We Come as Members of the Superior Race

We Come as Members of the Superior Race

Distortions and Education Policy Discourse in Sub-Saharan Africa

Obed Mfum-Mensah


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Westerners have long represented Africans as “backwards,” “primitive,” and “unintelligent,” distortions which have opened the door for American philanthropies to push their own education agendas in Africa. We Come as Members of the Superior Race discusses the origin and history of these dangerous stereotypes and western “infantilization” of African societies, exploring how their legacy continues to inform contemporary educational and development discourses. By viewing African societies as subordinated in a global geopolitical order, these problematic stereotypes continue to influence education policy and research in Sub-Sahara Africa today.


Obed Mfum-Mensah:

Obed Mfum-Mensah is Professor of Sociology of Education at Messiah University at Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. His research includes postcolonial analysis of education policy and knowledge transfer in Sub-Saharan Africa, education of marginalized groups, curriculum theorizing, and alternative forms of schooling in the developing world.