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Ch 4: African Literature

About This Chapter

In this chapter, you'll find short and engaging lessons that examine the characteristics, history and authors of African literature. You can use this chapter as a convenient homework help tool, textbook supplement and test preparation resource.

African Literature - Chapter Summary

This chapter provides an overview of African literature and its connections to African culture, politics, society and religion. Work through the chapter at your own pace to analyze the works from important African authors, including Mengistu Lemma, Leopold Senghor, Ama Ata Aidoo, Ingrid Jonker and Shaimaa al-Sabbagh. You can access this chapter at any time using your computer or mobile device. The bite-sized nature of these lessons helps you quickly move through the material and remember key concepts. The chapter also includes short self-assessment quizzes. By the end of the chapter, you should be able to:

  • Describe the culture and society of early Africa
  • Explain the importance of African folktales
  • Talk about the religion and culture of Ethiopia
  • Analyze Mengistu Lemma's ''Longing'', Ama Ata Aidoo's ''Two Sisters,'' Leopold Senghor's ''Night in Sine'' and Ingrid Jonker's ''The Child''
  • Discuss women and politics in Ghana following WWII
  • Describe modern Egyptian women in literature and culture
  • Assess the life and works of Shaimaa al-Sabbagh
  • Analyze Al-Sabbagh's ''I am the Girl Banned From Christian Religious Classes''
  • Identify the ethnic groups of Senegal
  • Understand the nature of South Africa during the apartheid era

14 Lessons in Chapter 4: African Literature
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Society & Culture in Early Africa

1. Society & Culture in Early Africa

In this lesson, you will explore some of the many sort of societies and cultures that have existed in Africa across time. Then, test your understanding with a brief quiz.

African Folktales: Importance, Commonalities & Changes

2. African Folktales: Importance, Commonalities & Changes

In this lesson, we will explore the benefits of generational storytelling by taking a look at African Folktales. We will also cover common elements shared among stories told throughout Africa, and take note of some of the recent changes made to this colorful art form.

Ethiopia: Religion & Culture

3. Ethiopia: Religion & Culture

From its food to its music, Ethiopia is a diverse and vibrant country. In this lesson, we will explore the religious makeup of Ethiopia and discover some of the cultural practices and norms of East Africa's most populous country.

Longing by Mengistu Lemma: Analysis & Interpretation

4. Longing by Mengistu Lemma: Analysis & Interpretation

Mengistu Lemma was an Ethiopian poet who was educated in English regions, including London. He wrote political commentary during the colonization of Ethiopia by European nations. This lesson reviews his work 'Longing.'

Women & Politics in Post-WWII Ghana

5. Women & Politics in Post-WWII Ghana

A lot changed for Ghana after World War II, and these changes had major impacts on Ghanaian women. In this lesson, we'll examine this history and see what life was like in postwar Ghana.

Ama Ata Aidoo's Two Sisters & Post-Colonialism

6. Ama Ata Aidoo's Two Sisters & Post-Colonialism

In this lesson, we will summarize and examine the short story 'Two Sisters' by Ama Ata Aidoo. This is a story about the challenges two sisters face after the British decolonization of Africa's Gold Coast.

Modern Egyptian Women in Culture & Literature

7. Modern Egyptian Women in Culture & Literature

If you are interested in the history or current state of Egypt, then understanding the role of women is crucial. This lesson discusses the important role of modern Egyptian women in the country's culture and literature.

Shaimaa al-Sabbagh: Biography & Poetry

8. Shaimaa al-Sabbagh: Biography & Poetry

In this lesson, we will discuss the life and works of Shaimaa al-Sabbagh. Sabbagh was an Egyptian poet who was inspired by political events and her association with the Socialist People's Alliance Party (SPAP).

Al-Sabbagh's I am the Girl Banned from Christian Religious Classes

9. Al-Sabbagh's I am the Girl Banned from Christian Religious Classes

In this lesson, we will examine the poem ''I am the Girl Banned from Christian Religious Classes'' by Shaimaa Al-Sabbagh. The Egyptian author wrote the poem as a form of activism against autocratic rulers.

Senegal Ethnic Groups

10. Senegal Ethnic Groups

Capitals and ports tend to be more diverse than the rest of a region. Therefore, it's no surprise that Senegal, long home to the capital of French West Africa, is one of the most diverse countries in the region, with people from as far away as Lebanon.

Leopold Senghor's Night in Sine: Summary & Analysis

11. Leopold Senghor's Night in Sine: Summary & Analysis

Leonard Senghor's ''Night in Sine'' is an expression of love and appreciation for the speaker's native Africa. In this lesson, we'll summarize the short poem and take a look at the messages Senghor may have been trying to convey.

South Africa in the Apartheid Era

12. South Africa in the Apartheid Era

Alongside the American period of segregation and Jim Crow, South Africa remains one of only a handful of countries to legalize and institutionalize racial discrimination. This lesson explains that practice, as well as how it was dismantled.

The Child by Ingrid Jonker: Analysis & History

13. The Child by Ingrid Jonker: Analysis & History

''The Child'' is a powerful poem by South African poet Ingrid Jonker. This poem expresses the tragedy of racial injustice in Jonker's native country and enduring hope for the future.

Required Assignments Reminder

14. Required Assignments Reminder

Sorry for the interruption to your course progress! We wanted to make sure you knew this course has a written assignment requirement in order to be completed. Read on to learn where to find these assignments and how to submit them.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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