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Me v We

“African thinking, African philosophy, is a big thing. But Africans think and Africans do in a different way. They create art, they create philosophy, they crea…te art more monumental than Michelangelo, and they never signed their name. Because they lived in a society that is collective. While the Europeans live in a society that is individual. That is why you are trapped in this society. They lived in a ‘we’ society and Europeans live in a ‘me’ society. It’s a different kind of concept. The Africans lived for the totality, the collectiveness of the whole society. And the Europeans live for the ‘me-ness’ of the individual in the society. This is why every time you see a piece of European art you see somebody’s name under it. But yet the Benin art of Africa there’s nobodies name. Who created the Benin art, the great art of Egypt, the great river art of the Nigel, the art of Nigeria, all this art? This art is as good and sometimes better than the best of Europe. Yet the artist didn’t even sign their name. Because the art was created for the whole people.” — John Henrik Clarke, Pan-Afrikanist American writer, historian, professor, and a pioneer in the creation of Africana studies and professional institutions in academia



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