Leopold Sedar’ Senghor’s dream was finally fulfilled after more than half a century, with the opening of the Museum of Black Civilisations in Dakar, Senegal. What is truly inspiring about the 150,000 sq. foot architectural masterpiece modeled after Senegalese traditional houses is that it celebrates the black history from the cradle of mankind, to significant African civilizations, traditions and major events such as the slave trade.
I see it as an important step to teaching our children their roots and making them proud of the black color of their skin.
It is saddening however that most of the artifacts that should be in the museum are still in the possession of European countries. These important cultural objects were taken away in colonial times when the European countries plundered and ended what was a flourishing African culture. The French in particular hold most of these artifacts, and there is need for urgency in repatriating them.
It is also notable that the museum was built with huge grants from China, an element that removes its authenticity from as an African project.
I love Africa. She is not perfect, but she is beautifully flawed. We only need to show our pride in her and build her up. Africa is rich. Take for instance, Ivory Coast is the largest producer of cocoa in the world, Kenya leads in tea production, Central African Republic is rich in minerals. The list is endless. We should protect this wealth and use it to prove the dignity of our continent.
Black is great!