Historical African Biographies
The subject of Historical African Biographies is rich and diverse. Although orientated towards West Africa, the biographies present a comprehensive representation of the entire continent, which has a shared history and experience. The threatened loss of autonomy and subjugation to European rule represent a critical moment in African history, requiring a complex interplay of forces stretching back in time. The need for modernization and reform, coupled with an emergence of a strong sense of nationhood, fueled the historical interest in this genre.
This book examines the complexities of postcolonial statebuilding. Using extensive archival records, Angelo details the negotiations that transformed Kenya from a monarchy to a presidential republic. Angelo's book also examines the emergence of postcolonial statebuilding, arguing that neither Kenyan nor British political elites intended to create a presidential regime with near-limitless executive power. As the first postcolonial president of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta was a key figure in the postcolonial transformation of Kenya.
The biographies of the African political leaders remain popular, despite their criticisms from academics who claim they are not scientific, too male-centric, and fail to provide critical analysis. This book challenges these criticisms and proposes new ways of using biographies to engage with critical analyses of state power in postcolonial Africa. By offering an alternative history of power, historical African biographies can shed new light on alternative histories of power.
The book is divided into three parts. Part 1 examines the antecedents of the emergence of postcolonial African states. Part 2 looks at women's leadership in political life during and after colonization. Anais Angelo's book reveals how biographical narratives can serve as platforms for cross-disciplinary dialogues. As such, it is an important read for scholars interested in postcolonial African states, decolonization processes, and gender studies.
W. E. B. du Bois's African Biographies
Among Du Bois's most notable works are his two large-scale African biographies, The Repression of the African Slave Trade in the United States (1638-1870) and Darkwater: Voices within the Veil. Both books reflect the Civil War's many themes, including the role of African colonization and international recruitment. Du Bois also traveled to Liberia and the Soviet Union, and became increasingly aware of Freud and Marxism. His writings and research have had an enormous impact on modern sociological scholarship.
Du Bois was also a leading figure in the African American community. He founded The Crisis, a monthly journal that was widely distributed and received by African Americans. Du Bois's editorials focused on all forms of racial bigotry and violence against black people. This book is an important piece of American history. Hopefully, it will spur other African Americans to take up the fight against injustice and racism.
Du Bois grew up in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. He reported for the local newspaper as a child and graduated as valedictorian from high school in 1884. After finishing his undergraduate studies, Du Bois attended the University of Berlin in Germany. He was inspired by prominent European social scientists of his time. Du Bois's biography of William Monroe Trotter, a famous African American, won numerous awards and was awarded an honorary doctorate.
Van Onselen's biography of a sharecropper in South Africa
"The Biography of a Sharecropper in South Africa" is a highly regarded and engaging study of the life of an Afrikaner sharecropper. Van Onselen studied history at the Rhodes University in Grahamstown and at St Antony's College in Oxford. He published widely in leading historical journals and received visiting fellowships at Harvard Yale Cambridge and Oxford. His current appointment is as a Research Professor at the University of Pretoria.
Maine was a big man who remained powerful and independent almost to the end of his life. His spirit never waned, he remained a "job without despair," and he married four times, had thirteen children, and had 33 grandchildren. Maine's story is one of struggle and endurance that typifies the life of an African sharecropper in the bleak Transvaal, a savage triangle bordered by the Kalahari Desert. The author provides a powerful picture of the relationship between a landowner and a farmer in the context of an increasingly racist society.
A fascinating story about life on the land, a white man who survived as a sharecropper for more than a century, "The Seed Is Mine" is a revealing account of Kas Maine's struggles as he fought against harsh nature, and complicated race relations in South Africa. While white landowners desperately need black sharecroppers, they don't want them. A pious, compassionate, and wise man, Mr. Maine is often compared to the Prince in Giuseppe de Lampedusa's "Leopard," and he fathered many children, most of them white. The aristocratic rural type of life has been virtually destroyed by apartheid laws.
Sampson's account of Mandela's dysfunctional family life
In his historical African biography, the author demystifies Mandela, delving into the private life of the former president. Sampson examines Mandela's relationship with his first wife, Winnie Mandela, and her role in Mandela's life. After reading his memoirs, Sampson concluded that Winnie had been manipulated by the security forces and was no longer worthy of a loving husband. Sampson also examines Mandela's estrangement from his family, as well as his devotion to the nation.
Sampson's account of Mandela and his family's dysfunctional relationship is a rare and important addition to the history of the ANC. This historical African biography is a must-read for anyone interested in Mandela's life and legacy. In this account of Mandela's dysfunctional family life, Sampson provides the reader with an in-depth and accurate portrait of the man who changed the course of African politics.
The emergence of historical African biographies has spurred a growing number of biographical studies. Perhaps the most famous of these biographies is of Nelson Mandela, which has become a lucrative industry. But other famous people have become subject to biographies, including ordinary people. And while women have received less attention than men, they have also become active authors of autobiographical memoir. Some of these autobiographies include the Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai's.
Kololo's biography of a sharecropper in South Africa
Kas Maine lived through the transformation of South Africa from a premodern agrarian colony to a highly industrialized apartheid state. While his family sharecropped in the high veld alongside poor whites, Kas Maine was marginal to these changes. He remained a steadfast survivalist, measuring man's word by the yield of his pastures. Yet he possessed a modernist mindset and a traditionist outlook.
The practice of sharecropping has its pros and cons for both parties. The landowner provides the sharecropper with a plot of land and receives a fixed wage for planting and harvesting crops. However, sharecropping also comes with its costs. The landowner provides housing, tools, seed, and working animals. On top of that, he provides the food for the sharecropper on credit. Sharecroppers repay the landowner with their share of the crop.
The uprising of the Nama and Herero people in l904-07 was triggered by the rinderpest epidemic, alienation of better-watered highlands, and unfair trading practices. As a result, the Herero population fell from about 70,000 to just under 20,000. Despite this dramatic drop, Kololo's biography of a sharecropper in South Africa remains an important document of the human experience in the l90s.
Wole Soyinka's biography of a sharecropper in South Africa
"Ake," Wole Soyinka's historical biographical novel, is a powerfully moving tale of life on a South African sharecropping farm. When Soyinka was a boy, he was a curious and precocious reader. He was fascinated by the vibrant profusion of life outside his parsonage compound. One day, he wandered off into the village market and was caught on the crossbar of a policeman's bicycle. Soyinka's vivid description of childhood life is a highlight of this story.
Soyinka's first novel, The Man Died, is a saga of poverty, racism, and family life in post-apartheid South Africa. He imagined an African-based movement to liberate South Africa. Soyinka was a West African student who enrolled in a British military education program. Unfortunately, he was kicked out of his program during the Suez Crisis, a time of political conflict between Egypt and South Africa.
Soyinka's autobiographical work is a complex work. His autobiography, Ake: The Years of Childhood, was published by Random House in 1997. He is also the author of several novels, including "The Interpreters," an autobiographical account of his life. "Ake," on the other hand, depicts Soyinka's childhood in Nigeria, where his parents lived as sharecroppers and were often forced to work at slave-like wages.