Pr. M. Fyle, Ohio State:

In our quest for direction towards healing the rift between Africans in the diaspora and African Americans, many useful proposals have been put forward, literally and usefully castigating ourselves for what we haven't done and need to do. A strong area of concern has rightly been that Africans should seek to obtain more balanced information about where African Americans are coming from, the factors that have influenced their background over the centuries. Also that African Americans should seek to to do the same about Africa and the African background. Ogbu Kalu's intervention stated that "African scholars tend to complain that AAs have absorbed the white anthropological images of Africa/Africans." While we emphasize this element, we should also remember that Africans in Africa have also absorbed much the same indoctrination. This is why it is difficult for Africans to defend and explain their own background against that "white anthropological" assault, which continues without abatement. My concern has been that the urban African middle class culture blends western and African cultures, but believes that the African culture in that mix is inferior. The unfortunate factor is that the African urban elite has not moved from that thinking and it will take a bulldozer to start shifting them from that attitude. So we, Africans in the diaspora and those most influential in Africa itself, need to start thinking about more properly educating ourselves about our own background, in short seeking balanced information to enable us to re-valorize our own cultural institutions before we can more properly complain, more importantly start trying to influence others about where we are coming from.