By Kadiatu Kanneh
This attention-grabbing and good researched research explores the which means generated via `Africa' and `Blackness' in the course of the century. utilizing literary texts, autobiography, ethnography, and historic records, African Identities discusses how principles of Africa as an beginning, as a cultural entire, or as a sophisticated political challenging, grow to be signifiers for research of modernity, nationhood and racial distinction. Kanneh presents specified readings of more than a few literary texts, together with novels by way of: * Toni Morrison * Alice Walker * Gloria Naylor * Ngugi Wa Thiong'o * Chinua Achebe * and V.S. Naipaul. For somebody attracted to literature, heritage, anthropology, political writing, feminist or cultural research, this e-book opens up new parts of inspiration throughout disciplines.
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Extra info for African Identities: Race, Nation and Culture in Ethnography, Pan-Africanism and Black Literatures
57 Ngugi writes within a commitment to the ongoing struggle for economic, linguistic and social self-determination by African peoples. For Ngugi, literary creativity as well as literary criticism is irrevocably caught in issues of representation and power which forces any discussion of ‘African literature’ into an examination of colonial domination. Ngugi’s discussion of the problems which emerged from the Ugandan conference of 1962, ‘A Conference of African Writers of English Expression’, approaches the question of what constitutes African identity, and African literature.
Ngugi’s statement, ‘If…if…if…this or that, except the issue: the domination of our languages and cultures by those of imperialist Europe’ (p. 6), focuses on what he sees as the crux of the issue for African literature. African languages and cultures are placed at the centre of African literary criticism precisely because these have been and are at the point of attack and displacement in the imperialist confrontation between Europe and Africa. In both Decolonising the Mind and Moving the Centre, Ngugi associates language very closely with culture so that the two almost work on an axis of interchangeability.
P. 79) Interestingly, Islam represents an intermediate stage between orality and literacy. The Word of Allah is memorised from written Arabic, understood as fixed and eternal, the Word lives in the endurance of memory, caught in the finitude of the body, a living manifestation which cannot endure beyond corporeal delivery, and yet claims its legitimacy beyond the temporality of life. Islam, in the novel, represents the temporary unity of body and spirit, conquered by the eternal spirituality of death.
African Identities: Race, Nation and Culture in Ethnography, Pan-Africanism and Black Literatures by Kadiatu Kanneh