Engaging Books That Will Help You Understand African Writers
The period from 1881 to 1914, known as The Scramble for Africa, is not a novel notion for those who are aware of history. Many powerful European nations were totally engrossed in colonizing different territories in Africa – through forceful violence, political aggression and military invasions resulting in a long history of slavery and a handicapped African continent. The quest for a diplomatic success mingled with greed for abundant riches and resources only found in Africa altogether contributed for their urge to take control over this beautiful continent. The memories are still fresh and the long-term effects still ache whenever touched.
Where racial superiority was widespread amongst the colonizers, the Western Canon (the collection of books held sacred and accepted as genuine) to reeks of white supremacy since there was never a place for any African or Black writer in the recommended list of canonical readings.
To break this vicious cycle of discrimination even in literature, we have thought to enlist few books that speak volumes about the powerful message given by some of the great African writers embedded within their finest writings.
Things Fall Apart- Chinua Achebe
A classic narrative about the destructive encounter of Africa with the European colonizers, Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe deeply portrays a true picture of the pre-colonial times in the south-eastern part of Nigeria. Achebe powerfully illustrates the damage done by colonialism in the shape of the continuous devaluing of the Igbo village and desperate yet futile efforts made by the protagonist, Okonkwo to prevent Igbo village from falling apart due to British foreign invasion.
The purpose behind writing this wonderful piece of literature was to present complex, dynamic society to a Western audience who perceived African society as primitive, simple, and backward. Achebe has managed to successfully bring into limelight the real and authentic African experience while narrating their side of the story so that the rigid biases embedded in the minds of people be shattered and a clear vision is provided to them to make the final judgment.
Saving Africa from Lies that Kill: How Myths about the Environment and Overpopulation are Destroying Third World Countries – Kay Kiser
This fantastic book, Saving Africa From Lies That Kill points towards our prejudiced minds that have been molded by the government and the influential organizations. Through shedding light on some of the most authoritative institutions of the world like United Nations, World Health Organization, World Bank, US Aid, and Planned Parenthood, Kiser presents a detailed criticism of their wrongdoings for developing nations under the guise of help and support.
Their dictations and wrong notions about Overpopulation, Poverty et cetera have only worked to maintain their statuesque thus depriving Africa to think better for itself. The great thing about this book is that it not only explores the problems and make strong arguments but also offers proper and sensible solutions and make the readers think out of the box.
The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela
The name of Nelson Mandela needs no introduction. His zeal, sacrifices, and spirits for the Blacks will always be written with golden words on the pages of history. With the intensification of South Africa’s apartheid movement, Mandela was arrested and put into prison for twenty-seven long years. The one thing we shall always treasure during his confinement is his letters.
Not only are they written beautifully and emotionally – depicting his finest taste in writing, but also, they reveal his inner spirits during his isolation while he was managing to engage with the outside world that was outraged by his plight. The Prison Letters of Mandela gives us an insight into the world full of warmth, compassion, sacrifice, emotions, duty and limitless love for the whole of mankind.
Worth a read, these books will change your lives and perspectives forever!