South Africa: Ordeal and Hope

South Africa: Ordeal and Hope


Question: Mr. Abrahams, what does Africa mean to you?
Answer: It means the people I know most intimately, the people with whom I grew up. It’s emotional; subjective. It is one of those complex things that goes into the making of a man. In relation to the rest of the world, the African has been a rather special kind of person. In your Western world, less than a person in so many ways; in all ways. And for that reason my orientation has been toward a kind of greater-African feeling. Africa means to me a challenge and a dream as well as the place where I was born. It is the last great uncommitted continent and it is going to have a tremendous influence on the future shape of the world.

Q.: When you speak of your larger concept of Africa, this subjective
concept of Africa, do you include the entire Continent?
A.: Emotionally it’s Africa south of the Sahara. Intellectually, recent events north of the Sahara have tended to make for a widening of this orientation, but the emotional attachment is still to the south.

Q.: Can you tell us something about African nationalism? Is
it confined to the cities and the intellectuals? And the African people, the
masses—what does nationalism mean to them?
A.: It began among the city intellectuals. Naturally, logically, as it should and would. The basis of African nationalism ...

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