One of the most valuable remarks on Africa that I have ever heard was the angry question of a young Nigerian politician who said to me: “You don’t expect our sculpture to look like yours —why should you expect our governments to?” The special virtue of Immanuel Wallerstein’s book is that, unlike most of the recent glut of Africana, it appreciates the wisdom of this question and shows a concern for what makes African politics more than just Western politics with a black face.
Wallerstein dedicates his book to “the young people of Africa who are forging their future as they deem wise and who thereby merit our respect,” and his interest throughout is in their goals, their methods, their philosoph...
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