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Indigenous VisionsRediscovering the World of Franz Boas$
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Ned Blackhawk and Isaiah Lorado Wilner

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780300196511

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300196511.001.0001

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The River of Salvation Flows Through Africa: Edward Wilmot Blyden, Raphael Armattoe, and the Redemption of the Culture Concept

The River of Salvation Flows Through Africa: Edward Wilmot Blyden, Raphael Armattoe, and the Redemption of the Culture Concept

Chapter:
(p.279) Chapter 12 The River of Salvation Flows Through Africa: Edward Wilmot Blyden, Raphael Armattoe, and the Redemption of the Culture Concept
Source:
Indigenous Visions
Author(s):

Sean Hanretta

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300196511.003.0013

The concept of culture, in the Boasian sense of the learned, variable, and mutable “structures” underlying “the behavior of the individuals composing a social group collectively and individually,” has played an important role in the production of knowledge about many human societies. This chapter examines two moments in the history of the culture concept as applied to West Africa. First, a moment during the process of the concept's formation in the mid-nineteenth century; second, a moment in the 1950s that revealed the political limits of appeals to culture. Juxtaposing the lives of Edward Wilmot Blyden, the father of Pan-Africanism, and the Ghanaian doctor and poet Raphael Armattoe, one of the first Africans nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, the chapter illuminates the diverse networks and shifting political valences that shaped the rise, redemption, and circumscription of the culture concept in Africa from colonialism to neoliberalism.

Keywords:   culture concept, Edward Wilmot Blyden, Raphael Armattoe, West Africa, colonialism, neoliberalism

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