The overdetermined character of this state of affairs is worth stating. For the colonizer, Fanon writes, the "Negro" is neither an Angolan nor a Nigerian, but the "Negro," and a savage: a racialization of thought and culture that subtly dictates the logic of the native intellectual's response: the affirmation of not so much a Kenyan or Togolese, as an "African culture." "Colonialism," Fanon explains further, "did not dream of wasting its time in denying the existence of one national culture after another. Therefore the reply of the colonized peoples will be straight away continental in breadth." [2]

The Manifesto and the Charter are parts of a rich legacy of such "replies" or anticolonial cultural discourses spanning the works of such figures as E. W. Blyden, J. E. Caseley Hayford, Kobina Sekyi, and others; the various Pan-African conferences since 1900, Negritude, and the various early Negro writers conferences. And it is not difficult to find, in the 1960s South African Black Consciousness and U. S. Black Aesthetic movements, links with the OAU proclamations. I suggest that these exertions of black intellectuals are typical of the fate of most "cultural minorities." [3]

The two main propositional anchors running through both the Manifesto and the Charter are (a) return to source, and (b) Africanity. They are not only inseparably connected but are also mutually affective and interactive. The "return to source" has as its dual project the rejection of imposed wills and "personalities" and the construction of a new subject, as well as a mark and guarantee of its identity (in terms of distinctiveness, difference, from the alien, the imposed). "Africanity" is to guard and direct the manifestations of the new subjectivity while also performing as a more or less programmatic doctrine designed to continually vitalize the return to source.

Let me briefly flesh out the two propositions. Against the manifest forms of colonialism—colonialism is itself described as "an evil that has been experienced and endured by all our people" —tabulated variously as "slave trade," "political domination," "concrete and material hegemony," and "social and intellectual hold," the battle strategy advanced is a "return to source":

We must go back to the sources of our values, not to confine ourselves to them, but rather to draw up a critical inventory in order to get rid of archaic and stultifying elements, the fallacious and alienating foreign elements brought in by colonialism, and to retain only those elements which are still valid, bringing them up to date and enriching them with the benefits of the scientific, technical and social revolutions so as to bring them into line with what is modern and universal. (CM 789, 790)

Culture, it is argued, emanates "from the people" (CC 2) and is a mark of their strength and resistance against centuries of alien material depredation and psychological degradation. Culture is hence the "inner identity" (CM 791) which the colonized peoples never gave up in spite of all their travails and tribulations. But this "inner identity" has been consistently under ruthless siege by, amongst others, a systematic official relegation of the peoples' languages as adjuncts of the colonizers', and the creation of a "dual culture" consequent upon the colonizers' strategy of fashioning a native elite whose interests are most often antagonistic to those of the majority of the people. On the latter point, I quote the documents:

Colonization favoured the formation of a cultural elite for assimilating and imbibing colonial culture, even sustaining it and often serving as guarantee. Thus, there was a serious and profound rift between the African elite and the African popular masses. (CM 793)

[C]olonization has encouraged the formation of an elite which is too often alienated from its culture and susceptible to assimilation ... a serious gap has been opened between the said elite and the African popular masses. (CC 2-3)

The result of this divisive strategy is imposed subjectivity, defined as "depersonalization and alienation" (CM 790).

By "depersonalization" is meant the negation of the African's "specific personality," this personality conceived as, among others, "a profound inborn sense of solidarity, hospitality, mutual aid, brotherhood and the feeling of belonging to the same humanity" (CM 790, 792). "Alienation" is seen as the loss or abandonment of these values, creating a type of African—usually taken to be the intellectuals—"not at home in his [sic] national realities" (790), a "depersonalized" individual. This is the condition the "return to source" is designed to redress. The "source" is the germ of repersonalization and disalienation. And since "the people" are taken as the repository of this "source," the necessary direction for the alienated is only too clear:

The African man of culture, the artist, the intellectual in general must integrate himself into his people and shoulder the particularly decisive responsibilities incumbent upon him. His action must inspire that radical transformation of the mind without which it is impossible for a people to overcome its economic and social under development. The people must be the first to benefit from their economic and cultural riches. (CM 790)

Our artists, authors and intellectuals must, if they are to be of service to Africa, find their inspiration in Africa. (CM 794)

To "return to source," to find "inspiration in Africa" is to return to "the people" and therefore to "African culture [which is more] faithful to its origins," and "its original modes of perception" (CM 795, 796).

