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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The dialectics of homeland and identity: reconstructing Africa in the poetry of Langston Hughes and Mohamed Al-Fayturi
Author:Gohar, Saddik M.ISNI
Year:2008
Periodical:Tydskrif vir letterkunde
Volume:45
Issue:1
Pages:42-74
Language:English
Geographic term:Sudan
Subjects:poetry
African identity
About persons:Muhammad al- Fayt»ur»i (ca1936-)ISNI
James Langston Hughes (1902-1967)ISNI
Link:https://doi.org/10.4314/tvl.v45i1.29820
Abstract:The article investigates the dialectics between homeland and identity in the poetry of the Sudanese poet Mohamed Al-Fayturi and his literary master, Langston Hughes, in order to underline their attitudes toward crucial issues integral to the African and African-American experience such as identity, racism, enslavement and colonization. The article argues that in Hughes's early poetry Africa is depicted as the land of ancient civilizations in order to strengthen African-American feelings of ethnic pride during the Harlem Renaissance. This idealistic image of a pre-slavery, a pre-colonial Africa, the paper argues, disappears from the poetry of Hughes after the Harlem Renaissance, to be replaced with a more realistic image of Africa under colonization. The article further demonstrates that unlike Hughes, who attempts to romanticize Africa, Al-Fayturi rejects a romantic confrontation with the roots. Interrogating Western colonial narratives about Africa, Al-Fayturi reconstructs pre-colonial African history in order to reveal the tragic consequences of colonization and slavery upon the psyche of the African people. The article also points out that in their attempts to confront the oppressive powers which aim to erase the identity of their peoples, Hughes and Al-Fayturi explore areas of overlap drama between the turbulent experience of African-Americans and the catastrophic history of black Africans dismantling colonial narratives and erecting their own cultural mythology. App., bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract] (Also in: International Journal of Humanistic Studies, vol. 6 (2007), p. 1-21.)
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