By Bruce S. Hall
The mobilization of neighborhood principles approximately racial distinction has been vital in producing, and intensifying, civil wars that experience happened because the finish of colonial rule in all the nations that straddle the southern fringe of the Sahara barren region. From Sudan to Mauritania, the racial different types deployed in modern conflicts usually hearken again to an older heritage during which blackness may be equated with slavery and non-blackness with predatory and uncivilized banditry. This ebook strains the advance of arguments approximately race over a interval of greater than 350 years in a single vital position alongside the southern fringe of the Sahara desolate tract: the Niger Bend in northern Mali. utilizing Arabic records held in Timbuktu, in addition to neighborhood colonial resources in French and oral interviews, Bruce S. corridor reconstructs an African highbrow historical past of race that lengthy predated colonial conquest, and which has persisted to orient inter-African kin ever due to the fact that.
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Additional info for A History of Race in Muslim West Africa, 1600-1960 (African Studies)
14 Even in Europe, racial thought was never especially coherent. At its zenith in the second half of the nineteenth century, famous writers on race such as Gobineau and Paul Broca argued for completely different sets of ideas about what race was and what it meant, disagreeing fundamentally about racial mixing and its consequences. It is just empirically untrue that there was ever a single coherent form of racial thought that could stand as a nominal model for what “real racial thought” is. 12 David Nirenberg, “Race and the Middle Ages: The Case of Spain and Its Jews,” in Rereading the Black Legend: The Discourses of Religious and Racial Difference in the Renaissance Empires, ed.
Among the things found only at this local level of the chain of colonial document production (and not at the Malian national archives or in France) was much of the correspondence between French officials and northern Malian chiefs and notables, and detailed local court records. Many Africanist historians have used similar local-level colonial materials in their research, but no one has used this northern Malian material until now. The novelty of the argument that I offer here is in large part the result of the new sources that I have been able to consult.
Introduction 21 conceptual language and framework, and this aided in communication and assimilation of the other’s ideas. But it would be a big mistake not to recognize that this was a two-way process, and that European constructions of knowledge about African people evolved as a result. The part of this book that deals with the colonial era focuses on the relationships and dialogue that occurred between French colonial officials and Africans, and between Africans themselves in the Niger Bend region of what is today northern Mali.