Restoring Africa's Heartland: Earth, Women, Culture, and Community

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4 Scopus citations


This article will examine the issue of the environmental devastation and cultural despoliation of the African continent, rooted in the destruction of the Earth conceptualized in medieval and postmedieval European industrial cultures that viewed the Earth as a commodity for extraction and exploitation. The subsequent industrially induced erasure of forests; decimation of the landscape; pollution of rivers, seaways, and water systems; vitiation of clean air; and the continued subjugation of women has produced a continent now in social, economic, and cultural decay in many respects. The article is concerned with addressing the crisis of environmental degradation, economic underdevelopment, and concomitant disempowerment of women. It painstakingly proposes Indigenous cultural and cosmological approaches in the 21st century as ways of addressing the crisis of environmental despoliation and gender oppression in Africa so that humans and all life on the continent are empowered to live in community and harmony with each other, and conjointly build sustainable socioeconomies that serve the needs of Africa's people, particularly those who reside in impoverished contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)426-448
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Black Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2013


  • Earth
  • Indigenous
  • culture
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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