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Tell It to Women

An Epic Drama for Women

Osonye Tess Onwueme Foreword by Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Publication Year: 2097

Using the magic of movement, dance, and drama, and the devices of humor and metaphor, Osonye Tess Onwueme has created a post-feminist epic drama that transcends current feminist theories. An ideologically and politically powerful work, Tell It to Women offers a critical discourse on the western feminist movement from an African traditional perspective, focusing attention on the often silenced issues of intra-gender politics and class inequities.

Published by: Wayne State University Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7

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Foreword

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pp. 7-12

Many dramatic narratives about women and men in Africa tend to look at each as a uniform gender. Women, on the whole, are seen as victims of tradition, which, because of its roots in patriarchy, is often evoked by men as a justification for whatever they demand from women. Thus, more often than not, it is women who are expected to conform to timehallowed customs, even when these have been emptied of their content. Tradition is often associated with rural

Settings

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pp. 13-14

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Movement One

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pp. 14-21

Stage is half-open; it is twilight, rather hazy, and nothing is distinct except for the voices of several women in the background, chanting or repeating after some other voices. VOICES: The launching comes up soon. The word for now is BETTER LIFE FOR RURAL WOMEN! OTHER VOICES: (Repeating.) Beta Laif for lulal women! VOICES: Again? OTHER VOICES: (Repeating.) Beta Laif for lulal women! (The mood changes as the women break into a chant of "Yemoja! Yemoja! Yemoja!" We see female figures organizing themselves around a space that resembles the crossroads in a marketplace. At the center is the figure of a young woman who apparently is the subject...

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Movement Two

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pp. 22-94

Stage is half-open; it is twilight, rather hazy, and nothing is distinct except for the voices of several women in the background, chanting or repeating after some other voices. VOICES: The launching comes up soon. The word for now is BETTER LIFE FOR RURAL WOMEN! OTHER VOICES: (Repeating.) Beta Laif for lulal women! VOICES: Again? OTHER VOICES: (Repeating.) Beta Laif for lulal women! (The mood changes as the women break into a chant of "Yemoja! Yemoja! Yemoja!" We see female figures organizing themselves around a space that resembles the crossroads in a marketplace. At the center is the figure of a young woman who apparently is the subject...

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Movement Three

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pp. 95-104

(The time is near dawn. SHERIFAT and YEMOJA together perform the traditional ritual honoring the Earth Goddess and Onokwu/Yemoja, Goddess of the Sea, for whom the women are devotees and priestesses. Because they are in the city, away from the village where the traditional ritual items are readily available, they improvise with water and garden eggs in place of palm wine and Kolanut. YEMOJA drums...

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Movement Four

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pp. 105-153

(The living room. OKEI ties his shoelace as he prepares for work. He rises, walks over to the kitchen to get himself a can of juice from the refrigerator, and pours it into a glass as DAISY enters. She preens herself in front of the mirror that covers one end of the living room wall. She studies her behind. Satisfied, she strokes her false...

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Movement Five

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pp. 154-211

(It's a new day. Everyone is fully awake as the sun rises, poking its fingers of flame across the face of the earth in this waking moment. The scene is an open space in the Sheraton hotel, where the rural women have been asked to assemble and line up for breakfast. Western classical music plays in the background. It is clear from their faces that they are bewildered by the affluent and extravagant decor. At first...

Backcover

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p. 214-214


E-ISBN-13: 9780814336779
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814326497

Page Count: 216
Publication Year: 2097

Series Title: African American Life Series