Black History Month (BHM) in the UK was initiated by Ghanaian Akyaaba Addai Sebbo. As part of this educational period, I went to Leytonstone Library, east London for a short film screening, ‘I’m an African’ by Alfred Mante of www.narrowpathfilms.co.uk.
The documentary has anecdotal tales of young British-born Africans in London. It also touches on how people of African and Caribbean descent perceive themselves and divisions between the two communities, in London especially. It’s believed that once upon a time, children of African parents were ashamed to be associated with the continent, especially with negative images of a starved and ravaged Africa often shown in the media. The film screening was well attended by an audience which was not exclusively black, and triggered a lively debate at the end.
During slavery and Africa’s colonial period Europeans had a strategy to stay on top of the game, ‘divide and rule’ (Yes, the same term that got Cambridge educated MP Diane Abbott, into hot water!):
- From the Latin ‘Divide et impera’. Win by getting one’s opponents to fight among themselves. This expression appeared in the English language from the 1600s (dictionary.reference.com)
- A combination of political, military and economic strategies that aim to gain and maintain power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into chunks that individually have less power than the one implementing the strategy. In order to rule securely, don’t allow alliances of your enemies (wiktionary)
- Continue reading Britannia ruled the waves