A New CanonBy Iquo B. Essien, The AFRican Blogger

A New Canon
By Iquo B. Essien, The AFRican Blogger

Published on Fri, Sep 07 2007 by Iquo Essien

August Wilson (1945-2006)

The funny thing about my last blog is, the very next day, my film school writing professor waxed poetic on the genius of Shakespeare. I, of course, sat in the back of the room smirking the entire time. Then last night in aesthetics class the prof extolled the virtues of D.W. Griffith who, despite his artistic abilities, was flatly racist. (At least we didn't have to watch "Birth of a Nation.")

I'm lucky that I have a good head on my shoulders or I would be easily swayed by these platitudes. In honor of my ousting of Shakespeare and other traditions from my mental canon, I propose a new one:

Achebe Things Fall Apart
Adichie Purple Hibiscus
Ali Infidel
Angelou I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Baldwin Notes of a Native Son
Beah A Long Way Gone
Bell Gospel Choirs
Cafalli-Sforza Genes, Peoples and Languages
Dangarembga Nervous Conditions
De Beauvoir The Second Sex
DuBois Souls of Black Folk
Ellison Invisible Man
Fanon Black Skin White Masks
Fanon The Wretched of the Earth
Giddings When and Where I Enter
Guy-Sheftall Words of Fire: An Anthology of African-American Feminist Thought
Hanh Being Peace
Hochschild King Leopold's Ghost
hooks Sisters of the Yam
hooks Black Looks: Race and Representation
Hurston Their Eyes Were Watching God
Jacobs, Equiano, Douglas The Classic Slave Narratives
James The Black Jacobins
Malcolm X The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Marquez One Hundred Years of Solitude
Marx The Communist Manifesto
Milton Paradise Lost
Morrison The Bluest Eye
Ngugi Weep Not, Child
Okri The Famished Road
Plath The Bell Jar
Sapphire Push
Saramago Blindness
Sembene God's Bits of Wood
Soyinka Ake
Thurman Jesus and the Disinherited
Walker The Colored Purple
Williams The Destruction of Black Civilization
Wilson The Piano Lesson

I have exposed my ideology, said too much, perhaps forgotten some. Traded Dostoevsky for Ellison. Shakespeare for Wilson. Could I live without Hemingway? I think so. It would be an entirely different world in my head -- perhaps a better one.


The AFRican Blogger


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