SELF AND IDENTITY IN AFRICAN AND CARIBBEAN LITERATURES

SELF AND IDENTITY IN AFRICAN AND CARIBBEAN LITERATURES

ABSTRACT

The brutality of the transatlantic slave trade and colonization left one intransigent problem in its wake “ the absence of authentic self-knowledge in the continental Africans and Africans in diaspora. The slave masters and colonialists portray African culture as negative and irrelevant to make Africans and the Caribbean people have no alternative but to assimilate and conform to the colonial paradigm.  The European slave and colonial masters employ the technique of imposing their culture on Africans and African diasporans so that they would brainwash black men, erase their culture from their memory as well as restrain the people from attacking the imposing of imperial dominance over the blacks. They know that knowledge is power and in subtle ways, they want the African voice to be kept in perpetual silence so that Africans would be in perpetual slavery.  Africa and Africans throughout the world fight to regain their individual and native selves. This self and identity spread across the span of human history, both oral and written literature and the discourse appear to speak to a desire for a fully realized identity/personality. In this research we examine through some African and Caribbean literary texts how the continental/diaspora Africans lives and literatures, both past and present, have been frequently defined by the people’s desire to create and recreate themselves. In this research exploration into African and Caribbean literature we also expose the identification and assertion of the individual and native self of the black people by delving into the social mechanisms, traditional and modern, that have contributed to their survival. We also have a result that victims of lavishly resourced and sophisticated abuse can rebound with energy, humour and even as readiness to forgive. We have a result that improves the lives of the black people by rehabilitation of African culture and also help in the decolonization of the African mind. Africans are made to see the need to avoid all perspectives that make African interest subordinate to non-African interest. The information about the survival strategies deployed by the blacks to the evil effect of slavery, colonialism, racism, apartheid and marginalization in the past can help predict what activities the blacks would use to fight for their rights in future. It would help in preserving the best in the intellectual resources of the human mind for future living.