America's African heritage; 2
Thank you for. The good picture in the paper. The National Association of educational rod castors breeze and Americas African heritage recorded in Africa by Skip Westfall program to what we can learn from the people of Africa. And now here is Kip Westfall. We are speaking today aboard the ferry lines freighter the African patriot somewhere out in mid-Atlantic. Bound for the west coast of Africa. On our last broadcast we describe some of the freight which was being loaded aboard ship in New York Harbor. Today I'd like to talk about a different type of cargo I suppose you could call it cargo. Certainly it is much more important than the flour or the air conditioning units automobiles and the tractors which we saw taken aboard in New York Harbor. I referred to the passengers. There are only 10 passengers aboard this freighter and all of them with the exception of myself are missionaries. Being sent from
America as an ambassador is of goodwill. And there job among other things is to help promote friendly relations between the people of the United States and the people of Africa. The vital importance of the task which confronts them was highlighted by an article I read in a New York City newspaper just before we embark on this story reported that the British government fear that the Soviet Union. You see do sing the new independent Commonwealth of gotten to use it as a base to create unrest throughout Africa. There seems to be indisputable evidence that the Russians are making desperate efforts to substitute communism for Western influence due to the vast mineral resources of the African continent. It is of tremendous importance to the security of America and to the peace of the whole world that the spread of communism be checked in Africa. And I am sure that most of us would agree that if we had enough intelligent Christian missionaries at work and that faraway land atheistic communism would have a
chance. Now obviously time does not permit us to interview all of the passengers aboard the ship so we will be content to talk with one of them who is I'm sure a representative of the others. She is a Salvation Army lassie but the name of Margaret more and comes from the state of Arkansas. What is your rank in the Salvation Army Miss Marr. I have the rank of captain. Then I suppose we should refer to you as Captain Moore or should I be informal like most folks from Iowa and call you Margaret if you ate with folks from Arkansas or informative. OK well the first question which comes to my mind is this. What has led you to leave your native state of Arkansas and sailed far across the seas to Nigeria. I believe that God wants me to use my training as a Christian teaching to help in the education of African your people. Is this your first trip to Nigeria. No. Three years ago I helped to found a boys high school to which I am returning then I suppose you're quite familiar with the
habits and customs of the people of Nigeria. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I know something about the customs of one small idea. Nigeria as you know is a large country. I have heard that there are some alarming indications of the spread of communism in Africa. Have you noticed this at all in Nigeria. Yes the companies seem to have a mission or problem to the West Africans are hungry for reading material and in the camp I have seen young boys distributing condoms to educate you. How is this program actually carried out. I don't really know how it is organized. Now we know that when we go to town to get House implants we see these boys at Santa's stores and in the markets since they are too young to understand the contents of the books. We can only suppose if they are paid wages and they are given books in an ad they keep the profit. Why is that the only method of spreading communist propaganda that you have observed. No there's another way in which companies track each of these Nigerians that has been driving me into communist countries for university training. I believe that we in America
could do a lot more than we are doing to meet this coming challenge. Well you're certainly right about that. We've got to redouble our efforts if we hope to save Africa for the democratic way of life. And aiding students to attend American colleges and universities is one very effective way of making our influence felt. Actually Skip What is your purpose in going to Africa. Except for a piece from your album Born for us. It's a fur piece All right. Well I'm planning to do a series of radio programs in Africa concerning its contribution to the American way of life. What contribution have you in mind. Well I'm especially interested in the medicines which come from Africa cocoa palm oil and Guinea the diamonds and the gold and other minerals which are vital to our American economy base things are important very important. But it seems to me that the greatest gifts Africa has given us have been cultural weren't such a Negro spirituals in the folk tale. You're never very happy talk baby.
I think that the contributions of the early thirties and their descendants to our Merican way of life and then most important into somewhat modern Much of our American music came recently. America yes that's true even of some of our musical instruments. Did you know for instance that the xylophone originated in Africa. Not my thing. Yes that beautiful musical instrument came originally from Africa. I suppose we could devote several radio programs discussing Africa's contribution to the music of America. However all we can do today is to briefly refer to it now. I agree with you Margaret that the historical contributions of Africa to our culture are very important. But what about the present. What can we learn today from the lives of the African people. If I had to choose one thing I would say the greatest thing we can learn from the African is that religion has meaning in every part of life for instance a football game may begin with prayer and in battle when you're singing praise God and the moment you
know what do the losers saying or do they usually feel like saying oh you're thinking probably let your duping heart be doing everything to not be sacred be African. Then another quality African is developed you can laugh at himself. His troubles and his mistakes. I remember one day our cook came back from the market in famine he had forgotten the eggs we needed for the next day the market was three miles away and the Vatican was out of order so he had walked six miles in the dust and the heat to get through to an age when he discovered his mistake. What do you think you he probably used some language the Salvation Army wouldn't approve. Eat it now. He sat down on the kitchen steps and shook with laughter shaking his head he chuckled to himself. You big fella hang him. Instead he jumped to his feet came to tell me that supper would be like starting out again remarking as he rounded the bend in the road I could still hear him chuckling. Could you do that again.
