ERIC Number: EJ866708
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: N/A
I Didn't Know There Were Cities in Africa!
Teaching Tolerance, n34 p36-43 Fall 2008
As Professor Michael Bamidele Adeyemi of the University of Botswana suggests, "Americans believe that Africa is a country, that Africa is "still uncivilized," that the average African is polygamous, and that Africa is not urbanized." In fact, the African continent encompasses a diverse set of more than 50 nations, each made up of a variety of urban and rural cultures, lifestyles and socioeconomic realities. Rates of urbanization in Africa are the highest in the world. By 2025, more than half of the African population will be urban. However, images in the news, popular media and school textbooks often highlight African people living in abject poverty; rarely do they show the realities of wealth, power and good health that also exist throughout the continent. Inaccurate impressions of Africa start early, as children are exposed to stereotypical information in books, the news media, advertisements, and film and TV programs such as "The Lion King," "Madagascar" and "George of the Jungle," to name just a few. Because teachers, parents, and other adults are influenced by ongoing exposure to these stereotypes, they must carefully examine and challenge their own knowledge and assumptions about African environments, customs, traditions and cultural realities. This article presents some recommendations for using an anti-bias curricular approach when creating learning experiences about the African continent for children in the United States.
Descriptors: Textbooks, African Culture, Foreign Countries, News Media, African Studies, Ethnic Stereotypes, Racial Attitudes, Social Attitudes, Social Bias, Urbanization, Mass Media Effects, Films, Cultural Pluralism, Cultural Awareness, Social Justice, Social Studies, Racial Relations, Consciousness Raising
Southern Poverty Law Center. 400 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36104. Tel: 334-956-8200; Fax: 334-956-8484; Web site: http://www.tolerance.org/teach/magazine/index.jsp
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa; United States