dpa via The Economist

The recent tragic death of George Floyd, another black victim of police brutality in America, shook the world.

Although occurring amidst arguably the deadliest pandemic in modern history, the coronavirus, news of his death stirred up a lot of emotions across the globe. These emotions led to protests throughout all 50 states in America, and even spilled over to other countries, from the U.K. to Canada, and even to Brazil.

It certainly is a momentous time in world history as protesters across the world brought to the fore, uncomfortable conversations and harsh truths about racism and its many socio-economic and political implications on black and other non-white populations.

Unsurprisingly, the history of the slave trade, European colonialism, and imperialism, have come under intense scrutiny. In the UK, for example, the statue of Edward Colston, a 17th-century slave trader, who had overseen the dehumanization of thousands of black Africans was brought down and rolled into the Bristol Harbor.



A statue of Belgium’s King Leopold II is smeared with paint and graffiti in the center of Brussels.

Similarly, in Belgium, a few statues of King Leopold II, the brutal and ruthless colonialist under whose authority millions of Congolese people were maimed and killed, have been defaced and removed.

The continent of Africa was not spared from the global implications of such a historical event. In Ghana, home to major slave ports, authorities paid tribute to George Floyd and called for an end to the dehumanization of black people across the globe. 

Changes in Racial Consciousness 

Africans on the continent, it could be argued, have less racial consciousness in comparison to African-Americans, and are more likely to have a stronger ethnoreligious sense of identity. However, to embrace de-colonization and emancipate African minds, it may now become pertinent for Africans all over, to address this colonial past.

The global capitalist system is heavily dependent on African resources, and Western neo-colonialism, as well as China’s relatively recent economic interests, have made this even more apparent.

Nonetheless, it is imperative for African countries to decolonize the names of African landmarks, sites, history, and school curricula, and to assert their strategic importance on the global front.

And there has never been a better time to seize the day and exploit global political fervor and goodwill, than now.