Characteristics Of African Literature

What are the basic characteristics of African English literature?

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kimfuji eNotes educator| Certified Educator

African English Literature is literature of and about Africa written in English. There has been much debate since 1963 whether literature written in English constituted African literature. In 1963, in Uganda, many critics and famous African writers gathered to clarify what is African English Literature. What instigated the gathering was an essay by Obi Wali entitled, "The Dead End of African Literature" (1963), where he stated that African literature written in English was not true African literature. Achebe went against Wali's idea but Ngugi agreed with it , saying that what was needed was to return to African languages. This position was agreed upon for almost 30 years. In the 90's more and more Africans agree that literature written in English also constitutes true African literature.

Numerous African writers are known from being involved in the critical tradition by defining what is African English Literature and what is the role of the writer in African society. Some of the important texts are as follows:Morning Yet on Creation Day (1975) by Chinua Achebe, Myth, Literature, and the African World (1976) by Wole Soyinka, and Decolonising the Mind (1986) by Ngugi wa Thiong'o.

daleluya | Student

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