A History of Nigeria

Cambridge University Press
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Nigeria is Africa's most populous country and the world's eighth largest oil producer, but its success has been undermined in recent decades by ethnic and religious conflict, political instability, rampant official corruption and an ailing economy. Toyin Falola, a leading historian intimately acquainted with the region, and Matthew Heaton, who has worked extensively on African science and culture, combine their expertise to explain the context to Nigeria's recent troubles through an exploration of its pre-colonial and colonial past, and its journey from independence to statehood. By examining key themes such as colonialism, religion, slavery, nationalism and the economy, the authors show how Nigeria's history has been swayed by the vicissitudes of the world around it, and how Nigerians have adapted to meet these challenges. This book offers a unique portrayal of a resilient people living in a country with immense, but unrealized, potential.
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About the author

Toyin Falola is the Frances Higginbotham Nalle Centennial Professor in History at the University of Texas, Austin. His books include The Power of African Cultures (2003), Economic Reforms and Modernization in Nigeria, 1945–1965 (2004) and A Mouth Sweeter than Salt: An African Memoir (2004).

Matthew M. Heaton is a Patrice Lumumba Fellow at the University of Texas, Austin. He has co-edited multiple volumes on health and illness in Africa with Toyin Falola, including HIV, Illness and African Well-Being and Health Knowledge and Belief Systems in Africa (2007).

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Additional Information

Publisher
Cambridge University Press
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Published on
Apr 24, 2008
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Pages
371
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ISBN
9781139472036
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economics / General
History / Africa / General
History / World
Political Science / General
Social Science / Developing & Emerging Countries
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Black Skin, White Coats is a history of psychiatry in Nigeria from the 1950s to the 1980s. Working in the contexts of decolonization and anticolonial nationalism, Nigerian psychiatrists sought to replace racist colonial psychiatric theories about the psychological inferiority of Africans with a universal and egalitarian model focusing on broad psychological similarities across cultural and racial boundaries. Particular emphasis is placed on Dr. T. Adeoye Lambo, the first indigenous Nigerian to earn a specialty degree in psychiatry in the United Kingdom in 1954. Lambo returned to Nigeria to become the medical superintendent of the newly founded Aro Mental Hospital in Abeokuta, Nigeria’s first “modern” mental hospital. At Aro, Lambo began to revolutionize psychiatric research and clinical practice in Nigeria, working to integrate “modern” western medical theory and technologies with “traditional” cultural understandings of mental illness. Lambo’s research focused on deracializing psychiatric thinking and redefining mental illness in terms of a model of universal human similarities that crossed racial and cultural divides.

Black Skin, White Coats is the first work to focus primarily on black Africans as producers of psychiatric knowledge and as definers of mental illness in their own right. By examining the ways that Nigerian psychiatrists worked to integrate their psychiatric training with their indigenous backgrounds and cultural and civic nationalisms, Black Skin, White Coats provides a foil to Frantz Fanon’s widely publicized reactionary articulations of the relationship between colonialism and psychiatry. Black Skin, White Coats is also on the cutting edge of histories of psychiatry that are increasingly drawing connections between local and national developments in late-colonial and postcolonial settings and international scientific networks. Heaton argues that Nigerian psychiatrists were intimately aware of the need to engage in international discourses as part and parcel of the transformation of psychiatry at home.
C. Vann Woodward, who died in 1999 at the age of 91, was America's most eminent Southern historian, the winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Mary Chestnut's Civil War and a Bancroft Prize for The Origins of the New South. Now, to honor his long and truly distinguished career, Oxford is pleased to publish this special commemorative edition of Woodward's most influential work, The Strange Career of Jim Crow. The Strange Career of Jim Crow is one of the great works of Southern history. Indeed, the book actually helped shape that history. Published in 1955, a year after the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education ordered schools desegregated, Strange Career was cited so often to counter arguments for segregation that Martin Luther King, Jr. called it "the historical Bible of the civil rights movement." The book offers a clear and illuminating analysis of the history of Jim Crow laws, presenting evidence that segregation in the South dated only to the 1890s. Woodward convincingly shows that, even under slavery, the two races had not been divided as they were under the Jim Crow laws of the 1890s. In fact, during Reconstruction, there was considerable economic and political mixing of the races. The segregating of the races was a relative newcomer to the region. Hailed as one of the top 100 nonfiction works of the twentieth century, The Strange Career of Jim Crow has sold almost a million copies and remains, in the words of David Herbert Donald, "a landmark in the history of American race relations."
Nearly four decades ago, Terence Ranger questioned to what extent African history was actually African, and whether methods and concerns derived from Western historiography were really sufficient tools for researching and narrating African history. Despite a blossoming and branching out of Africanist scholarship in the last twenty years, that question is still haunting. The most prestigious locations for production of African studies are outside Africa itself, and scholars still seek a solution to this paradox. They agree that the ideal solution would be a flowering of institutions of higher learning within Africa which would draw not only Africanist scholars, but also financial resources to the continent.

