12 April 2022

Dr. Primus M. Tazanu gives keynote at 4th Biennial Conference of African Studies Association of Africa

CAS guest researcher Dr. Primus M. Tazanu has given a keynote at the 4th Biennial Conference of African Studies Association of Africa under the theme 'Africa and the Human: Old questions, new imaginaries'. 

Dr. Primus M. Tazanu keynote, entitled 'Africans and the Indignities of Euro-Modernity: Putting Africans in their Place in Europe', considers James Baldwin 1965 Oxford Union speech, where he reiterated that black people (Africans) are humans. Baldwin listed the virtuous and evil sides of black people, concluding that white people have used the myth of difference to treat Africans inhumanely. Africans who have lived (and are living) in Europe can easily relate to this; they struggle to assert their humanity in the face of constant attempts by the European power structure to push them out of the realm of the human through all sorts of humiliations. Dr. Primus M. Tanzanu provided two themes mainly. One of them is the argument that European treatment of Africans still draws from Emmanuel Kant's idea that Africans are fit for manual labour. The second is the European perception of Africans as those who must not migrate in a world where migration is the norm. The talk is intended to be provocative, to invite Europe and Europeans to re-examine themselves. How Europeans perceive, write about and treat Africans in Europe raises the age-old question of euro-modernity and its underside – the underside means they either reject or degrade everything non-European.

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