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Race, Stereotypes And Politics

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the role of stereotypes in colonial and postcolonial rule in Africa and especially the role of racial stereotypes and racism in Northern Mali. The chapter presents these subjects through a short history of the construction of stereotypical images and racial categories as part of colonial policies and through a narrative on late colonial and post-colonial politics in Northern Mali regarding slavery in Tamasheq society: The so-called 'bellah question' and the possible existence of a network of Tamasheq slave traders shipping slaves to Mecca. In Tamasheq society, and in many other nomadic societies, hierarchy binds the freedom of the individual.

Keywords: Northern Mali; politics; racism; stereotypes; Tamasheq society



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