In Michele Weldon’s Viewpoint “Children Are Not Necessarily Damaged by the Absence of Fathers”, Weldon points out the fact that her three son’s father was absent from their lives. Weldon writes of how all three of her sons have graduated high school, two of which graduated college and the third attending college. Weldon writes, “My sons reap the effects of support from my brothers and sisters, extended
Born to a decaying marriage and unstable household, Maya Angelou thrills her poetic intentions through her dominant and eloquent words. Maya Angelou, center of mysterious and descendants of the broken, like a champion, she rose out of the ashes and into the lights of the stage. An American author and artist who has been called “America’s most visible black female autobiographer” by dozens of people, has made remarkable recognitions all around the word. She is best known for her sequence of six autobiographical stories, focusing on her childhood and early adulthood. Her writing, through the eyes and experiences of a black woman, can lend a structure to the study of racial relations and culture in the 20th century America. Angelou’s work is then, a presentation of the life of a black woman who has lived in the South and in the urban North, who has lived in Africa, and has traveled Europe. She has gone through poverty and despair and she has been granted high honors. Her work is the expression of those experiences and sensations through the eyes of a black woman. Due to specific events in Maya Angelou’s life, her style of writing was exceedingly pretentious.
The problem faced by Angelou living in a white-dominant culture is explored. The autobiography is set within 1931-1948 United States. This was a period of time in which issues facing racism has not been addressed. Angelou was a victim to constant abuse by society. This is based on the prevailing stereotype that the black race was less significant than the white race in this period of time. This leads to an imbalance of power within the society of people in the black race and white race with the white race holding more power than the blacks. The power of the whites can be seen when in Chapter 5, 3 white children dare to disrespect a black storeowner (Momma). This event in Angelou’s life exhibits how much power the whites had over the blacks as even children were brought up assuming that they have more power than even an elderly black woman. After the ratification of the 13th amendment in the US which states “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction” the amendment was not instantly taken up by the American society a...
Maya Angelou shares her eighth grade experience in the 1940’s where she grew up in a racial segregation throughout the south in her essay titled “Graduation”. She recounts how African-Americans were not valued for their education intelligence and implies her irritation and concerns after her eighth grade graduation. She comprehends how black people did not have accessibility even if they were educated as she listens to her peers and thinks “Hadn’t he got the message? There was no “nobler in the mind” for Negroes because the world didn’t think we had minds, and they let us know it”(Angelou 475). The graduation took a toll in Maya’s life, and made her break the barriers of being told that people of her race could not make it far. Based on Maya Angelou’s actions and choices, she has now created her identity known worldwide as a famous poet, speaker and
In Kevin Gaines’ book, American Africans in Ghana, Gaines combines both African and African American history together unlike others have done in the past. Gaines’ book gives his audience insight on the relationship that many prominent African Americans in the Mid-nineteenth century had with Africa. Gaines tackles many issues that were prevalent during this time period, for instance, he tackles race, class, citizenship, independence and freedom. Gaines does this to change the narrative that existed about Africa. Many Black Nationalist, had romanticized Africa to be this place that once had thriving empires but lost everything due to colonization, and westernized blacks needed to go to Africa to help liberate it. Gaines dispels these myths, and
A father ultimate role is to maintain structure in his household. However, in the One Hundred Years of Solitude the role of patriarchy has reverse int...
The novel Things Fall Apart written by Chinua Achebe highlights the many important historical events that happened during the period of colonialism, spread of religious fervor to Africa from Europe, and the importance of the native religion among African societies. Achebe shows that religion holds a major influence in many African societies and influences the daily life of the natives. Furthermore, the novel introduces a major event that happen during pre-colonial Africa, the spread of the Christian faith, which forever changed and affected the natives in Africa, more specifically the Igbo society located in Nigeria. Things Fall Apart vividly describes and explains how the Christian faith that arrived in Africa changed both the individuals in the Umoufia and society. To add on, the novel shows how the spread of Christianity ultimately leads to the destruction of the many native African cultures, and shows what redeeming qualities that arise from the destruction of their culture. Achebe describes how the Christian faith acts as a guide to the Igbo society and at the same time acts as the inevitable downfall of the Igbo society.
West, Cornel and Salzman, Jack. Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History. New York: Schuster and Simon and the trustees of Columbia University Press, 1996.
In the book “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe we are given insight into what life was like before and during the European, imperialist land grab of africa. In this essay I will discuss how the christian missionaries tried to convert the native African population to christianity and what made some of the villagers join the christian missionaries in converting their fellow clansmen. We will also examine how Europeans used a combination of fear and cooperation to successfully convert the native population to christianity.