From this is deduced the essential function of an African culture: as protector/weapon. The "preservation of culture," the Manifesto argues, "has saved Africans from the attempts made to turn them into peoples with no soul nor history. Culture protected them" (791), "a vital rampart [that has] stood the test of time alongside the African spirit" (793). In a formulation that reminds one of the position later sharpened and made popular by Amilcar Cabral, the Manifesto asserts: "For the African countries which won their freedom and those that are in armed conflict with the colonial powers culture had been and will remain a weapon. In all cases, armed struggle for liberation was and is a pre-eminently cultural act" (793). [4] Since culture is "essentially dynamic: in other words it is both rooted in the people and oriented towards the future" (789), it is particularly suited to such instrumental functions as "liberating," "rehabilitating," "asserting," "combatting," "encouraging," "promoting," and "developing" (CC 4-5):

African culture ... not only intends to defend its personality and its authenticity but also to become an instrument in the service of the people in the liberation of Africa from all forms of alienation, an instrument of a synchronized economic and social development. It will thus bring about the technico-industrial promotion of Africa, and also a living and fraternal humanism far removed from racialism and exploitation. (CM 796)

[C]ulture constitutes for our people the surest means of overcoming our technological backwardness ... (CC 4)

This is the project "Africanity" is meant to give a coherent and quotable form.

Africanity emphasizes the African as the focus and measure of all values. It is a concept that is at once racial, continental, and historical:

Africanity is a reality essentially deriving from men born of the same land and living in the same continent, bound to share the same destiny by the inevitable process of decolonization at all levels and complete liberation, notwithstanding regional or national specificities. (CM 793)

The core pillar of Africanity rests on the assumption of unity of Africa on the three levels identified. Even when gestures recognizing the historical specificity of the disparate cultures and civilizations that make up the continent continue to be made, the emphasis is more on their supposed unity. The move being made here is the invention of individual and collective self-consciousness along the three realms—a move that strategically constructs an imagined political community united in one voice against its adversaries:

[C]ulture is the sum total of experiences and concrete expressions, linked to the history of peoples. Thus, culture from our point of view, must embrace the particular expressions that characterise each major civilization. But our Africanity is determined by profound similarities and common aspirations. Africanity obeys the law of a dialectic of the particular and the general, of specificity and universality, in other words of variety at the origin and unity at the destination. African culture, art and science, whatever the diversity of their expression, are in no way essentially different from each other. They are but the specific expression of a single universality. Beyond similarities and convergent forms of thought, beyond the common heritage, Africanity is also a shared destiny, the fraternity of the liberating struggle and a common future which should be assumed by all in order to master it. Africanity springs from the double source of our common heritage and our common destiny ... (CM 790)

[U]nder colonial domination, the African countries found themselves in the same political, economic, social and cultural situation. (CC 2)

The African States recognize the need to take account of national identities, cultural diversity being a factor making for balance within the nation and a source of mutual enrichment for various communities. The African States recognize that African cultural diversity is the expression of the same identity; a factor of unity and an effective weapon for genuine liberty, effective responsibility and full sovereignty of the people. (CC 6)

Africanity, then, on a continental scale, seeks a collective "return to source," the repersonalization of the African (its psychosocial dimension), the Africanization of its institutions and expressive forms, and total cultural decolonization. It is both a means and an end: a means of cultural decolonization and the end, a decolonized African culture ready to take its place with other cultures of the world on the level of equality: "[O]nly Africanity can bring about a resurrection and rebirth of an avantgarde African humanism, confronted by other cultures; it will take its place as part of universal humanism and continue from there" (CM 794).

What is at issue is, of course, the relationship of hegemony between Africa and Europe and North America. The proclamation of African difference effected by the two documents is also at the same time a proclamation of the necessary heterogeneity of the world. What this strategy does is to deconstruct the universalist supremacist claims of Euramerican hegemony, claims that reduce the African to the status of a "primitive illustration" of "world experience"—"world experience" meaning white, male, Euramerican. The great importance of this enfranchizement of difference and the empowerment of itself as "identity" need no demonstration to be believed.

