Tag: west african history

Toni Morrison’s Beloved: Slavery and the Haunting that Persists.

Toni Morrison’s Beloved is a novel about the enslavement of Black Americans and its lasting emotional, physical and psychic effects. It takes place in Cincinnati, Ohio right before and after the Civil War. Beloved is the story of Sethe, a woman so strong, she survives the unthinkable, over and over and over again. Beloved is the name of the angry baby girl haunting the home of her younger sister, Denver, and Sethe, the mother who murdered her. The ghost, in her eighteen-month-old, non-physical form has driven everyone else out of the house, including Sethe’s two sons whom she tried...

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Maryse Condé: “Astute Scholar with a Mighty Pen” French Guadaloupean (b.1937)

Maryse Condé’s novel Segu is set in the kingdom of Segu (1797) on the Niger river in what is mainly present-day Mali, but was once the empire of the Bambaras. Condé dedicates the book to her Bambara ancestress. The book is the story of the Traore family, Bambara royalty. We follow the lives of the patriarch, Dousika and his four sons from four different wives. The Segu of the Traores is a land of griots (storyteller singers) and villagers living in a compound sprawling with groups of conjoined huts separated by courtyards full of wooden stools, watched over by...

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