The things that held the Igbo tribe together were their close bonds of clan kinship, unified allegiance to their gods, and their democratic society. These were the very things that the English set out to attack, to ‘put a knife on’. Once they began this process, Igbo society was never to be the same again. Chinua Achebe’s The African Trilogy, while an excellent piece of literature in its own right, can also be read as an excellent historical account of this process. This essay concerns the responses of Achebe’s fictional characters to the very real actions taken by the British in their efforts to ‘pacify’ Nigeria, focusing on one aspect of this effort - the policy of creating ‘Warrant Chiefs’ and the subsequent era of corruption.
When the Europeans arrived in Africa during the late eighteenth century the culture and the lives of the people of Africa are altered. Colonialism and Imperialism in Africa has adversely changed the way of life of the African people, and changed their culture, that had developed for so many years, unscathed by any distraction from the outside world. This dominant European influence has led to poverty in the African continent for the next 100 years, because of the institutions that were put into place by Europeans. In Things Fall Apart, it becomes clear that the Ibo culture responds in a distinct way to the European colonization; when compared to other villages and ethnic groups in Africa. These foreigners had such an enormous effect on the Ibo tribe that many of the clansmen decided to abandon the traditional ways or were too afraid to rise against the takeover of their tribe by the Europeans since the natives lacked the adequate technology to fight off the Europeans. The culture collision between Europe’s culture and the Ibo culture causes Nwoye’s sense of identity to be challenged and causes him to distance himself from his family and his tribe because of the introduction of Christianity and western ideals.
Rider Haggard’s African adventure She is a story about two Englishmen traveling through Africa searching for a mysterious woman. The two protagonists, Holly and Leo, represent ideal masculine imperialist figures of the late Victorian era. On the other hand, Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart tells the story of Okonkwo, a self-made African man struggling with his own identity, while portraying the Igbo society’s well-structured system, traditions and beliefs until this system fall apart with the arrival of Christian missionaries. It seems that the two novels have nothing in common except for the fact that the two stories, only the adventure in case of She, take place in Africa. In fact, we can draw many parallels between these two seemingly dissimilar novels, especially between the two protagonists Holly and Okonkwo, since, as this essay will show, both characters are representatives of the best and most successful men in their society and defenders of their cultures, traditions and beliefs against change or declination. Moreover, this essay will show that each one of these two characters has his own identity and personality that does not necessarily fit into their roles as representatives of their society.
Chinua Achebe was an influential Nigerian author during the 1900’s who was credited with his three essays which have been fused together into the book “Home and Exile”. In his stories he discusses things such as his own Igbo people, the problems with colonialization, the strength that stories can have and many more topics. A big part of his essays are on his thoughts of colonialism, the impact it has had on his home of Nigeria, and how stories written by others either helped justify colonialism or rejected it. Chinua argues that stories have their own power to fight, and while stories themselves do not have the ability to directly fight colonialism; they do, however with their power of words, stories can motivate and encourage people to stand up against colonialism. In proving this thesis to be a true statement, I will be providing evidence of the how, why and the extent to which stories can fight colonialism.
History has been told through various forms for decades. In the past, history was more commonly expressed through word of mouth, but more recently in the past century, through written text. While textbooks and articles give formal information with little to no bias, novels give a completely new perspective from the people who experienced it themselves. The Novels, God’s Bits of Wood, written by Sembene Ousmane, and No Longer at Ease, by Chinua Achebe give a more personal account of the effects of colonization. These two novels tackle the British and French method of colonization. God’s Bits of Wood takes place in the late 1940s and sheds light on the story of the railroad strike in colonial Senegal. The book deals with different ways that the Senegalese and Malians respond to colonialism during that time. No Longer at Ease is set in the 1950s and tells the early story of British colonialism and how the Nigerians responded to colonization. Comparing the two novels, there are obvious similarities and differences in the British and French ways of rule. African authors are able to write these novels in a way that gives a voice to the people that are most commonly silenced during colonialism. This perspective allows readers to understand the negative ways that colonization affects the colonized. Historical fiction like God’s Bits of Wood and No Longer at Ease are good educational tools to shed light on the history and effects of colonization, but they do not provide a completely reliable source for completely factual information.
“Black Awakening in Capitalist America”, Robert Allen’s critical analysis of the structure of the U.S.’s capitalist system, and his views of the manner in which it exploits and feeds on the cultures, societies, and economies of less influential peoples to satiate its ever growing series of needs and base desires. From a rhetorical analysis perspective, Allen describes and supports the evidence he sees for the theory of neocolonialism, and what he sees as the black people’s place within an imperial society where the power of white influence reigns supreme. Placing the gains and losses of the black people under his magnifying glass, Allen describes how he sees the ongoing condition of black people as an inevitable occurrence in the spinning cogs of the capitalist machine.