Again and again, the two documents return to the issue of language and emphasize the "imperative need" (CC 11) to massively develop African languages as medium of governmental and general transactions. A "national language," it is claimed, "plays an irreplaceable role, it is the mainstay and the medium of culture, the guarantee of popular support both in its creation and consumption ... Language is one of [the] features in the life of peoples which embody their genius" (CM 791). In an apparent reference to eurocentric denigrations of African languages, it is asserted that "[t]here is no one language which is basically more suited than another to be a mainstay of science and knowledge. A language translates and expresses the lives and thoughts of men" (CM 791). This assertion implicates discourse as power and presents the word as the world and the word as an arena of struggle for the world. "If the world emerges as a willed vision of the possible," writes an astute watcher of the Pan African scene, "then the entrapment of the mind in the imaginings of a hostile other in effect means the crippling of the will of the entrapped." [5] "Africanity" is designed to combat and avoid such ensnarements and enervations of the African will. It predicates African liberation on the assumption of an identity that is "radically" opposed to that imposed by the European. The location and affirmation of the germ of such a subjectivity in the African "source"—a past uninfested by the "leperous" hands of Europe—is an indication—and a catalyst too—that liberation is not unachievable and can be actualized in the present.

If the goals of Africanity are unimpeachable, as indeed could be easily argued, it is doubtful if we could say the same of its strategies. When Africanity, a socio-cultural concept, defines a resistant African subjectivity on three levels: racial, continental, and historical, it articulates two opposed conceptions of identity—expressive (racial and continental), and performative (historical). With this paradox, "Africanity" locates itself clearly as no more than one other cultural product of nationalism. Nationalism, we remember, never gives up its sacred, expressive evocations of "our nation" even when it is forced to acknowledge its own condition of emergence as deeply historical and anything but sacred. Benedict Anderson has shown in quite suggestive ways how the nationalist imagining has strong affinities with—characteristically expressive and wilfully ahistorical—religious imaginings. [6]

Crucial to Africanity is the "repersonalization" of the African, a project largely of deep psycho-spiritual significance. When Africanity is delimited as a reality facing "men born of the same land and living in the same continent" (CM 793), we must agree with Anderson that "[i]t is the magic of nationalism to turn chance into destiny" (19), to assimilate "nation-ness ... to skin-colour, gender, parentage, and birth-era—all those things one cannot help" (131). But since nationalism must respond, and in quickly tangible ways, to the immediacies of the moment, it could ill-afford to deny its own historicity the way many religions do. Hence in its discursive articulations, the nation appears as both "a historical fatality and as a community imagined through language, ... as simultaneously open and closed" (133, Anderson's emphasis), as both expressive and performative. In Africanity however, the expressive dominates. The performative or the historically contingent, no matter the frequency of its proposition, remains only as gestural and citational. My suggestion is that this undue expressivization of identity is at the root of Africanity's misformulations and myopic strategies.

Africanity makes several gestures on the dynamism of culture (e.g. CM 789), yet stasis seems to be at the base of its understanding of that concept. An "inner identity" that survived the vagaries of colonialism is theorized, valorized rather than an identity that continually transformed itself in response to changing conditions and thus able to understand, resist appropriately, and so survived colonialism. And because culture is sacralized as "protector," as "rampart," resistance is viewed as the irruption of some essential subjectivity existing outside the networks of power and culture. Yet there is no relation of power—Manichaean, violent ones like colonialism more so—that does not culture its own resistance. Resistance is "an integral component in the strategic exercise of power through which subjectivity and social relations are produced and the diversity of social antagonisms are regulated." [7]

