Europe’s colonial presence on the African continent from 1885 to the 1960s produced complex discourses about race and its representation. Whereas the Europeans constructed their putative images of Africans as inferior beings through radio, television, film, and print, for a predominantly literate sector, Africans deployed a more complex and mixed set of literacies. As well as conventional forms of literature, Africans used iconographic, kinaesthetic, proxemic, sonic, linguistic, tactile, calligraphic and sartorial literacies in their indigenous festivals and ritual theatres to resist, historicize, and domesticate colonial whiteness from the nineteenth century to the present day. In this article, Esiaba Irobi offers a detailed response to Bell Hooks’s observation (in Black Looks: Race and Representation, 1992) that in the work of postcolonial critics ‘there is a continued fascination with the way white minds, particularly the colonial imperialist traveller, perceive blackness, and very little expressed interest in representations of whiteness in the black imagination’. Esiaba Irobi is an Associate Professor of International Theatre at Ohio University, Athens. Born in the Republic of Biafra, he has lived in exile in Nigeria, Britain, and the USA. His African Festival and Ritual Theatre: Resisting Globalization on the Continent and Diaspora since 1492 is due for publication by Palgrave Macmillan in 2007.