Could I do but could you let him think like that. Well I think I'll have to admit that I wouldn't start on that three mile trip to the village chuckling over my stupidity but I agree with you Margaret that we Americans need more of that kind of a sense of humor. And we also learn something from the way the Nigerian enjoys music in rhythm. Only on special occasions but constantly. One of the features which is clearest in my memory is in the evenings when we sit on the veranda waiting for dinner to be at the house for it comes from the kitchen. Times never leave the plates in bottles and we hear him singing something we don't know he does a bit then this is the way seems to me that this cheerful attitude that save us Americans send us yours. He hasn't perhaps a few nervous breakdowns and some heart attack that's one of the things which has impressed me most during the three trips I've made to Africa the way the people love to sing at their work. I recall on one occasion at the port of Mombasa in Kenya
I had gone down to the dock to try to get some pictures of the dock hands unloading the boat climbing painfully up the steps to the waterfront was a man who looked as if he were at least 70 years of age on his back he carried several people so heavy that he stayed under their weight but he sang a song as he climbed those stairs on each step he would pause for a moment to do a bit of a chant then he would take another step and do another little chant. All the way to the top of the steps. I'm sure that song helped to make his Burton seem a bit lighter. Of course the case carefully manicured must be common to all of Africa but we get it in there and you need to. If you're around at our school during early morning Georgetown and you can hear a group of boys drumming there on their bucket and went to the river for a boy swishing a broom vigorously making up a song. Go something and not have troubles in my life. One is my mother and one's not why presto another might be cleaning up that mortgage and singing songs on account of how it is
always there. Now what a wonderful way to go about the tasks of everyday living with a song in your heart. What else do you feel we have to learn from the people of Africa whether they something our forefathers knew which the African might help us to return a willingness to sacrifice for the things we need in this manner. I've seen a schoolteacher already there and also a financial burden to give a month's salary to him for his church. I've seen women carrying out heal from this during all of this. So you needed for concrete school building literally hundreds of barrels carried a bucket at a time when they're here and I have seen no women in your wrath long before they did what you know if you know nothing of a maternity clinic paid for by years of study. In other words if the African is enthusiastic about something he's willing to pay any price to see it through. That's right and I mean here in Prince I frankly as anyone can see you visit that developing country but they have an amazing
patience and that things they can't change. Once I was summoned to the Calabar court with instructions to be present I can climb getting there involved a trip by car to a run and from there to our trip back home the first launch was due to the you know on it. You come and well before that time I was waiting at the pier. All around me were not Europeans also going to Calabar. Some had their children. Some carried on there he is. He knows if you have an hard case for say an unmarked just before you cop an official appeared to announce that there would be no already don't we would have to wait for the entire event. I walked about impatiently shoving one hand in our pockets and getting indigestion at the thought of the day all around me the crowd was city thanking chatting. Even so maybe the market women whose profits get windowed with each passing hour think I should be against their love. Finally one of the women looked at me and in amused but can it count she said but it's a matter of can't help. A matter of can't help. That's a good phrase to remember. It reminds me of a
patient from Shakespeare which has always been a favorite of mine. What's gone and what's past help should be past grief. I wish we could go deeper into this fascinating subject but we have time for just one more question in our discussion today we've brought out the interesting observation that while the people of Africa need our help we also need their help. They have something very important to contribute to our culture. The question is how can we get it. Let me say first I think that the people of America should make much more effort to make it possible for the African Christians to add to his faith the knowledge and the skills he needs in order to help his people tackle their many problems to return to an earlier point. We could bring many more to our colleges and universities in America. I certainly agree with you on that point and that it seems to me is one of the most effective methods in the world to fight atheistic countries. As for how we are to learn from the African we can do something about fact right now here.
Americans abroad can seek to learn from as well as share with other people and Americans at home can make an effort to get acquainted with the African students. Now teeming or ecology invite them into our homes. I seem to speak to a lot of groups in that way. We may catch from the him some of those admirable qualities which we have just been talking about. That's an excellent suggestion and how much that kind of an effort could add to the enrichment of our daily lives as well as that of our foreign friends. Thank you very much Margaret for this. In lightning discussion and the best of luck to you as you return to the land and the people you love. This has been programmed to America's African heritage. These programs feature recordings made by world traveler skip Westfall on a recent trip to Africa. The series is made possible by a grant in aid to radio station w all Iowa State College from the Educational Television and Radio Center production is
under the direction of Norman B Cleary. This is Reagan speaking for the National Association of educational broadcasters.
- America's African heritage
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- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 4906 (University of Maryland)
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