Writing as a Means of Enabling Afrikan Self-Determination

Ani, Marimba
January 1999
Defining Ourselves: Black Writers in the 90s;1999, p209
The article argues that writing and the dissemination of writings are part of a process through which people of Afrikan descent are pursuing self-determination and creating self-identity. The author calls upon writers of "Afrikan" descent to adopt a paradigm that espouses an "Afrikan" worldview, one that is accountable to the community and rooted in one's familial, collective, and historical being. The construction of the paradigm is necessarily a collective enterprise, as the Afrikan ethos (utamaroho) is collective. Ayi Kwesi Armah's writing, most importantly, Two Thousand Seasons, is a seminal work in this tradition. The film Sankofa by Haile Gerima visually expresses the concept of an Afrikan ancestral consciousness as a liberating and healing energy-force for black people.


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