In this follow-up to his first volume, "On Black Culture," Femi Ojo-Ade continues his in-depth explication and exploration of black essence and experience, primarily through literature, as well as through socio-political events and personal actions and interactions. He discusses a broad range of themes, based upon the works of prominent writers of Africa and the African Diaspora. From Ama Ata Aidoo, Micere Mugo, Miriam Tlali, Aminata Sow Fall, Michele Lacrosil, Aline Franca, and Nikki Giovanni to Abdias do Nascimento, Nicolas Guillen, Leon-Gontran Damas, W.E.B. Du Bois, Richard Wright, and Marcus Garvey, Ojo-Ade analyzes various sites where black continues to suffer from the opprobrium of racism and to be a symbol of inferiority.
In his book, Ojo-Ade's also addresses Du Bois's prediction that "the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color line." As an internationally renowned researcher, Ojo-Ade uses his own many travelsfrom Africa to Brazil, Britain, Canada, Cuba, France, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and the United Statesto realistically assess the dilemma of being black in the world. He makes insightful and challenging observations, while asserting that black can only become beautiful again if blacks take a cue from the axiom proposed by the Brazilian writer-politician-activist, Abdias do Nascimento: "Only if I love myself may I truly love and interact with others [as human beings]."
Ojo-Ade's conclusions are rather disturbing because he does not mince words; yet, he sees room for hope, emanating from the blacks' resilience and constant struggle to re-affirm their humanity. This book is essential reading for those interested in understanding the complex experience of African peoples and for scholars of black literature and culture.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
FEMI OJO-ADE was formerly chair of the Department of Foreign Languages, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He is currently a tenured professor of French and coordinator of the African and African Diaspora Studies Program at St. Mary's College of Maryland. His most recent published book is "Death of a Myth" (AWP).
Cultural Studies, Literary Criticism/AFRICA