The Sun is Not Always Dead at Midnight; Comments on Mamdani
Abstract"These pages offer the conclusions of a lifetime." So Basil Davidson introduces The Black Man's Burden: Africa and the Curse of the Nation-State (Times Books: New York and London, 1992). Focused on the period since Africa emerged from colonial rule in the fifties, this "meditation on the nature of the African experience" could not have come at a more opportune time, for the air is rife with pessimism. Even friends of Africa have despaired of a crisis—persistent and prolonged—that has taken on continental dimensions, so much so that words like "intervention," "conditionalities," "limited sovereignty," and even "recolonization," which once sought to explain the genesis of "the African crisis," now prescribe solutions to it. Africa must be saved from itself, and the sooner the better. So runs the current refrain of "Africa experts."
This article can also be found at the Monthly Review website, where most recent articles are published in full.
Click here to purchase a PDF version of this article at the Monthly Review website.
Please see here for reprint requests.