It is difficult to give a definition of “culture” because this word can be interpreted in many different ways. It appears very much that the African Continent has entered a crisis of civilization which is the consequence of a cultural crisis.
Few questions constantly recur: Does Africa has its own culture? What is the role of culture in the African continent? And more specifically, what is culture?
These questions are as difficult as confusing. So we won’t start debating here on the definition of “culture”. We will just explain the term “culture” as the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people, defined by everything from language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts.
The Center for Advance Research on Language Acquisition goes a step further, defining culture as shared patterns of behaviors and interactions, cognitive constructs and understanding that are learned by socialization. Thus, it can be seen as the growth of a group identity fostered by social patterns unique to the group.
Africa has been denied from having a culture for centuries and was considered as a primitive continent. Very different from the European culture, the African culture is more ancient than the western culture. However, history teaches us that the African Negro is at the very heart of a miracle….which is the Egyptian miracle. We will rather say “the African Negro miracle”.
The “Greek miracle” which is a self-worth inflated term used by Renan, is not only subsequent to the Egyptian miracle, but also the outcome of this African Negro Miracle. During the Aegean period, the influence of the Negro culture has been largely predominant at a time when White culture was particularly unsophisticated.
It will take thousands of years before Indo-Europeans can adequately benefit from the teachings of Black Egypt. The technical skills in Black Egypt reached the highest degree of perfection. There were various groups of skilled workers: ceramists, goldsmiths, upholsterers etc.…
Ancient Egyptians manufactured fabrics with tools and techniques which are still used today in Africa. It is in the Nile Valley where almost all African Theology concepts were born. Hermetic and very mystical, these Theology concepts have kept in Black Africa their original purity, greatness and poetry.
Portuguese traveler’s texts dating from the 15th and 17th century and Arabic writer’s testimonies show that African civilizations have preserved the most of Egyptian traditions until the end of the Middle Ages. The Ghana and Mali Empires existed in a period of history when Europe had nothing comparable to offer.
How did the African Negro break from his glorious past? Wars, the collapse of social organization, and the overpopulation have provoked along the Nile River successive exoduses into the interior of the African continent.
In this new geographic environment, there was no more need to fight for living. The generosity of the nature has provoked in the long term the lack of effort which is responsible for slowness or regression of every civilization.
The disconnection with the original Egyptian culture, added to that the absence of need and the loss of key elements have imposed the cultural orientation which best correspond to the new living environment. It also must be said that colonization has contributed to the annihilation of the African culture.
In various aspects, the western civilization has materially dominated the world from the 15th century to the 17th century. It is obvious that western colonizers were determined to eradicate the African culture and establish their own civilization everywhere in Africa: the destruction of statues, the prohibition of sacred rituals, and the disaggregation of a thousand-of-year old social organization have contributed to the annihilation of African culture.