Abraham, Arthur, 1945- Amistad revolt: an historical legacy of Sierra Leone and the United States.
Sierra Leonean heroes: fifty great men and women who helped to build our nation.
Slave insurrections in literature.
Through an examination of publications by Sierra Leone's president, the United States Information Service, and Sierra Leonean playwright Charlie Haffner, this article explores how the narrative of the 1839 Amistad slave revolt emerged in the late 1980s as a key modality through which meanings of Sierra Leonean nationalism and claims to state power were contested.The article argues that in its dialogic engagement with the two governmental texts, Haffner's play Amistad Kata-Kata transforms the fear of cannibalism that sparked the slave rebellion into a politically charged trope whereby it couples cannibalism as a name for the excesses carried out by local authorities with cannibalism as a description of the dehumanizing consumption of enslaved African labor within the Atlantic slave system. The trope thus forms a key for translating the slave revolt into a discrediting, disrupting critique of the complex interrelationships between global capitalism and excessive elite accumulation in the postcolony.
To many progressive activists in the 1960s, the writings of Frantz Fanon served not only as a source for intellectual development but also as guidebooks for revolutionary praxis. Fanon's critique of neocolonialism and cultural nationalism along with his call for direct political and militant engagement with the enemy as the basis of national culture in the process of decolonization is at the core of the following discussion. This essay locates Fanon's anticolonial view of cultural production as it has been represented in literary texts by African and diaspora women writers. Zoë Wicomb (South Africa) and Michelle Cliff (Jamaica) serve as examples of postcolonial writers who explore the potential of national consciousness as a necessary stage in the politicization of female characters struggling to decolonize their minds.
My essay attempts a revisionary reading of Ngugi wa Thiong'o's The River Between. The first work by a leading African/postcolonial novelist, this novel has generally been read in terms of an "English aesthetic" that Ngugi would come explicitly and decisively to repudiate in his later writing, most notably Petals of Blood and Devil on the Cross. Along with Ngugi's second novel, Weep Not, Child, The River Between is thought to display a certain simplicity, if not naivete, in terms of its aesthetic ideology. My argument is that critics have overlooked the depth and complexity of Ngugi's early fiction. Ngugi's apparent embrace of "Englishness" in his earliest fiction is riddled with ambivalence, ambiguity, and slippage. Undoubtedly, The River Between and Weep Not, Child draw on aesthetic models from Joseph Conrad, D. H. Lawrence, and Thomas Hughes. But these texts are colonial mimics that critique even as they seem to imitate.
Dhlomo, H. I. E. (Herbert I. E.), 1903-1956. Girl who killed to save: Nongqause the liberator.
Soga, Tiyo, 1829-1871 -- In literature.
The Xhosa missionary Tiyo Soga appears, but does not speak, in H. I. E. Dhlomo's play about the 1856-57 Xhosa cattle killing, The Girl Who Killed to Save: Nongqause the Liberator. Archival evidence demonstrates that an unattributed song in the play is from a hymn by Tiyo Soga.While this nexus may not constitute evidence of the "genuine intertextuality" that Malvern van Wyk Smith seeks in postapartheid literary historiography, I argue that the (perhaps unwitting) presence of a hymn by Tiyo Soga contributes to the profound ambivalence of Dhlomo's play, which is also evident in Dhlomo's negotiation of colonial accounts of the cattle killing. For writers borrowing the voices of their predecessors, citing or ventriloquizing textual ancestors is as precarious and productive a process as is claiming to hear the voice of literal ancestors for prophets like Nongqawuse. What kind of reading practice can attend to such revenant voices?
The quest for a place in which the self feels at home, comfortable, and secure pervades postcolonial literature, criticism, and theory. Likewise, the themes of location/dislocation, belonging/marginalization, alienation and identity—central to the problematic of home—have been among the major topics of critical inquiry and creative expression in contemporary literature. Contrapuntally entwined with these themes are the strategies of resistance and survival through which those dislocated invent a space of their own and alternative modes of identity. This article examines the processes and mechanisms through which displaced women "place" themselves at home, in exile and abroad, in Guadeloupean Gisèle Pineau's works. Indeed, with subtle interplay on the multi meanings of alienation, estrangement, and (dis)possession, Pineau explores the location of women in cultural, political, and social communities—primarily in France and in Guadeloupe—from a perspective informed by race, gender, nationhood. and history.
A quick glance at the development of the Swahili novel reveals that a number of Swahili novels written from the 1990s to date, have detached themselves in various ways from hitherto Swahili novels written following the mainstream realist mode. This "new" novel seems to "pervasively" adopt the fantastic, magical, and postmodernist tendencies that, according to the writer of this essay, adequately capture the cacophony and decay of the East African societies. The aim of this essay is not to trace the Swahili novel historically, but mainly to show it as "changing" conditioned by external or societal factors.