Salter Lecture: Bearing witness or bearing whiteness?

George Osgerby reports on the 2018 Salter Lecture

A central theme of the Salter Lecture at Yearly Meeting on 4 May was ‘power’. Diana Jeater explored in different ways the imbalances in ‘power relationships’ between Africa and the west. In ‘Bearing witness or bearing whiteness? Britain, Africa and Quakers’ the African history scholar and Quaker pointed out that: ‘You can fit the whole of Europe, Russia, the United States and China into Africa.’ There are fifty-four nations and up to 2,000 languages spoken. This is ‘an extraordinary diversity of habitat’, yet it is perceived stereotypically. There is a tendency, she said, ‘to regard Africa as a singular place typified by poverty, wildlife and noisy dancing’.

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