Main Argument in Re-Introducing People Without History

Kofia ya Vita

Question: HI 260; Select one of the following readings on African historiography and make an appraisal of its main arguments in one page. 1. E.S. Atieno Odhiambo, “Re-introducing the people without History” 2. B. Swai, “The Balance-sheet Africanist Historiography”

I am going to use reading no 1. By E.S. Atieno Odhiambo, “Re-introducing people without History”
History views as the interpretation of the past in which serious efforts has been made to filter out what happened in the past. (Arthur Marwick) (1992 – page 3). European colonization subjects of African kingdoms and the stateless communities were doubted as “people without history”. They propose that, the history of Africa is began after interaction between Africans and Europeans (colonialism). European authorship from Hegel down to H.R Roper asserted that Africa constituted a blank darkness and “darkness was no suitable subject for History” (Trevor – Roper 1966;9).
Colonial historiography presented European as the main actors on any significant transformation of the Africa continent since its discovery. Africa nationalist seem colonial historiography as bastard historiography due to the argument that Africans had their own history even before the coming of the Europeans.
From the beginning of the 1970’s African history branched into various specialization such like the nature of domestic slavery in Africa before and after the Atlantic phase, the impact of the Atlantic slave trade on African economies demographies and development.
Author Helge Kjeshus (1976) sketched how pre-colonial societies controlled their environment and were victors in the ecological struggles to the end of nineteeth century. This inturpted by violent of Germans, were this period the historiography has become more complex as both archival and oral histories.
Oral interviews become the accepted field work methodology for colonial history as well especially since the ordinary Africans were hardly especially since the ordinary Africans were hardly represented in the official archival record as makers of their own history. This recovery of the histories of African resistance, peasants, migrant labor, squatters, regional trade religious history, agrarian struggles, woman histories, intellectual history and issues of moral equity were all achieved by undergraduate students and by foreign and local historians over two decades.
Thomas Hodgkins nationalism in tropical Africa (1956), a populist text which sought to equate nationalism with any protest phenomenon generally. With the attainment of political independence as nationalist historiography emerged to study the origin and course of African nationalism through the lenses of modernization theory. This help in emergence of new elites who facilitated in writing of the history of the new state as the history of “African voice.”
Beyond the historians guild the twentienth century has witnessed the production of popular historical literature in Africa, produced locally often in nonwestern languages by individuals and collectivities believing in their past, giving themselves their own history which tell those pasts and which have meaning authority and significance for the local population hence African nationalist concluded that Africans had their own history even before the coming of colonialism.
Written by;
Kitalula Abubakari
Afigbo, A.E. 1993. Colonial Historiography. In T. Falola (ed) African Historiography, Harlow; Longman

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