Sunday, March 7, 2021
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”According to Du Bois the hugely limited African American could not articulate or celebrate his true self because his aspiration and soul were measured by the tape of a (racist) world that looks on in amused contempt and pity”. Yet, Du Bois noted the African American is also born with the gift of “second sight” that allows him to understand the two worlds he inhabits- the American and the African. ‘ … Tunji Olaopa Recently, the Centre for Black Culture & International Understanding, (CBCIU) Osogbo,  held a conference on the institution of the Alaafin of Oyo, a famous empire many centuries ago, that embodies the richness of the cultures and traditions of the Yoruba race. One of the papers titled: ‘’Aláàfin as Traditional Brand and Agent for Modernization in Yorùbáland’’ was delivered by Prof. Tunji Olaopa; the Executive Vice-Chairman, of the Ibadan School of Government & Public Policy (ISGPP) It is a MUST READ for all who wish to know more about their past, particularly our brothers and sisters in African Diaspora. Here is the concluding part of the lecture by Olaopa that was first published yesterday. ALAAFIN’S SYMBOLIC ROLE: At the second level of my argument is what I consider to be the role of the Alaafin’s symbolic role as a moderator of modernization. This becomes obvious with little reflection. Modernization is the sum total of the colonial ideas of civilisation, reason, progress and the use of the ideas for creating the normative definitions of freedom, liberal economy, religion, secularization, democratic governance, nation state, technology, education, consumption and the “privileging of scientism as the highest form of knowledge”. Those who are outside these norms are considered uncivilized, or less civilized, depending on their perceived degree of assimilation of these norms. Our problem in Nigeria and more specifically Yorubaland is not that we are not modernised. Indeed, we are hyper-modernised. However, we are not modern because we are psychologically dislocated from the substance of our history and culture. Within the ideological process of globalization, what we call Yoruba culture have become an exotic commodity that we offer up as tourist item for the consumption of foreigners. It no longer served as the basis of our identity or self-recognition. The challenge of self-recognition is a long standing one that has faced different members of the human race at different times. At the turn of the twentieth century, famous Black American civil rights…

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