February is Black History Month, so I feel obliged to share two great nobels I read a while ago by Black authors: Annie John by Jamaica Kinkaid and Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe.
Annie John explores the life of the character in the title from ten to seventeen years while living in Antigua with her mother. Because the novel explores such crucial years, we get to see Annie growin up which is, most of the times, a painful. However, this is a great book and Jamaica Kinkaid explores the problems of growin up as a black girl in an English system where equailty is superficial. As she says, they were tought to be English, act English… but they were never considered English.
Things Fall Apart is a novel from 1958 by Chinua Achebe belonging to the Negritude movement: a group of African and West Indian students realised in the 50’s Paris that what they were studying known as “African Studies” was the Colonial curriculum. There were not paying attention to any genuine African productions, so they started a new movement where the true African voice would be heard and it cannot be louder than in Things Fall Apart. The novel follows Okonkwo, the leader of the Igbo trible under in an anthropological tone, providing an incredible and interesting point of view of a culture probably not very known in the Western culture. However, Achebe ignores the feminine point of view and women are presented in abusive situations as passive beings.
On the other hand, these are two books I saw at Eat The Books that I would like to read: Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism by Bell Hooks because I have had some wonderful Feminist teachers that had taught me to appreciate the voice of women in literature and The Color Purple by Alice Walker: it is a classic… and I haven’t read it! (Yet).
What about you? Have you planned to read anything special this month?