The problems that the Borderlands raise, being that area of Africa stretching from Sudan on the Red Sea to Mauritania on the Atlantic Ocean, date back thousands of years. That area provides a sharper, historically based, holistic definition of the African personality than that hitherto offered by the Black consciousness movements in the Americas and southern Africa.
The last population census conducted in Sudan was in 1983. Population figures in Sudan, the largest country in Africa, and especially southern Sudan, are the subject of continual dispute. Sudan’s total population was estimated to be close to 20 million people, with 80-85 percent settled in rural areas. While 39 percent of Sudan’s population considers itself as ‘Arab’, the ruling elite in Khartoum present Sudan as an ‘Arab’ country, which most international bodies and scholars accept. In Sudan, mainly around Khartoum, exists a minority group of mixed race Black people who do not consider themselves Africans and who participate in the oppression and the enslavement of the majority African population. Clearly what is at stake here is not a matter of colour, but a question of culture. What the Borderlands teach us is that the African personality is primarily defined culturally. It is not race based.