It’s ironic that Things Fall Apartby Chinua Achebe, a book important for its rejection of a stereotype, has become the shorthand for that very stereotype. I’m talking about our common (mis)conceptions about Africans.
Two of the most common themes in writing about Africa are ‘things fall apart’ and some variation on ‘darkness’: the ‘Dark Continent’, the Heart of Darkness. I’ve noticed this before, but it came to mind recently when Chris Blattman complained about the quality of writing on Africa. (more…)