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“A Berlin Conference was able to tear Africa into shreds and divide her up between three or four imperial flags” -Fanon. In 1884, European imperialists met at the Berlin Conference to “carve the African cake”. These imperialists had an agenda to not only lay the boundaries and rules for the occupation of the African “motherland”, but to also bring civilization to the African natives. This great African cake, as it is metaphorically described, was a delightful taste in the mouths of the colonizer. The “cake“, with its abundance of natural resources and raw materials, was decisively cut and partitioned to various European nations. The diplomats drew lines on maps relinquishing foreign lands, mountains, and rivers to one another. The plan was for the colonizers to rule these designated areas as if there were no inhabitants, with no respect for the claims and rights of the native Africans.
“The magnificent African cake” is a documentary about the colonization of the African continent. Despite the dry, monotonous tone of the narrator, the film has a very informative nature and is detailed in its presentation of information. One of the main themes of this cinema is the relationship between that of the colonizer and the colonized. Although there were varying ideals on how a white man should deal with the natives, it was largely a history of harsh oppression. From outright murder and enslavement to unfair economic taxation and exploitative labor situations, the Europeans worked diligently to destroy the spirit of the African peoples. The inhumane and sadistic treatment towards the native people could only be justified by Europeans perceiving Africans as lazy, barbaric savages, who required an oppressor to “civilize” them. From this massive attempt to destroy the African spirit sprung various reactionary/revolutionary responses from Black Africa. One example is the many Africans turning towards Islam in...
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