Achebe considers HoD racist because it doesn't give African peoples a voice; they have barely any dialogue ("mista kurtz, he dead") and are objects in the story (the forest of death, etc.). The Expedition Portal story may not have much dialogue from the Congolese, but there aren't many opportunities for it insofar as it is an un-doctored (hopefully) travel account. They do receive a large book of testimonials about militia violence in the Congo, which constitutes quite a large voice for Congolese people. Yet to my knowledge they never published or made public that book of testimonials. I would definitely like to read it if its available somewhere.
>>7649597 It's "racist" in the same way the Three-Fifth's Compromise was.
Modern people think that the 3/5ths comp. was an attempt to make Black people's voices not count, however, it was just the opposite. This was pre-emancipation, so the vast majority of black people were slaves. No slave is going to vote against his master's wishes for fear of death, so a 1 slave = 1 vote system would have resulted in RIDICULOUS amounts of ballet stuffing for pro-slavery people.
In the same way, HoD is racist because nobody fucking understands what zeitgeist is.
Heart of Darkness is a masterpiece that portrays Africans as caricatures that, while racist, the message of the novel was progressive for its time. Things Fall Apart is also a masterpiece, and portrays life in Africa more realistically.
>>7650149 >portrays Africans as caricatures this ignores the way the novel was highly stylized. it's not like when we turn to the conversation of white characters we get Jane Austen. Black or white, characters in Conrad are all surprisingly empty
A dead white European male was teaching a class on English literature, known tool of imperialist oppression. “Before the class begins, you must get on your knees and worship King Leopold II, greatest monarch the world has ever known, even greater than James Monroe!”
At this moment, a black, female, transgendered, cis-hetero-homoflexible Latino transvestite man who has over 20,000 Tweets and 12,000 Tumblr posts stood up and held up a novel.
“What is this book?”
The professor smirked oppressively and smugly replied “Heart of Darkness, by Polish-British writer Joseph Conrad, an intelligent and insightful study of the primitive mind of the African peoples.”
“Wrong. The book is a racist and oppressive piece of propaganda designed to dehumanize the proud peoples of the African continent. Conrad is a bigot. If the book truly had merit as you claimed, Oprah would’ve reviewed it on her show already.”
The professor was visibly shaken, and dropped his chalk and Iron Cross. He stormed out of the room crying those DWEM crocodile tears.
The students applauded and all registered Marxist that day and accepted Martin Luther King Jr. as their lord and savior. An okapi pounced into the room and stood next to a south-up map centered around Africa. The students joined hand in hand and sang Toto’s Africa several times, and Jesse Jackson, king of all black people, showed up to enact affirmative action across the country.
The professor lost his tenure and was fired the next day. He was beaten to death with yams by villagers and was tossed into the Sahara desert for all eternity.
That student’s name? Chinua Achebe.
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