This failure to hold steadfast to its earlier notion of subjectivity as a construction, as a particular organization of the symbolic, and therefore always culturally specific, and the identity and unity of Africa as more productively predicable on its common experience of colonialism and struggle against it, is further evidenced in Africanity's deployment of the concept of heterogeneity. What we have are, in effect, two standards of this concept: a liberating force that frees Africanity from the hegemonic grid of Euramerican racialism, and is Africanity's undeniable condition of emergence, and second, a reactionary force for "home application," for forging a dangerous unanimism or univocalism out of a necessarily pluralistic continent. I here borrow R. Radhakrishnan's useful schematization to characterize Africanity's general conception of heterogeneity:

heterogeneity or difference as an expressive or phenomenological reality with no clearly articulated political strategy for survival; heterogeneity as a limited secession from the rhetoric of the "homogeneous," ... ; the celebration of heterogeneity as the pluralization of effective identities within the normativity of Identity ...." [8]

Africa is different from Europe; African cultures are diverse and different but they are essentially the same, the expressions of a single identity. What is ignored is that it is precisely this stifling universalizing logic that Africanity is supposedly designed to give the lie to. Is the acceptance of a plurality of cultures incompatible with collective, continental mobilization for a common political end? The universalist longing is further refracted in such aspirations as making Africanity part of "universal humanism," part of what is "modern and universal." Africanity repeatedly affirms not only the sameness of African cultures but also the essentially non-contradictory character of each of them. Colonialism, it is argued, brought the disease of divisions, of antagonistic class or group divisions, into African cultures (CM 793, CC 2-3).

And what more, the antagonistic divisions or "dual culture" is claimed (but only in the earlier document) to have disappeared with Independence!: "The dual culture lapsed with the advent of liberation movements, wars of independence and firm and unshakeable opposition to colonial servitude" (CM 793). This is the cultural nationalist position Paulin Hountondji chastises as "unanimist illusion," [9] and Anderson as the fantasy of unproblematic, "deep, horizontal comradeship" (16). Hountondji is worth returning to in more detail. He is insistent on culture as always active and creative and contradictory and a matter of negotiations conditioned by historical factors. And in all this, he says, African cultures are not excluded:

Pluralism in the true sense did not stem from the intrusion of Western civilization into our continent; it did not come from outside to a previously unanimous civilization. It is an internal pluralism, born of perpetual confrontations and occasional conflicts between Africans themselves. (165)

He goes on to reveal Africanity's claims of precolonial and postcolonial African unanimism and univocalism as in fact little more than the self-depreciation of the cultural self:

Far from having come to Africa with colonization, it is highly probable that cultural pluralism was checked and impoverished by its advent, which artificially reduced it to a confrontation between two poles, one dominant and the other dominated. All the profit that might have accrued to our cultures from free exchange with European cultures, and the extraordinary enrichment our internal debate might have known if it had been able to supplement its own terms through the assimilation of terms derived from abroad (as European art, for instance, was able to broaden its range by adopting a style known as 'African art'), all these fine hopes were betrayed and dashed because no genuine exchange has ever been possible in a climate of violence. Colonialism has thus arrested African cultures by reducing their internal pluralism, diminishing the discords and weakening the tensions from which they derived their vitality, leaving Africans with an artificial choice between cultural 'alienation' (which is supposedly connected with political betrayal) and cultural nationalism (the obverse of political nationalism and often a pathetic substitute for it). (165-6)

Given thus its expressivization of culture and identity, it becomes easy for Africanity to fall into such oppositions as "material culture," and "non-material culture" or values, then sanction the acceptance of the former (for instance, "alien" technology, under the guise that "our culture must modernize itself"), while insisting that "local" values must remain unchanged (as if "material culture" is neutral and value-free). This is the expectation behind such statements as "[a] society or a culture can stay itself while undergoing economic development, provided it takes the necessary steps" (CM 794). A related corollary is the very vague notion of "the people" proposed. "The people," or the "African popular masses" are presented as the authentic Africans and repository of pristine, autochthonous values, and then opposed to the elite, alienated and assimilated. But the relations between these two groups remain unproblematized beyond the simple notion that the alienated are alienated because they have imbibed "alien" values. Yet in view of the fact that these two groups are living in the same historical time and space, more is needed to account for their "opposed" orientations. By locating culture's essence or original character in "the people," Africanity constructs an ahistorical people indifferent to time and circumstance. [10] It is, of course, not difficult to see why Africanity cannot give up this ahistoricism: if it does, it loses its only source of legitimacy. It is not simply that Africanity has a class character that I am implying here, but that it is too vulgarly so.

