Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa

Brilliant synopsis by an honest journalist

Jaco Strauss
9 July 2002 E-Mail this page to a friend

Keith Richburg arrived in Africa as an "African American" and returned an "American".

The reader accompanies him on his painful journey to Damascus as he is forced to confront all his pre-conceived views on Africa. In the process he not only had to question his own beliefs, but also the conventional wisdom held especially high by
The author is ultimately left bitterly disappointed by his "motherland"
his own community.

The author is ultimately left bitterly disappointed by his "motherland" and proved brave enough to give it to the reader as it is. In doing so he shattered the long-held myths always offered as reasons for Africa's failures. Very few writers of African descent is willing to "break ranks" so blatantly in addressing the real cause of African chaos - Africa itself. This effectively made him persona non grata in black American circles from where he had to endure incredible criticism.

Before Africa is not willing to accept responsibility for it own actions the slide into the abyss will regrettably continue unabated
Everyone always blames external factors for all the continent's ills. It is good to see the 'Internalists' gaining more and more support. Before Africa is not willing to accept responsibility for it own actions the slide into the abyss will regrettably continue unabated.

The mere fact that the tin pot despot Bob Mugabe attended the inaugural meeting of the African Union and is also a signatory to Nepad shows that both of these initiatives are unfortunately doomed to dismal failure. Mugabe represents everything that is wrong with Africa. He rapes and pillages his way to riches, destroys agriculture in the process, bans farmers from farming (even in the face of famine), oppresses the press, judiciary, opposition etc. His election "victory" is universally condemned after being marred by state-sponsored intimidation, murder and mayhem.

Yet he is part of the New Economic Partnership for African Development (Nepad) where one of the cornerstones is peer reviews!

Hopefully valiant works by writers such as Mr Richburg will help to turn Africa's continual downward slide around.

The original review is available here.

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Jaco functionality
Ive now added the functionality to rate this page, as I feel it is still an interesting read. The issues I addressed is also still as relevant today as it had been almost a decade ago. Since I wrote this I have actually also been to the Door of No Return, Richburg wrote about.

Please feel free to vote.



Jaco's purile comments
No wonder you feel so sick Norm. Anyone who just knows hes right without having any proof to back this knowledge would feel the same way. In fact, whats making matters worse is that all the evidence, as well as common sense, point directly in the opposite direction. Its got to be hard to be in your shoes, but maybe you should just wipe the froth from your mouth, sit back and learn.

The first thing to realize is that there is nothing extraordinary to making propaganda for those with whom you concur. So what is your real problem with a Richburg review? Is it the troublesome uneasiness of encountering a black man who is not afraid to question the bigoted, supposedly Afrocentric, accord on Africa?

Mr. Richburg spent time in Africa during the height of the holocaust on the Tutsis. If youve read the book, you would share his extreme disappointment in everything from the governing elites at the top, to the brutality of the ethnic cleansers at the bottom. He also spared no punches in taking on those two-faced hypocritical liberals who patronizingly applaud or excuse whatever the noble savages might indulge in.

Maybe a bit too close to home, Norm?

Externalist apologists like you, is one of the major problems this continent has to overcome before it would be able to make any kind of headway. Whatever happens, give Whitey the blame after all, Bwana shouldve known better.

That is why Mbeki can get away with blaming Whitey for Rwanda 1994. In failing to intervene, Whitey obviously allowed the massacres to take place! In Zimbabwe, on the other hand, Mad Bob is busy destroying a whole country in order to stay in power. In spite of his (after the fact) Rwandan insight, Mbeki, still prefers quiet diplomacy and appeasement strategy in addressing yet another Zim genocide-in-the-making. A catastrophe already so grave, Zimbabwe will probably never completely recover from it.

We all know that when the time comes, Mbeki will again conveniently blame the West for the inevitable mass starvation and loss of life. Everyone would no doubt agree that Bwana knew what was happening at the time and should've foreseen the ultimate tragic outcome. As always, Bwana would be expected to feel guilty and cough up.

The mindless ethnic murder and mayhem around the Great Lakes which led to Richburgs epiphany in the first place has been a constant problem for decades. Only a fortnight ago yet another major massacre of Tutsi's took place in a refugee camp. The tragedy of the 69 protesters who were killed at Sharpville in South Africa almost 50 years ago, is an event observed around the globe to this day. Most of those same observers, however, have already forgotten the roughly 200 Tutsis victims of the latest massacre, barely 2 weeks ago in Burundi (or was it Rwanda, Norm?). Gatumba (they probably never even got the name) is already all but forgotten..

Norman, for the likes of you, the difference between Shapville and Gatumba is simple: Whitey was involved in the one. You and your ilk clearly expect such barbarous behaviour of blacks, but if Whitey oversteps the line it is a different kettle of fish. Whitey is therefore treated like a human, whereas you still find it impossible to hold black Africans accountable for anything, thereby, as Andrew Kenny pointed out, treating them like animals.

Norman's purile comments
It is self-serving drivel such as this which makes me want to vomit. Jaco Strauss lauds the shattering experiences and epiphany of Kieth Richburg during his visit to Africa purely becuase it supports his bigotted, Eurocentric view of Africa - that Africans can do no right and that they never will. It is doomsayers like Mr Strauss that attempt to convince the rest of the world that their narrow minded perspective deserves universal acceptance.

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