The African Century?
At the end of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s great novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the escaped slave George Harris, after achieving a university education in Europe, announces his decision to leave the white man’s countries, where he can expect at best to be only tolerated. His plan is to settle with his family in Liberia, where he can devote his energy and intelligence to building a distinctively African Christian civilization as an example to the world both of liberation and forgiveness. George explained his vision to Mrs. Stowe’s millions of nineteenth-century readers in a vivid prophecy of Africa’s destiny, which I will quote:
I trust that the development of Africa is to be essentially a Christian one. If not a dominant and commanding race, Africans are, at least, an affectionate, magnanimous, and forgiv . . .