Summary of Naming the Unspeakable

African Civilization I

            The book states the Europeans’ dehumanization acts that primarily destroyed the black life, civilization, and culture. The destructions being so pervasive, monstrous, perpetual, and devastating. The dehumanization process has long been perpetuated across centuries and deployed through shifting modes, for instance, slavery, segregation, colonization, and even through apartheid. The authors state that the primary reason for naming the unspeakable by the Africologists is to illuminate the magnitude of the Whites’ black life destructions, who have distorted and falsified history. The author argues that just like the Jews using the term holocaust to define the wholesale destruction and loss of life in Nazi Germany, the African enslavement by the European qualifies to be termed African holocaust. Like Clarke, the author posits that no one owns the word holocaust; therefore, the European enslavement of Africa being an act of crime, destruction of culture and civilization, matches the definition of the holocaust.

            The enslavement of Africans was referred to as the slave trade, deeming the white perpetrators as traders. The term trade helped legitimize the dehumanization process, as the slaves were perceived as a type of commodity. The term Slave trade distorted the reality of history and helped control the perception, although the enslavement was a crime of epic magnitude.  From the book, it is evident that nomenclature used in history should be reviewed and the use of rigorous names of oppression experiences to stress the damages and intentionality of the perpetrators. The nomenclature must be able to distinguish and exemplify the essence of African’s continuing plight.

Reference

Williams, W. (2008). Naming the Unspeakable: Breakthroughs in Africological    Nomenclature. Ed. Katherine Bankole. Africalogical Perspectives: Historical and        Contemporary Analysis of Race and Africana Studies, 51-69.

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