Amilcar Cabral was a revolutionary, poet and leader of the national liberation movement that freed Guinea-Bissau from Portuguese colonialism. His influence was spread across Africa and the world. Cabral was one of Africa’s foremost revolutionary theorist and practitioner of his time. In the essay below for Theoretical Weekends, Cabral explains the significance of culture. As he wrote,
The following is taken from History Is A Lesson.
National Liberation and Culture
This text was originally delivered on February 20, 1970; as part of the Eduardo Mondlane (1) Memorial Lecture Series at Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, under the auspices of The Program of Eastern African Studies. It was translated from the French by Maureen Webster.
When Goebbels, the brain behind Nazi propaganda, heard culture being discussed, he brought out his revolver. That shows that the Nazis, who were and are the most tragic expression of imperialism and of its thirst for domination--even if they were all degenerates like Hitler, had a clear idea of the value of culture as a factor of resistance to foreign domination.
- either to liquidate practically all the population of the dominated country, thereby eliminating the possibilities for cultural resistance;
- or to succeed in imposing itself without damage to the culture of the dominated people--that is, to harmonize economic and political domination of these people with their cultural personality.
1. Eduardo Mondlane, was the first President of the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO). He was assassinated by Portuguese agents on Feb. 3, 1960.