He Reclaimed The Story Of Colonization From European Writers

Chinua Achebe speaking at podium
Leslie Taylor-Grover
October 19, 2021

Nearly every single book published about Africa had been written by Europeans. But Chinua Achebe had witnessed firsthand the cruelties of the British colonization of Nigeria!

And of course, the white writers had told Black stories wrong. He HAD to set the record straight.

He had to write. Although he had worked in a few different jobs, his role as an educator had given him the vision to help his people: to tell the TRUTH!

He decided not to sugarcoat his work. His first novel, Things Fall Apart, centers on the struggle between native African culture and its oppression by white Christian missionaries and the colonial government. 

He directly contradicted white revisionist tellings of this fight. What happened?

His work was not only well-received, but it also gave voice to the struggles and complexities of life under white colonists. He continued to write and tell the story of life under colonization, but he also did something else.

He created a space for African writers that had not existed before. White writers had stolen the African story – and he took it back! His legacy earned him the title of the Father of African Literature

Achebe wrote about his experiences and struggles to inspire and give awareness to the cruelties of colonialism. How can you use your challenges to inspire resilience?

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