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Our predicament at the present time throws up new questions. Neo-colonial man is asking a different set of questions than the old colonial man. Sometimes if a person gets trapped in a previous moment of history, you find it hard to carry on a conversation with him or her because they are still out to defend something that you’re not against, but you’re not with because it is no longer the relevant thing. Why should we get caught up in making tremendous tirades against the missionaries or saying the Europeans were terrible fellows, look at how these fellows exploited us? Why should we continually speak in this grand singular — the African is this and the European is the other? That was a formulation that was necessary at a particular point in time, when we were still within the whole identity crisis, when we were trying to evolve a peoplehood. But the moment we move beyond that, neo-colonial man can’t talk about the Vietnamese in the singular or the African or the Guyanese, etc. We must look at real life.

In real life, Guyanese live in certain different ways, have contradictions among themselves, have a relationship with the rest of the world. We must try to deal with the resolution of those contradictions. And that is also the case in Africa.

WALTER RODNEY


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