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The African presenceRepresentations of Africa in the construction of Britishness$
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Graham Harrison

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719088858

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719088858.001.0001

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Africa and the search for Britishness

Africa and the search for Britishness

(p.71) 5 Africa and the search for Britishness
The African presence

Graham Harrison

Manchester University Press

This chapter argues that Africa campaigning has played a key role in the construction of British national identity. This is evident in the self-conscious way that individual African campaigns tend to refer back to other campaigns in order to claim to be part of a national tradition. The chapter goes on to discern the ways in which Christian and liberal moralities have been both at the heart of Britishness and also common within representations of Africa. The chapter details how these connections are established through the representation of Africa as in need of salvation. Additionally, the chapter notes that representations of Africa and Africans are generally extremely simplistic and oriented around the theme of poverty. As such, the representation of Africa is substantially ‘introverted’, that is, focussed on British peoples perceptions of their own nationality.

Keywords:   Britishness, National identity, Christianity, Liberalism, Anti Apartheid, Make Poverty History, Nationalism

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