|About the Book|
In his only book, a man who dedicated himself to Africa and, since his death, has become a myth, made a declaration of faith. Lumumba wrote the book in 1956-7, although it was only published in Belgium after his death, in 1961. this lapse of time isMoreIn his only book, a man who dedicated himself to Africa and, since his death, has become a myth, made a declaration of faith. Lumumba wrote the book in 1956-7, although it was only published in Belgium after his death, in 1961. this lapse of time is important, for here we have not the frenzied figure who bestrode the world politics briefly in 1960, but a moderate nationalist (an attitude scorned by militant pan-Africanists)--liberal-minded, fair and reasonable. His ideas are seen developing and changing- and we can study for the first time the attitude of the Congolese élite on the eve of Independence.What of attitude of this élite to the Belgian colonial rulers? The main aim of my book, wrote Lumumba, is to bring home to the Belgians and Congolese the imperative and urgent need to achieve right now a brotherly understanding in order to reach a definitive union. Lumumba, being able to communicate with his own people, sought to enlighten and help the Belgians in the conduct of native affairs--the passages which deal with relations between black and white reveal much that is fascinating about the character of his people--but the Belgians unfortunately were not interested.Colin Legum, a leading expert on Africa who knew Lumumba personally, writes the important Foreword which explains the circumstances under which the book was written, and charts the evolution of Lumumbas life and thought until his tragic end. In particular it follows in great detail the course of Lumumbas last days, the tragedy of which is felt the more keenly after a reading of his book.If Lumumbaism is, as many believe, to develop into a rallying-point for African political aspirations, the this book provides clearer indications than any which have been given so far of the attitudes on which these aspirations are likely to be based.