Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa by Keith Richburg During many years Africa was associated with evergreen forests, unique flora, fauna, sun and diamonds. Keith Richburgs book Out of America disclosed a terrible truth to millions of readers about African continent. After reading this book Africa is no longer associated with safari, lions and wild nature. It is neither about ecological issues nor about tourism. It is about death, violence and the ultimate tragedy of the African people. Being a foreign correspondent for the Washington Post, Keith Richburg was assigned to Africa during 1991-1994.
During three years he was covering Somalia, Rwanda and South Africa. During three years he was surrounded with mass starvation, hideous atrocities, terror, and lie. Where one could not live a single day, this man was staying during long three years. Starting his assignment in Africa, Richburg was eager to learn about the land of his ancestors. However, in the end of the story the author wrote: Frankly I want no part of itThank God my ancestor got out (of slavery), because, now I am not one of them(Richburg, p. viii).
Story starts with a shocking picture: I watched the dead float down a river in Tanzania(Richburg, p. iii).
Among dead were men, women, pregnant women, children, and even babies. It stuns the audience. Richburg explains that those are the victims of the ethnical genocide going on across the border in Rwanda. The killers were working too fast to allow for proper burials. Further author gave a detailed description of dead bodies. Predicting the readers reaction Richburg says: If Im disgusting you, good, because thats my pointbecause it was that image, I had to live with, and go to sleep with(Richburg, p.
Imperialism in Africa Imperialism is defined as one country's domination of the political, economic, and social life of another country. In Africa in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, imperialism was present and growing. The main countries involved in the imperialism in Africa were the French, German, and Great Britain. The French's empire was mainly in North and West Africa while Britain's ...
iv) In his book Richburg describes the most important and controversial issues in Africa, pointing every single country: racism in South Africa, Doe regime and anarchy in Liberia, Babangida government in Nigeria, crime in Kenya, Bongo administration in Gabon, Somalia with its famine and food-aid distribution, murders of foreign journalists, AIDS problem, and many more. Richburg describes that Somalian intervention began with the up-beat, feel-good atmosphere that surrounded those first days(Richburg, p.52) However, the end of it was with bodies of the UN rescuers dragged through the streets. Unlike Somalia, Rwanda was the horror from the very beginning. Here the militias wouldnt shoot in the head, Somalian style. They would carve off your arm first and watch you bleed and scream in pain, he says (Richburg, p.93).
Richburgs book is not story-telling or descriptive. It is more political.
Author perfectly understands the political problems of African countries, and indicates many negative aspects, uncovering the complete truth about political trends inside the country and on the international arena as well. He criticizes a highly developed excuse-making of African officials, which blame all the continents troubles on long-departed European imperialists, on a lack of natural resources, or the failure of the outside world to help enough. In contrast, the author wonders why imperialism has not stopped Asian nations from rising economically, or how Singapore can develop without natural resources. Richburg reacted very strongly to a summit meeting of Africans and African American in Gabon in 1992. During this summit Jesse Jackson and other visiting blacks heaped a nauseating outpouring of praise on some of Africas most brutal and corrupt strongmen in a display of the complete ignorance about Africa among Americas so called black elite(Richburg, p.139) Richburgs Out of America emphasizes the major trends in African society through the eye of black American correspondent. Many countries, nations, families and individual lives are surrounded with one common tragedy. Although, general picture of Africa on the pages of Out of America.. sometimes seems to look to pessimistic, one does not have right to judge not being there for three years. Reference: Richburg, Keith, Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa, Harvest Books, 1998.
During the 1960 s, many Black Americans drew attention to the inequalities among races in society. Protest groups formed and demonstrations highlighting discrimination towards dark people were a common practice for civil rights activists. Some activists believed non-violence was the only way to overcome, and others, such as Anne Moody and the Black Panthers, had a more aggressive attitude towards ...