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Ali Mazrui and Skip Gates' Africa Series

Wole Soyinka


Ali Mazrui's "preliminary" critique of Henry Louis Gates' Africa series has been pounding cyber-space with an energy that I have not experienced since I became its reluctant and fitful tenant. I am not on the iasa-list - to which this is addressed - nor on any other circulation list, yet I have had this critique copied to me from over two dozen directions, sometimes culled from other lists of whose existence I was not even aware - not surprisingly, since, as already admitted, I am not really into Internet. I find it odd, very odd. There appears to be a driving mechanism behind this, quite outside the normal exchange of opinions on a work that is admittedly, by its very nature, bound to raise controversy. I find it odd also that, even more than Charles Johnson's fair summary of various critiques, Ali Mazrui's text appears to have surfaced with the greatest frequency. Of course, we must assume that this have to do with his stature as the undisputed African specialist of our time.

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West Africa Review. ISSN: 1525-4488 (online).
Editors: Adeleke Adeeko, Nkiru Nzegwu, and Olufemi Taiwo.

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