List of myths





Myth of Lack of


This myth promotes the idea that Africans are isolated from global processes and not―modern or―advanced, instead they are considered a?backward people.


Myth of the

Timeless Present

This myth promotes the idea that Africa is a timeless place where everything has always been a certain way (i.e. timeless). Therefore, Africans are less evolved than others, specifically Europeans and Americans.


Myth of the


The uses of the words primitive or exotic encompass a value judgment. Their use means that there is something better (less primitive, more modern/advanced, smarter). These are reference points generally used to demonstrate how one culture is better than another (because I use a stove to boil water instead of an open fire does not make me a better or smarter person). This is a problem of the language of description. Similar problems occur with use of the words?tribe and?tribal.


Myth of


This myth promotes the idea that African History is static rather than dynamic. African traditions are viewed as always existing in an unchanging way.


Myth of African


Africa is often viewed as one country or one similar place. However, over 800 different languages, wide cultural differences, economic disparities and other differences dispute this myth.


Myth of the Lack

of History

This myth states that Africa is a place without history and arises from colonization efforts to justify racist policies that focused on constructing the idea that white people brought history to Africans; it plays into the ideas that Africa is timeless and static.


Geography Myths

These vary but include the idea that Africa is mostly jungle or desert or that there are no?modern‖ cities and that wild animals are?everywhere.


Population Myths

These vary but include the contradictions that Africa is either over-populated (because Africans cannot restrain themselves from having children) or it is under-populated because the people are poor and dying of hunger and AIDS.


Poverty Myths

Many of these are specific to poverty in Africa, for example, the belief that all Africans are poor.



Myth (i.e. Africa is a lost cause)

There is so much violence, instability, corruption, poverty, disease, and other problems that these issues can never be resolved; therefore, it is not worth trying to help or concerning oneself with the continent.