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By Robert W. July

Through the paintings of major African writers, artists, musicians and educators—from Nobel prizewinner Wole Soyinka to names infrequently recognized outdoors their local lands—An African Voice describes the contributions of the arts to the success of independence for the peoples of black Africa following the second one global battle. whereas focusing on cultural independence, those top humanists additionally exhibit the intimate connection among cultural freedom and actual political fiscal liberty.

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These comments by a Nigerian official might as easily have been voiced in a dozen other countries-in Rwanda and Burundi, in Chad or the Sudan, all destined to face savage, wasting civil wars. Kenya and Uganda were to find their freedom sorely tried by tribal regionalism; even in Ghana, with its martyred "prison graduates," there were serious divisive forces based upon ethnic and parochial antipathies. Perhaps most striking of all was Cameroon, the first of seventeen states to reach independence during 1960, its solemnities conducted under tight security in the face of terrorist attacks that had shortly before claimed forty lives and caused much destruction of property in Douala," Such fratricidal behavior was compounded by another political legacy of colonialism, the institution of legislative democracy.

Nyerere, therefore, turned to the communal socialism that he perceived in traditional African society, urging a reassertion of the community solidarity of a way of life in which wealth was produced and shared by all. Nyerere's personalized view of a modern Africa emerged as a mix of old and new, Africa and Europe. From Europe he looked primarily for technology and financial investment; from Africa he sought a state of mind that would unify a nation of citizens committed to the common good. "Our first step," said Nyerere, "must be to reeducate ourselves; to regain our former attitude of mind.

Nyerere called this attitude the spirit of ujamaa"familyhood," in the traditional meaning of the term, "African socialism" as a modern free translation. In either sense, he noted, it was an African tradition to be applied in a new mutation. We, in Africa have no more need for being "converted" to socialism than we hflve of being "taught" democracy. Both are rooted in our own past-in the traditional society which produced us. Modern African socialism can draw from its traditional heritage the recognition of "society" as an extension of the basic family unit ....

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