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African Literature

African Literature essay due and don’t know how to start it? How about like this?

During the last decade, a surplus of South African Art has caught the attention of the outside world, most of it pertaining to areas of music, theatre, film, and fine arts. While most of the worlds attention has been focused on African writers who primarily work in the genre of fiction, a new wave of interest in poetry from Africans is currently catching the attention of the public in general as well as many literary commentators. African Literature

African Literature

of the 70's

 

During the 1970s, most literary discussions concerning African poetry was associated with the Black Consciousness and was called one of the following:

  • “township poetry”
  • “the new black poetry”
  • “Soweto poetry”

During the latter half of the 1970s, the term Soweto began to be associated with the activism of the entire decade, with some of this new black poetry appearing in such journals as The Classic and The Purple Renoster. As a symbol of the growing strife between blacks and whites in Africa, many of these African poets did away with their “white Christian names” in favor of those that were truly African in nature such as Mtshali, Serote, Sipho Sepamla, Makifa Gwala, among others. The adoption of these African names served a duel purpose for these poets. For one, it allowed them to pledge their allegiance to the black cause in Africa, while at the same time called the attention of the whites to the desperate need of many African communities. The poets of the 1970s sought to raise the African social conscious during a time of transition and change, as well as raise the political issues that concerned them.

The New Black Poetry

The new black poetry described above brought immediate attention and many sales to the African poets who dared voice their opinions. Yet for almost the next decade, interest in African poetry faded, in part due to the political unrest experienced in the country at that time. The seemingly lack of interest in African poetry during this time can also be attributed in part to a lack of suitable venues for the African poet to publish his/her works. During the 1990s, only two or three literary journals showed any interest in publishing African poetry as did mainstream publishers who generally only accepted a few collections a year. As a result, a number of small hand or DTP produced journals and magazines have emerged to fill the gap, giving the little recognized African poet a forum from which to be heard.

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