This leads me directly to a useful query raised by Radhakrishnan in his essay:

The program of naming and unnaming takes the following historically determinate steps ... : ethnic reality realizes that it has a "name," but this name is forced on it by the oppressor, that is, it is the victim of representation; it achieves a revolution against both the oppressor and the discourse of the oppressor and proceeds to unname itself through a process of inverse displacement; it gives itself a name, that is, represents itself from within its own point of view; and it ponders how best to legitimate and empower this new name. The last phase brings up a complex problem: the problem of the "second or 'meta-' order." I call it the problem of "in the name of." In whose name is this new name being authorized, authenticated, empowered?

In whose name is the new identity, the postcolonial subjectivity, being authorized? To raise this query at all is to confront Africanity with a contradiction it would rather sweep aside. If "the masses" are the "source," then they need no Africanity to "return" them to it. Who is the prodigal making the return? Yet no African head of state or member of their think-tank who congregated to formulate Africanity will agree that they represent any entity other than "the people" (the "nation," the continent). They won't even say they represent themselves, no, they are usually very self-less. And only this self-less-ness explains the absolute silence on the nature of contemporary African state systems in Africanity's otherwise wide-sweeping recommended changes. Yet by 1969 when the Manifesto was drafted, the euphoria of Independence, at least for over eighty per cent of the African peoples, had all but evaporated. The tragedy and signal lack of initiative of many African states and ruling groups had already become too painfully evident to be ignored without being guilty of political astigmatism. The sharks of Uhuru, as the great poet Okot p'Bitek once said, had begun to eat their children. If Africanity is a vitalizing "return to source," isn't it self-subverting to appoint as its nurse state systems already too deeply a sign of dependency on Africanity's avowed "enemy"? [11] Are the African states and their existing institutional expressions unproblematic agents of change and struggle against cultural imperialism? And why the assumption—regnant in the two documents—that cultural revival and development is a state function? The silent assumption of the state as benevolent provider serves to conserve rather than restructure its apparati.

More important is the fact that behind this assumption of the state as the indisputable arbiter and dispenser of identities, individual or collective, lies what I call a dangerous transparency (not "transparent," as many well-meaning friends and colleagues have "corrected" my usage) theory of representation. This theory proposes an axiomatic relationship between the governors and the governed: the former are all-knowing and know what is good for the latter, the latter is to accept with gratitude and unconscionable loyalty; the state is an expression of, and fully responds to the wishes of the populace. The genuine and insurgent opponents of neocolonialism who reject this farcical scheme are cast as "treasonable felons" and carted into dungeons. Through this strategy, most African states today have—though not without persistent challenges—successfully substituted effete cultural nationalism for effective anti-neocolonial struggle. And so the question comes back again: in whose name is the "new" name being authorized? Who benefits from the new history and knowledge being produced, the new subject position being inaugurated? Anderson suggests an answer when he argues that "it is leaderships, not people, who inherit old switchboards and palaces" (146). But Olusegun Obasanjo's now famous theory of "trading post agents" is somewhat more suggestive, explicit, and what more, it is from an "insider," one of Anderson's "inheritors":

When we made our first contact with the merchant adventurers from Western Europe most of our shores became trading posts where primary products were exchanged for processed goods. I would like to suggest that the modification and complications of modern economic organization and exchange apart, our uneven relationship with Europe and now including North America, remain basically unchanged. We continue to be trading posts which supply primary products in exchange of processed goods. The existence of import substitution industries does not detract from this fact. These trading posts are run and maintained by our citizens ...

