Black Academy Press, Inc

Publishers of the Black World

A HISTORY OF AFRICANA WOMEN’S LITERATURE

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A HISTORY OF AFRICANA WOMEN’S LITERATURE
Essays on poetry, gender, religion, feminism, aesthetics, politics, moral values, African tradition & diaspora / edited by Rose Ure Mezu.– 1st ed. p. cm.

A History of Africana Women’s Literature contains a selection of essays  by notable Feminist/Womanist scholars  exploring the lives of  Black  women in different socio-cultural, linguistic and religious milieux, using a cross-disciplinary perspective.  The book offers  portraits of women actually seen to move beyond mere socio-gender protests against marginalization and voicelessness to a much-desired phase of dynamic socio-political / intellectual activism and self-actualization — leading to a recovery and an effective use of the female voice.  Fictive or real, women of this anthology all have a history of activism that can be traced  even to pre-colonial Africa and its orality. 



This  essay collection further achieves continuity by connecting  women from disparate geo-linguistic and cultural spaces visibly engaged in  identical gender struggles.  The essays provide deep insights into the strategies these women adopt to combat and demolish the male-erected architectural enclosures of exclusion.  This anthology also acknowledges the contributions of men, termed “gynandrists† who have  with empathy spoken for women long before women could themselves do so.

1. African literature–Women authors–History and criticism. 2. Women in literature. 3. Women, Black, in Literature. 4. Women and literature–Africa. 5. Feminism–Africa.  Contributors include: Rose Ure Mezu, Gloria Chuku, Ramenga Mtaali Osotsi, Margaret A. Reid, Pierre-Damien Mvuyekure, Najat Rahman, Deirdre Bucher Heistad, Mbare Ngom, Blessing Diala-Ogamba, Marlene de la Cruz-Guzmn and Lena Ampadu.

CONTENTS

1 Introduction
A Continuum of Black Women’s Activism  ………………………………….9
2. Theorizing the Feminist Novel: Women and
The State of African Literature Today by Rose Ure Mezu…………… 24
3. Women in Igbo Society: A Historico-Literary Analysis of
Forms of Expressed and Transmitted Knowledge by Gloria Chuku..48
4. Utendi wa Mwana Kupona: A Re-evaluation of a Waswahili
Classic Poem by Ramenga Mtaali Osotsi …………………………………..89
5. From Nyabingi, The Priestess and Her Abagirwa to
Nya(h)bing(h)i the Rastafari: Supernatural Matrix for Political
Protest and Anti-Colonial and Neo-Colonial Resistance
by Pierre-Damien Mvuyekure  …………………………………………….   118
6. Conflict or Compromise: The Changing Roles of Women in the
Writings of Rebekah Njau and Grace Ogot by Margaret A. Reid .. 147
7. Early Nigerian Matriarchs in Historic Action:
A Literary Reconstruction by Rose Ure Mezu  ………………………..  159
8. Reclaiming Heritage of Disinheritance Through “Women of
the Verb” in Assia Djebar’s Loin de Médine by Najat Rahman ….. 178
9. Women in Maghribi Tales of Kinship, Religion, Revolt,
and Exile by Deirdre Bucher Heistad …………………………………….  221
10. The Recovered Voice: Body and Writing in
The Princess of Tiali by Nafissatou Niang Diallo by M’bar N’Gom  260
11. The Non-Conformist Women of Nuruddin Farah’s
Blood of the Sun Trilogy by Blessing Diala-Ogamba ………………  276
12. Signifying Women’s Oppression in Zimbabwe:
Feminist theory in Yvonne Vera’s Butterfly Burning
by Marlene de la Cruz-Guzmn …………………………………………….  299
13. The Politics of Gender in the Writings of Selected
Southern African Writers: Bessie Head, Tsitsi Dangarembga,
and J. Nozipo Maraire by Lena M. Ampadu .. ……………………….   320
14. Spirituality in African Traditional Community –
Art, Orature and Women Priestesses/Diviners  ……………………..   333

15. About the Contributors ………………………………………………..   351