Womanism and African Consciousness
Africa World Press, 1997 - 216 pages
This book is a comprehensive study of the African woman's cultural, societal, and political audibility. Through an in-depth examination of the history of oral and written genres by and about women, the author challenges the readily accepted notion that African women are "voiceless" members of society. Providing the base for her study is the concept of "Womanism" -- an ideology which the she defines as the "totality of feminine self-expression, self-retreival, and self-assertion in positive cultural ways". This fascinating study reveals hidden areas of audibility and calls for a new generation of writers who will create a global consciousness about the realities of the African woman. It is a book that will raise your own awareness about what it means to be a woman of African descent. The issues discussed by the author are important and relevant to current dialogue among critics of feminism. Her conclusions are valid and well supported, particularly on the issue of the "invisibility" myth and its origins. Dr. Kolawale traces the development of the portrayal of women in literature in a comprehensive and cohesive manner. The author concludes that African women writers are not passive to their condition -- they are not "voiceless". She recommends a dialogic approach to modern criticism in order to accomodate all approaches to the African woman's self-definition. A high level of consciousness is central to self-recovery for the African woman, she asserts, and can be attained through African womanist ideology.
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