These agents can be grouped into four:

1. Intellectual trading post agents

2. Commercial trading post agents

3. Bureaucratic trading post agents

4. Technical trading post agents

The activity of these trading agents constitute impediments to Black African development. [To give an instance] the intellectual trading post agents ... to my mind have two common characteristics, that is, they possess abundant imitative capacity and they depend on alien recognition and standards for their status. [12]

We must grant that this analysis is discerning and to the point. We must realize, however, that it is also heinously hypocritical and self-serving, especially on point of example. The strong anti-intellectualism of most African military regimes, and the venom with which they deal with "recalcitrant" intellectuals, cannot be missed in General Obasanjo's apparently dispassionate disquisition. But let us not be diverted from a more obvious issue: what of "bureaucratic trading post agents" (the most powerful, the ruling groups) like Obasanjo himself? Obasanjo headed Nigeria from February 1976 to October 1979. The above analysis was made in 1977. He assumed and left office, if this is any news, as an unrepentant trading post agent. And I say this without suffering any memory lapse with regard to his "nationalization" of Shell BP—little more than the substitution of the color of management, for what else is there to do when even the simplest bolt in a rig is an import item: a classical instance of the farce of nationalization by most Third World nationalist governments. A dependent economy in a hyenic international market is always the nemesis of every nationalism, yet, so far, the relations between dependency and nationalism remain promiscuous. Third World countries today are in dire need of a different strategy and leadership vision to break out of this tragic circle. In the struggle against cultural imperialism in particular and neocolonialism in general, Africanity and its formulators—in spite of the yield of few empowerments—feature more as part of the problem than a solution. [13]

1. My reference for the Manifesto is J. Ayo Langley, Ideologies of Liberation in Black Africa 1856-1970: Documents on Modern African Political Thought from Colonial Times to the Present (London: Rex Collings, 1979), 789-799; Organization for African Unity, Cultural Charter for Africa (Addis-Ababa: OAU General Secretariat, Information Division, 1976). I will cite both documents in the text as CM and CC respectively.

2. Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, trans. C. Farrington (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1967), 170, 171.

3. I am thinking less of numerical strength than of power relations. The logic here is that the increasing globalization of cultures coupled with the existing vastly unequal access to, and control of means of such globalization by different cultures, or specifically, the ownership and control of such means by only a few, is bound to make "minorities" of a majority of the cultures of the world in the arena of world cultural transactions. "Dialogism" as a mode of cross-cultural relations remains only as postulate in the monographs of radical professors. For an introduction to the vicissitudes of "cultural minorities," though not defined or problematized as I have attempted here, see Anthony E. Alcock, B. K. Taylor, & J. M. Welton, eds., The Future of Cultural Minorities (London: Macmillan Press, 1979).

4. "[I]f imperialist domination has the vital need to practice cultural oppression, national liberation is necessarily an act of culture." (Cabral's emphasis) "National Liberation and Culture" (1970), Unity and Struggle, trans. M. Wolfers (London: Heinemann, 1980), 143.

5. Moyibi Amoda, Festac Colloquium and Black World Development: Evaluation of Festac Colloquium Agenda, Lagos Programme 1977 (Lagos: Nigeria Magazine, 1978), 125.

6. Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso, 1983), 17-25.

7. James Donald, "Beacons of the Future: Schooling, Subjection and Subjectification," Subjectivity and Social Relations, ed. V. Beechey and J. Donald (Milton Keynes: Open University Press, 1985), 246.

8. R. Radhakrishnan, "Ethnic Identity and Post-Structuralist Differance," Cultural Critique 6 (Spring 1987), 217.

9. Paulin Hountondji, African Philosophy: Myth and Reality, trans. Henri Evans (London: Hutchinson 1983), 154.

10. Against Africanity's theory of a people with an unchanging "inner identity," compare Cabral's proposition of a living culture and an empowering performative identity: "Certainly imperialist domination calls for cultural oppression and attempts either directly or indirectly to do away with the most important elements of the culture of the subject people. But the people are only able to create and develop the liberation movement because they keep their culture alive despite continual and organized repression of their cultural life and because they continue to resist culturally even when their politico-military resistance is destroyed." (Emphasis added) Return to the Source: Selected Speeches by Amilcar Cabral (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1983), 60.

11. Amoda writes: "But if the state systems reflect the history of the remaking of the universe in the very process of the emergence of the Euramerican world [he argues convincingly for this view, 135-56] and if the history of the modern state systems in the black and African world is a consequence of this remaking of the universe, are not the objective definitions of the black and African state systems the social formation spurned in the very process of the making of the Euramerican world?" (36-7)

12. Cited in Amoda, 30.

13. This is another version of a paper presented at a SSRC-sponsored panel at the African Studies Association meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, November 1989.

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