AFRICANITY IN THE LITERATURE OF BLACK DIASPORA: KAMAU BRATHWAITE CONTEXTUALIZED

Effumbe Kachua

Abstract


The African landscape, history and culture are severally identified in the literature of Black Diaspora as vital features of black aesthetics. From the 13th and 14th Centuries, the word ‘Africa’ in the West Indies had mythic connotation for a traditional society in the far remote past. It gives an impression of an edenic home, lost at the period of Slave Trade. The implications of this interpretation convoke several notions of different conceptual worlds within the Caribbean Archipelago to different writers in the region. Kamau Brathwaite, on his part, celebrates this African world as part of his romantic identification with, and psychic integration with the world of his ancestors. Through this process of creative re-visitation to his ancestral past, the poet points to a valid and concrete tradition that speaks volumes of humanity’s origin and an evolution of a generic culture and tradition that transcends the chronological dating. Before the advent of slavery, Africans had an enduring living culture that withstood the incendiary advances of colonialist’s powers. These are the elements that this research seeks to establish in the poetry of Kamau Brathwaite.

 

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Africanity, archipelago, edenic

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References


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