A question on Authenticity

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There is a push in African discourse to be true to ones roots. Authenticity often calls for disrobing of the colonial identity, including dropping European names and customs. For an intellectual, this provides a certain conflict. We are inducted into a learning that is not historically African and whose movements hold values lauded as ‘universal’ but having no African elements. To be fair, Africa’s absence is often because Africa was unknown to the movement founders and not because they set out to intentionally ignore the continent’s contributions. In any case, an African joining a foreign intellectual movement and subscribing to its values faces the authenticity challenge – can an African, remaining true, claim to inherit intellectually or be part of a movement from other parts of the world? Read more