ABSTRACT

Representational tropes about Africa remain shockingly, yet unsurprisingly, unchanged despite the growing and equally persistent critique. Recent attempts to reimagine these tropes do not only marginalize Africans but also flatten out inequalities in the United States by drawing on ideas about Africa that ignore the geopolitical inequalities between the regions. The popular culture at the time was unabashedly sentimental and unashamedly put the white savior figure front and center, leaving Africans to play sometimes beautiful and sometimes harrowing roles as minor characters in the background to their good works. Two decades on and the United States is reeling again, this time from attacks on Black Americans and on the idea that they live in a country worthy of global respect. The chapter also presents an overview on the key concepts discussed in this book.