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By Bruce S. Hall

The mobilization of neighborhood rules approximately racial distinction has been very important in producing, and intensifying, civil wars that experience happened because the finish of colonial rule in the entire nations that straddle the southern fringe of the Sahara wilderness. From Sudan to Mauritania, the racial different types deployed in modern conflicts usually hearken again to an older historical past within which blackness might be equated with slavery and non-blackness with predatory and uncivilized banditry. This publication strains the advance of arguments approximately race over a interval of greater than 350 years in a single very important position alongside the southern fringe of the Sahara wasteland: the Niger Bend in northern Mali. utilizing Arabic records held in Timbuktu, in addition to neighborhood colonial resources in French and oral interviews, Bruce S. corridor reconstructs an African highbrow background of race that lengthy predated colonial conquest, and which has persevered to orient inter-African kin ever considering that.

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Extra resources for A History of Race in Muslim West Africa, 1600-1960

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It would be very difficult to imagine that the historical interactions between North and West Africans along the Sahel, and for that matter on the other side of the Sahara Desert in North Africa, would not have been understood in terms of some form of difference associated with the obvious variations in physical appearance. What is important, though, is not the recognition of difference, but the ways in which it was constructed and reconstructed over time, and the historically specific effects that this had on particular social relationships.

Throughout the book, I rely on much of this literature for the arguments that I make. But by focusing on written sources that permit analysis of the intellectual history of genealogy, slavery, and racial difference, I believe that this book is able to show the ways that these ideas developed and changed in the Sahel over a longer period of time (four centuries) than most oral methodologies permit. My approach allows me to demonstrate that the primary dynamic in the development of racial ideas in the Sahel was not the colonial construction of knowledge or the introduction of modern European ideas into an African milieu where they had hitherto been foreign.

Ws/blogs/ChrisRedfield 16 Introduction many places, including Sahelian West Africa, what was new looked an awful lot like what it was supposed to have replaced. colonialism and african identity I certainly do not wish to imply by this line of argument that the impacts of modern European ideas about race on other, non-European constructions of difference have been anything but profound. But the borrowings from Europeans were not mere imitations. In many colonial situations, a language of race was shared by both colonizer and colonized, albeit in different configurations and meanings for each.

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