Description : In the quest to promote 'universal knowledge' and create Western institutions in Africa, the intellectual contributions of Africans without an academic education have been downplayed and maligned. This work identifies contributions made by prominent Yoruba intelligentsia outside of academic life and shows that intellectual contributions need not be divorced from the concerns of local communities or deliberately promote narrative inequality and distance.
Description : In songs, dance and drama the fame of the Yoruba of Nigeria is firmly established and universally acknowledged. Also an established writing and literary tradition, the Yoruba have asserted themselves as a dominant force in the world of creativity. Such stars are represented here, as in the works of Wole Soyinka and Zulu Sofola. The future of language in the making of new idioms and dictionaries is also examined in an attempt to position the Yoruba and their cultures in the ever-changing world of cultural inventions.
Description : The Yoruba people today number more than 30 million strong, with significant numbers in the United States, Nigeria, Europe, and Brazil. This landmark reference work emphasizes Yoruba history, geography and demography, language and linguistics, literature, philosophy, religion, and art. The 285 entries include biographies of prominent Yoruba figures, artists, and authors; the histories of political institutions; and the impact of technology and media, urban living, and contemporary culture on Yoruba people worldwide. Written by Yoruba experts on all continents, this encyclopedia provides comprehensive background to the global Yoruba and their distinctive and vibrant history and culture.
Description : In this book, Suzanne Preston Blier examines the intersection of art, risk and creativity in early African arts from the Yoruba center of Ife and the striking ways that ancient Ife artworks inform society, politics, history and religion. Yoruba art offers a unique lens into one of Africa's most important and least understood early civilizations, one whose historic arts have long been of interest to local residents and Westerners alike because of their tour-de-force visual power and technical complexity. Among the complementary subjects explored are questions of art making, art viewing and aesthetics in the famed ancient Nigerian city-state, as well as the attendant risks and danger assumed by artists, patrons and viewers alike in certain forms of subject matter and modes of portrayal, including unique genres of body marking, portraiture, animal symbolism and regalia. This volume celebrates art, history and the shared passion and skill with which the remarkable artists of early Ife sought to define their past for generations of viewers.
Description : An examination of the attempt by Western-educated African intellectuals to create a 'better Africa' through connecting nationalism to knowledge, from the anti-colonial movement to the present-day.
Description : Spanning four decades of active scholarship by Professor Bethwell Allan Ogot, these essays reflect the range of his concerns, from the methodology of African history with his own emphasis on oral traditions, to the need to debunk the myth of the role of the outsider as the genius behind African achievements. They also examine the need for interdisciplinary scholarship in the reconstruction of the African past, his engagement with his own people, the Kenyans, and his concerns and reflections on the pitfalls of African independence.
Description : A masterful writer working in many genres, Ngugi wa Thiong'o entered the East African literary scene in 1962 with the performance of his first major play, The Black Hermit, at the National Theatre in Uganda. In 1977 he was imprisoned after his most controversial work, Ngaahika Ndeenda (I Will Marry When I Want), produced in Nairobi, sharply criticized the injustices of Kenyan society and unequivocally championed the causes of ordinary citizens. Following his release, Ngugi decided to write only in his native Gikuyu, communicating with Kenyans in one of the many languages of their daily lives, and today he is known as one of the most outspoken intellectuals working in postcolonial theory and the global postcolonial movement. In this volume, Ngugi wa Thiong'o summarizes and develops a cross-section of the issues he has grappled with in his work, which deploys a strategy of imagery, language, folklore, and character to "decolonize the mind." Ngugi confronts the politics of language in African writing; the problem of linguistic imperialism and literature's ability to resist it; the difficult balance between orality, or "orature," and writing, or "literature"; the tension between national and world literature; and the role of the literary curriculum in both reaffirming and undermining the dominance of the Western canon. Throughout, he engages a range of philosophers and theorists writing on power and postcolonial creativity, including Hegel, Marx, Lévi-Strauss, and Aimé Césaire. Yet his explorations remain grounded in his own experiences with literature (and orature) and reworks the difficult dialectics of theory into richly evocative prose.
Description : A "lush, evocative, breathtaking"* debut novel from Elaine Neil Orr, "reminiscent of Barbara Kingsolver's magnum opus, The Poisonwood Bible, with elements of Joseph Conrad and Louise Erdrich."* Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. When Emma Davis reads the words of Isaiah 6:8 in her room at a Georgia women’s college, she understands her true calling: to become a missionary. It is a leap of faith that sweeps her away to Africa in an odyssey of personal discovery, tremendous hardship, and profound transformation. For the earnest, headstrong daughter of a prosperous slave owner, living among the Yoruba people is utterly unlike Emma’s sheltered childhood—as is her new husband, Henry Bowman. Twenty years her senior, the mercurial Henry is the object of Emma’s mad first love, intensifying the sensations of all they see and share together. Each day brings new tragedy and heartbreak, and each day, Emma somehow finds the hope, passion, and strength of will to press onward. Through it all, Henry’s first gift to Emma, a simple writing box—with its red leather-bound diary and space for a few cherished keepsakes—becomes her closest confidant, Emma’s last connection to a life that seems, in this strange new world, like a passing memory. A tale of social and spiritual awakening; a dispatch from a difficult era at home and abroad; and a meditation on faith, freedom, and desire, A Different Sun is a captivating fiction debut. *Library Journal (starred review)
Description : The Red Book is nothing less than a spiritual fire starter -- a combustible cocktail of Hindu Tantra and Zen Buddhism, Rumi and Carl Jung, goddesses and psychics, shaken with cosmic nudges, meaningful subway rides, haircuts, relationships, sex, dreams, and intuition. Author Sera Beak's unique hybrid perspective, hilarious personal anecdotes, and invaluable exercises encourage her readers to live more consciously so they can start making clearer choices across the board, from careers to relationships, politics to pop culture and everything in between. For smart, gutsy, spiritually curious women whose colorful and complicated lives aren’t reflected in most spirituality books, The Red Book is an open invitation to find your true self and start sharing that delicious truth with the world.