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Decolonising the Mind The Politics of Language in African Literature Studies in African Literature SeriesNgugi describes this book as Mind The Kindle #210 a summary of some of the issues in which I have been passionately involved for the last twenty years of my practice in fiction theatre criticism and in the teaching of literatureIn the eightee. “Education far from giving people the confidence in their ability and capacities to overcome obstacles or to become masters of the laws governing external nature as human beings tends to make them feel their inadeuacies their weaknesses and their incapacities in the face of reality; and their inability to do anything about the conditions governing their lives” Ngugi wa Thiong’o Decolonising the MindI’ve never seen colonialism described as succinctly as in the following passage “The real aim of colonialism was to control the people’s wealth what they produced how they produced it and how it was distributed; to control in other words the entire realm of the language of real life Colonialism imposed its control of the social production of wealth through military conuest and subseuent political dictatorship But its most important area of domination was the mental universe of the colonised the control through culture of how people perceived themselves and their relationship to the world”I read this book with my experiences in Africa conversations with my relatives and friends and my education at the back of my mind Trying to make sense of history and my place in it made this book invaluable to me and helped clarify and reiterate a lot of things The I read books on Africa be they about art language history or politics the I’m amazed how the continent is seen in many people’s minds as a homogeneous country This passive thinking really masks the complexity of issues in the continent Even without colonialism Africa would have been uite intricate but colonialism has truly caused mayhem in the entire continent And in many ways language is one of the biggest weapons the colonialists used to do soI like wa Thiong’o a lot Not only is he a great writer but it’s also clear he is a very passionate person with a lot of love for his country his continent and his language and a great advocate for the traditional arts He is very blunt and I admire that a lot Nobody is safe from his criticism even a few of my personal favourites such as Achebe Soyinka Cesaire In a sense he thinks they were brainwashed for putting the language of the colonizers on a pedestal I think it’s an interesting argument to be had but it’s hard for me to pick a side because I’m admittedly colonized myself and English dominant although it’s not my first language I found it useful to read wa Thiong’o’s perspective regardlessAnd wa Thiongo’s perspective is important He grew up during colonialism after all so he unlike me had the opportunity to study in his native language and unfortunately had to endure being forced to assimilate into the English languageHe details how the British tried to suppress local languages in Kenya how they arrested those who tried to encourage cultural proliferation and controlled the gathering of people in places He sees the differences in himself and his society before and after English language education was forced on him and his explanations and insights are very precise and often personalwa Thiong’o is very thorough in how he discusses the role of language as a carrier and transmitter of culture and what happens when that language is taken away from people This is such a common story not just in Africa but even here in Canada and I think we’re beginning to understand just how damaging it is to suppress and devalue language In what planet does it make sense that a Kenyan student in colonial Kenya would be punished for speaking Gikuyu or Swahili instead of English Personally I remember how I was often treated better than my cousins just because I could speak English and they couldn’t; I learned early on how language can be elitist “I believe that my writing in Gikuyu language a Kenyan language an African language is part and parcel of the anti imperialist struggles of Kenyan and African peoples In schools and universities our Kenyan languages– that is the languages of the many nationalities which make up Kenya– were associated with negative ualities of backwardness underdevelopment humiliation and punishment”Another great thing about wa Thing’o is how he respects the peasantry his choice of word The other day I was reading about the Third Estate in France during the 19th Century revolution and this reminded me of how in Africa the peasantry are the majority and that’s where the culture comes from Who makes the oral stories who upholds the culture It’s nice to see the peasantry being accredited with maintaining culture and tradition “These languages these national heritages of Africa were kept alive by the peasantry The peasantry saw no contradiction between speaking their own mother tongues and belonging to a larger national or continental geography They saw no necessary antagonistic contradiction between belonging to their immediate nationality to their multinational state along the Berlin drawn boundaries and to Africa on the whole”I was struck by the violence caused by colonialism Colonialism was celebrated and that’s the world I grew up in gratitude to the colonialists for “rescuing” us But what we know now is that it was very very violent and the wounds are still there If like wa Thiong’o said in 1984 the president of the West German Federal Council visited Togo in order to celebrate the centennial of Germany establishing Togo as a German colony to commemorate not the resistance to colonisation but the glory of colonisation” then clearly we haven’t learned much and dialogue still needs to be hadThe constant unlearning the decolonizing that needs to be done because we were lied to is something that I thought of throughout this book And it’s only now that I’m realizing in detail just how horrific colonialism was just how much we’ve lost What I aim to do myself how I aim to decolonize my own mind is by reading of my history I’ve also been thinking about how I’ve been influenced by other cultures so I wonder how far I can be decolonized This got me thinking about globalization and how that has affected us I would be interested to hear Thiong’o’s thoughts on this This is definitely a must read for everyone there is so much we don’t know or realize about the impact of the actions of those who came before us and this is a great start

Free read Decolonising the Mind The Politics of Language in African Literature Studies in African Literature Series

review Decolonising the Mind The Politics of Language in African Literature Studies in African Literature Series º PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ï [PDF / Epub] ☄ Decolonising the Mind The Politics of Language in African Literature Studies in AfriSAcknowledgementsPrefaceA StatementIntroduction Towards the Universal Language of Struggle The Language of African Literature The the Mind The PDFEPUB #231 Language of African Theatre The Language of African Fiction The uest for RelevanceInde. An amazing book by a Kenyan author on understanding the psychology of exploitation and oppression by colonialism and imperialism Its focus is on the exploitation of Africans by Europeans through the domination of culture but its lessons are applicable to the struggles of all peopleIt's a must read I learned about it from a Palestinian activist visiting the United States

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Nth and nineteenth centuries Europe Decolonising the PDF stole art treasures from Africa to decorate their houses and museums in the twentieth century Europe is stealing the treasures of the mind to enrich their languages and cultures Content. Decolonizing the Mind is integral I think to understanding anti colonialist struggles The western world understands colonialism in terms of the most visible aspects of a nation namely its leadership People fail to recognize the long term effects of colonialism such as widespread poverty Decolonizing the Mind reminds us of another of these aftereffects specifically the domination of language by the Western World In a sense the language barrier has enabled social apartheid where legal separation was considered anachronistic By dominating African languages and asserting the superiority of European ones over them Western nations did and African administrations still do perpetuate a system where educated whites rise to the highest social strata while native Africans are resigned to the working classes and peasantry This domination of language has effectively prevented any native African from rising into intellectual ranks because as Ngũgĩ puts it the use European languages splits African soul in two forcing him to relinuish his roots if he wishes to climb the social ladder