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The National Association of educational broadcasters presents America's African heritage recorded in Africa by Skip West 12 program 26 conserving wildlife in Africa. There is Skip West. We'll begin this program with a recording I made a few days ago at Victoria Falls in Southern Rhodesia. One of Africa's most important contributions to American life is the wild animals which populate our zoos and perform in our circus. To get a look at some of those wild animals we're about to take off on a plane trip over a wild country in the area surrounding Victoria farms in Southern Rhodesia. This trip will not take us to the game reserves but in the area beyond the game reserves well over wild uninhabited country which is the stamping ground of huge herds of elephant and many breeds of antelope we're going to make this trip in a biplane appears to me to be a rather frail little craft for this kind of a hazardous trip. But the pilot seems to be well qualified for the job and will no doubt bring us
back people in our party. The motor is warming up now and we will soon be taking off. We'll continue the recording in a moment when we start down the runway. We're headed down the runway now the plane is beginning to lift and we're circling to the left headed for a densely wooded area to the north of us. Our pilot says it will be over a wild animal country in about 15 minutes. As soon as we see something really interesting We'll tell you about. This is one of the most exciting experiences I've had my travels through Africa. We seem to be barely skimming the treetops as we pass over herds of zebra giraffe and antelope whenever the pilot spots something interesting he banked the plane sharply to the
right or to the left and swoops down so that we can get a good look. I've been so excited that I've almost forgotten that I'm supposed to be giving a description of what is taking place. Mr where we think in the giving the green I'm the mouth how high would you say were mine the one we're flying over the river. Laura looked at me like that we was wrong was texting or are we getting out of the you know we get out of I believe. What is the length of this flight. Miles Levin just the way the game is going and how many miles I mean the I see are developed over there by that waterhole over the right.
Just going over the very dense bush so you have to be very quickly your pictures as in view of the six you get out of them. What's that over there about water or looks to me like a lot of this to the level of as you're a couple is evil except for the view hymns above the law rigs the. And that was the recording we made of our flight over the wild animal country of Southern Rhodesia and experience such as that makes us realize the importance of the conservation of wildlife in the continent of Africa. Not just so that a few fortunate people can have the opportunity of seeing lions and elephants in their native habitat but more important so that both children and grownups back home can have the pleasure of seeing these wild animals in the zoos and circuses throughout America. The other day I had an interesting visit with a member of the Wildlife Conservation Board in
Pretoria who referred to the fact that one of the biggest threats to wildlife in Africa is the poaching by native Africans not just to get animals for food but to use parts of those animals for what they call medicine. Many Africans still believe for example that to eat the flesh of a lion will give them courage. They think that they give a boy a beating with the tail of the sesame the fastest of all the envelopes will cure him of stealing. They make love potions from such things is the ear of an elephant or the skin of a baboons. This magic potion is supposed to get them a girlfriend or help to make an indifferent girlfriend fall in love with them. This phase of the conservation of wildlife came to my mind the other day when I stopped in a native medicine shop in Johannesburg where these potions are sold. The manager of the shop let me up a narrow stairway to an attic room which was filled with the strangest collection of articles I have ever seen. Elephant ears dried up baboons snake skins tails of
lions row upon row of small bottles filled with crocodile fat sea water and other strange concoctions which are guaranteed to drive away evil spirits protect you from your enemy or heal all manner of diseases. It is the native belief in the potency of these so-called medicines which is one of the problems facing those who are concerned about the conservation of the wildlife of Africa. The subject of Africa's wildlife is deserving of much more consideration than we've been able to get today. But we've almost reached the end of this radio series and I'd like to take just a minute or two for a brief summary of the programs we have presented. The subject of Africa's contribution to 20th century America has been the theme of the twenty six radio programs I've recorded during my four months trip through Africa. And I feel as if we have hardly scratched the surface of this fascinating subject. In developing our thesis we have talked about a rubber from Liberia
cocoa from gun medicines from the Belgian Congo. Such is the route Wulfhere route which is being used in the treatment of heart disease and mental illness. We learned how much the health and well-being of our children is dependent upon Africa. When we discovered that many thousands of monkeys from Africa have been used in the development of the polio vaccine we learned how for many years the monkey's nervous system was the only tissue outside of the human body in which polio virus would grow and live. Medical authorities believe that without the monkey we probably would not have been able to develop the polio vaccine and thousands of those monkeys came from Africa. We realize how much we owe to Africa when we are aware of the fact that many American children who are alive and well today would be crippled for life had it not been for the valuable contribution Africa has made to medical science. In addition to our
report on medicines from Africa we told the story of the palm oil and other parts of the Congo which is used in the making of steel. Report on the many ways in which in American
industry. WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT. What what what. We discussed the use of radio activated in the treatment of cancer and its many
other industrial use. And we have Dowd into the romantic story of the fabulous goldmines of South Africa. It's rather difficult in two minutes time to try to point out any general impressions which have come to me
from this experience. Among other things it has been most interesting to visit cities in the heart of Africa which are just as modern as our American cities with air conditioned supermarkets swimming pools tennis courts paved streets and every modern convenience. It's been a revelation to as we traveled into the bush country not more than an hour's ride from some of these modern cities to find people living as primitive a life as the wild Indians of early America with no automobiles no radios no electric lights where the throbbing drum takes the place of the telephone the telegraph and even the daily newspaper where you meet on the road native hunters with spears and bows and arrows struggling for their existence like their grandfathers did a hundred years ago. One of the things I like to recall is the courage of the men who scaled those towering palm trees 60 or more feet in height knowing that poisonous snakes may be lurking among the branches and
we remember the gold miners working 10000 feet below the surface of the earth on their hands and knees in a tunnel no more than three feet high. Risking their lives to get for us the precious yellow goat for our wedding rings and our jewelry saying that these men are lacking in education as most of them are saying that you must treat them like children. But don't say they have no courage. They have the kind of courage which commands our deepest respect. This has been programmed 26 of Americas African heritage. These programs featured recordings made by world traveler skip Westfall on a recent trip to Africa. The series was made possible by a grant and aid to radio station w o Iowa State College from the Educational Television and Radio Center production was under the direction of Norman B Clary. This is Reg easy speaking for the National Association of educational broadcasters.
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America's African heritage
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Race and Ethnicity
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