While the focus of this volume is on historical knowledge, the effort to make African scholarship "more African" is fundamentally interdisciplinary. The essays in this volume employ several innovative methods in an effort to study Africa on its own terms. The book is divided into four parts. Part 1, "Africanizing African History," offers several diverse methods for bringing distinctly African modes of historical discourse to the foreground in academic historical research. Part 2, "African Creative Expression in Context," presents case studies of African art, literature, music, and poetry. It attempts to strip away the exotic or primitivist aura such topics often accumulate when presented in a foreign setting in order to illuminate the social, historical, and aesthetic contexts in which these works of art were originally produced. Part 3, "Writing about Colonialism," demonstrates that the study of imperialism in Africa remains a springboard for innovative work, which takes familiar ideas about Africa and considers them within new contexts. Part 4, "Scholars and Their Work," critically examines the process of African studies itself, including the roles of scholars in the production of knowledge about Africa.

This timely and thoughtful volume will be of interest to African studies scholars and students who are concerned about the ways in which Africanist scholarship might become "more African."

This masterful book investigates and analyzes several aspects of money among the Yoruba of Nigeria. Falola and Adebayo explore the origin, philosophy, uses, politics, and problems of acquiring and spending money in Yoruba culture. No prior book exists on this aspect of a major ethnic group in Africa with established connections with the black Diaspora in North America and the Caribbean. Conceived so that each chapter may be read individually, the volume is divided into three parts. Part 1, "Money and Its Uses," focuses on the transition from barter to cowry currency, the idealistic and pragmatic views of money, the impact of monetization on social stratification, accumulation among members of the elite, and the development of savings, banking, and credit institutions. Part 2, "Money and Its Problems," investigates the social, political, and cultural problems of money, including money-lending, theft, counterfeiting, and corruption. Part 3, "Money and Oil Economy," assesses the impact of the oil industry on the Nigerian state and examines both the positive and negative effects of oil money on Yoruba economy, society, and spending. Concluding chapters detail efforts to arrest the crisis that followed the economic slump after the oil boom and led to the adoption of the Structural Adjustment Program, and also evaluate the effects of currency devaluation on personal and communal responsibilities and social payment. Culture, Politics, and Money Among the Yoruba is timely in view of ongoing political and economic changes in Africa. It will be of interest to economists, sociologists, and African studies specialists. Toyin Falola, a leading historian of Nigeria and a distinguished Africanist, is professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin. His books include Decolonization and Development Planning and Violence in Nigeria. He is at the moment completing a study on the history of Nigeria. Akanmu Adebayo is a professor of history at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia. His latest book is Embattled Federalism: A History of Revenue Allocation in Nigeria.
Nearly four decades ago, Terence Ranger questioned to what extent African history was actually African, and whether methods and concerns derived from Western historiography were really sufficient tools for researching and narrating African history. Despite a blossoming and branching out of Africanist scholarship in the last twenty years, that question is still haunting. The most prestigious locations for production of African studies are outside Africa itself, and scholars still seek a solution to this paradox. They agree that the ideal solution would be a flowering of institutions of higher learning within Africa which would draw not only Africanist scholars, but also financial resources to the continent.

While the focus of this volume is on historical knowledge, the effort to make African scholarship "more African" is fundamentally interdisciplinary. The essays in this volume employ several innovative methods in an effort to study Africa on its own terms. The book is divided into four parts. Part 1, "Africanizing African History," offers several diverse methods for bringing distinctly African modes of historical discourse to the foreground in academic historical research. Part 2, "African Creative Expression in Context," presents case studies of African art, literature, music, and poetry. It attempts to strip away the exotic or primitivist aura such topics often accumulate when presented in a foreign setting in order to illuminate the social, historical, and aesthetic contexts in which these works of art were originally produced. Part 3, "Writing about Colonialism," demonstrates that the study of imperialism in Africa remains a springboard for innovative work, which takes familiar ideas about Africa and considers them within new contexts. Part 4, "Scholars and Their Work," critically examines the process of African studies itself, including the roles of scholars in the production of knowledge about Africa.

This timely and thoughtful volume will be of interest to African studies scholars and students who are concerned about the ways in which Africanist scholarship might become "more African."

Toyin Falola, a leading historian of Nigeria and a distinguished Africanist, is the Frances Higginbothom Nalle Centennial Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin. His numerous publications include Yoruba Historiography, African Historiography, and Nationalism and African Intellectuals.

Christian Jennings is completing his Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin. He has contributed chapters on environmental history to the five-volume series on Africa published by Carolina Academic Press, and is co-editing a forthcoming book on historical methods.
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