By Kadiatu Kanneh
This attention-grabbing and good researched examine explores the that means generated through `Africa' and `Blackness' during the century. utilizing literary texts, autobiography, ethnography, and historic records, African Identities discusses how principles of Africa as an foundation, as a cultural entire, or as a classy political problematical, grow to be signifiers for research of modernity, nationhood and racial distinction. Kanneh presents distinct readings of a number 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 someone attracted to literature, historical past, anthropology, political writing, feminist or cultural research, this ebook opens up new parts of inspiration throughout disciplines.
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Additional info for African Identities: Race, Nation and Culture in Ethnography, Pan-Africanism and Black Literatures
They have small, neat features and their backs are not too hollow’ (p. 13). The tone of generality in this statement is instantly traduced by the Eurocentricity of the aesthetic values which give it meaning. The ‘pale’ skin of Bamu, the Fada woman, acts as a contrast to Johnson’s skin which is ‘as black as a stove’. As ‘almost a pure Negro’, Johnson 23 TH E M EAN I NG OF AF RICA is presented as a comic figure, whose racial characteristics underline his absurdity. Described in terms of an idea of race, where ‘Negroness’ can be understood on a sliding scale from ‘pure’ to ‘pale’, Johnson, as is indicated by his name, is introduced without any reference to regional, cultural or linguistic origins.
55 Samba increasingly analyses himself and his position in the world with reference to the different philosophical underpinnings of French modernity. These underpinnings rely on the profanity of a literacy which is not an eternally fixed origin (unlike the Koran) and on the materiality of science: ‘Your science is the triumph of evidence, a proliferation of the surface’ (p. 78). Caught as it is in what becomes a despairing equivocation between French modernity and African self-understanding, unable, in the postcolonial world, to separate itself from the French (Parisian) culture on which it is so poignantly focused, the text posits a point of no return for the African world.
Caught as it is in what becomes a despairing equivocation between French modernity and African self-understanding, unable, in the postcolonial world, to separate itself from the French (Parisian) culture on which it is so poignantly focused, the text posits a point of no return for the African world. 56 As Samba Diallo claims: I am not a distinct country of the Diallobé facing a distinct Occident, and appreciating with a cool head what I must take from it and what I must leave with it by way of counterbalance.
African Identities: Race, Nation and Culture in Ethnography, Pan-Africanism and Black Literatures by Kadiatu Kanneh