African cultural producers and border thinking: Dennis Brutus, Micere Mugo, Ousmane Sembène, and Ngugi wa Thiong’o

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Abstract

The colonial project in Africa involved not only overt violence, but also more covert forms of control. While the primary goal of colonialism was the exploitation of resources, land, and labor, this project simultaneously required management of the people’s psyche, and the creation of the colonized subject: a subject whose past is delegiti-mized, who is set in opposition to civilization, and whose development depends on the adoption of the philosophies of the colonial master. The colonial project delegitimized the history, epistemology, and ontology of the colonized, persuading the subject that his past is irrelevant and the ideology of the colonizer is the path to enlightenment and civilization. While the physical violence of colonialism has had a profound impact on the continent, perhaps more lasting and insidious is this weapon that Ngugi wa Thiong’o has referred to as the “cultural bomb,” which “annihilate”] a people’s belief in their names, in their languages, in their environment, in their heritage of struggle, in their unity, in their capacities and ultimately in themselves.”1
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobalization and Socio-Cultural Processes in Contemporary Africa
EditorsEunice N. Sahle
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Chapter8
Pages169-197
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9781137519146
ISBN (Print)9781349562091
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • World System
  • Local History
  • African Language
  • Apartheid Regime
  • African Literature

Cite this

Dahlgren, K. (2015). African cultural producers and border thinking: Dennis Brutus, Micere Mugo, Ousmane Sembène, and Ngugi wa Thiong’o. In E. N. Sahle (Ed.), Globalization and Socio-Cultural Processes in Contemporary Africa (pp. 169-197). Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137519