Reflections from the Metropole

I have been living in the metropole aka London for a couple of months now

I am studying in an institution that a couple of decades ago trained colonial administrators

But it is 2019 and formal colonialism ended, no?

I am a history major studying a course titled “The History of the World”

The irony of this course is that it is supposed to be revisionist

This revisionist history is supposed to decenter Europe because this institution is now a radical Marxist teaching institution

This revisionist history is instead focused on Eurasia but mentions the Americas here and there

I am an African historian

I came here to study the history of Africa

A history I am deprived of in a new-colonial Kenyan Syllabus

A history I kind of found in America through a former-Egyptologist-turned-Historian Senegalese mentor

He taught me the history of Africa from the ancient period

He taught me the history of slavery

He taught me the history of Sankara and Lumumba

But when he finished teaching me it was not enough

So I came here to learn about Africa’s history in the context of the world

The revisionist history course finally speaks of Africa

It talks of the slave trade

It talks of new imperialism and the partition of Africa

I have heard this narrative for about 15 years now

I am tired of this narrative

But this after all is the metropole

And the history I am looking for can only be the history of the colony

Such is the life of looking for a decolonized education in the colonizer’s backyard

Published by

Atieno Otieno

An intersectional learner, unapologetic feminist, radical afro-centrist and holistic wellness enthusiast passionate about decentralizing knowledge and leaving an impactful footprint in this digital world.

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