In the 19th and 20th centuries, Europeans called Africa the "Dark Continent," which was a romanticized of an unknown and under explored region of the world. Explain how this is a good or bad "nickname" for Africa. (167) What is Alice Walker trying to say to us here?
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There certainly is a play on the word "dark". There was a sense of mystery but there was also the literal representation of dark skin. I really think Walkers whole "Olinka" part was to display the disconnection between American blacks and African blacks. Walker wanted to illustrate the fact that inequality and discrimination is not merely a white man's invention. As for a nickname, no it isn't a good one. Africa was simply different from Europe. We are merely supposing Europe as "civilized" and Africa as not. This isn't necessarily the case.