The Education of a British-Protected Child Quotes

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The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays by Chinua Achebe
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The Education of a British-Protected Child Quotes Showing 1-22 of 22
“We cannot trample upon the humanity of others without devaluing our own. The Igbo, always practical, put it concretely in their proverb Onye ji onye n'ani ji onwe ya: "He who will hold another down in the mud must stay in the mud to keep him down.”
Chinua Achebe, The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays
“...when we are comfortable and inattentive, we run the risk of committing grave injustices absentmindedly.”
Chinua Achebe, The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays
“Unfortunately, oppression does not automatically produce only meaningful struggle. It has the ability to call into being a wide range of responses between partial acceptance and violent rebellion. In between you can have, for instance, a vague, unfocused dissatisfaction; or, worst of all, savage infighting among the oppressed, a fierce love-hate entanglement with one another like crabs inside the fisherman's bucket, which ensures that no crab gets away. This is a serious issue for African-American deliberation.

To answer oppression with appropriate resistance requires knowledge of two kinds: in the first place, self-knowledge by the victim, which means awareness that oppression exists, an awareness that the victim has fallen from a great height of glory or promise into the present depths; secondly, the victim must know who the enemy is. He must know his oppressor's real name, not an alias, a pseudonym, or a nom de plume!”
Chinua Achebe, The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays
“The foreign correspondent is frequently the only means of getting an important story told, or of drawing the world's attention to disasters in the making or being covered up. Such an important role is risky in more ways than one. It can expose the correspondent to actual physical danger; but there is also the moral danger of indulging in sensationalism and dehumanizing the sufferer. This danger immediately raises the question of the character and attitude of the correspondent, because the same qualities of mind which in the past separated a Conrad from a Livingstone, or a Gainsborough from the anonymous painter of Francis Williams, are still present and active in the world today. Perhaps this difference can best be put in one phrase: the presence or absence of respect for the human person.”
Chinua Achebe, The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays
“Africa is people" may seem too simple and too obvious to some of us. But I have found in the course of my travels through the world that the most simple things can still givwe us a lot of trouble, even the brightest among us: this is particularly so in matters concerning Africa.”
Chinua Achebe, The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays
“Paradoxically, a saint like [Albert] Schweitzer can give one a lot more trouble than King Leopold II, villain of unmitigated guilt, because along with doing good and saving African lives Schweitzer also managed to announce that the African was indeed his brother, but only his junior brother.”
Chinua Achebe, The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays
“I do not see that it is necessary for any people to prove to another that they build cathedrals or pyramids before they can be entitled to peace and safety.”
Chinua Achebe, The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays
“thoughts could just as well have come to Martin Luther King out of the great Bantu dictum on humanity’s indivisibility: Umuntu ngumuntu nqabantu, “A human is human because of other humans.” We cannot trample upon the humanity of others without devaluing our own.”
Chinua Achebe, The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays
“First, his personal achievement. I am not concerned here about marches and boycotts, great and important though they were, but rather about a man who struggled to conquer in himself both fear and hate, two of humanity’s most destructive and limiting emotions. I want to stress struggled and conquered. The struggling is as important as the conquering, perhaps more, because it is that—the fact that the outcome was never a foregone conclusion, that our hero did not enter the stage fully formed and destined to win; that he began where most of us stand today, vulnerable to fear and prejudice and all the other frailties of our human condition; and yet he struggled and won victories—it is that which makes us kin to the hero and enables us to become beneficiaries of his heroic journey and able to derive from it the energy and hope to dare the obstacles on our own little side roads. That is what Martin Luther King should say to each of us, individually.”
Chinua Achebe, The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays
“It is appropriate that we celebrate Martin Luther King, a man who struggled so valiantly to restore humanity to the oppressed and the oppressor.”
Chinua Achebe, The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays
“direction, towards a world of bad systems, bad leadership, and bad followership. The question then is, How do we redirect our steps in a hurry? In other words, where do we begin and have the best chance of success?”
Chinua Achebe, The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays
“The point in all this is that language is a handy whipping boy to summon and belabor when we have failed in some serious way. In other words, we play politics with language, and in so doing conceal the reality and the complexity of our situation from ourselves and from those foolish enough to put their trust in us.”
Chinua Achebe, The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays
“anybody who would dismiss them as mere tinkering would have to be a very committed adversary indeed! And he would have to demonstrate, not merely through intellectual abstractions but by pointing to an actual system in practice somewhere which can show better results and no scandals of one form or another.”
Chinua Achebe, The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays
“Equiano, one of the luckiest among them, acquired an education, freed himself, and wrote a book in 1789: The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by Himself. He preceded his European slave name by his original Igbo name and affirmed his African identity, waving it like a banner in the wind.”
Chinua Achebe, The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays
“This does not in any way close the argument for the development of African languages by the intervention of writers and governments. But we do not have to falsify our history in the process. That would be playing politics. The words of the Czech novelist Kundera should ring in our ears: Those who seek power passionately do so not to change the present or the future but the past—to rewrite history. There is no cause for writers to join their ranks.”
Chinua Achebe, The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays
“White racism in Africa, then, is a matter of politics as well as economics. The story of the black man told by the white man has generally been told to serve political and economic ends.”
Chinua Achebe, The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays
“With Chinelo, I learned that parents must not assume that all they had to do for books was to find the smartest department store and pick up the most attractive-looking book in stock. Our complacency was well and truly rebuked by the poison we now saw wrapped and taken home to our little girl. I learned that if I wanted a safe book for my child I should at least read it through and at best write it myself.”
Chinua Achebe, The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays
“Certainly the anonymous scarecrow portrait was intended to put him in his place, in much the same way as the philosopher David Hume was said to have dismissed Williams’s accomplishments by comparing the admiration people had for him to the praise they might give “a parrot who speaks a few words plainly.” It is clear, then, that in eighteenth-century Britain there were Britons, like the painter Gainsborough, who were ready to accord respect to an African, even an African who was a servant; and there were other Britons, like the anonymous painter of Francis Williams, or the eminent philosopher Hume, who would sneer at a black man’s achievement. And it was not so much a question of the times in which they lived as the kind of people they were. It was the same in the times of Joseph Conrad a century later, and it is the same today!”
Chinua Achebe, The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays
“It is significant, for example, that the moment when churchmen began to doubt the existence of the black man’s soul was the same moment the black man’s body was fetching high prices in the marketplace for their mercantilist cousins and parishioners.”
Chinua Achebe, The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays
“Decolonising the Mind, by an important African writer and revolutionary, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o.”
Chinua Achebe, The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays
“Whether the rendezvous of separate histories will take place in a grand, harmonious concourse or be fraught with bitterness and acrimony will all depend on whether we have learned to recognize one another’s presence and are ready to accord human respect to every people.”
Chinua Achebe, The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays
“Letters are, of course, quite special in my view, for when a reader has been sufficiently moved (or even perturbed) by a book to sit down and compose a letter to the author, something very powerful has happened. Things Fall Apart has brought me a large body of such correspondence from people of different ages and backgrounds and from all the continents.”
Chinua Achebe, The Education of a British-Protected Child: Essays