Modern African literature is taking a journey through the diaspora back to the continent

On the first day of class, as a way of introduction, I asked the fifteen diverse students in my class at the School of Visual Arts in New York City why they chose to take Afrodiasporic literature.

One after another, these young men and women from America, India, Haiti and China stated what motivated them to register for the course. Most of them felt it would be a good addition to their knowledge of the world. Only three of them had been to Africa. One went to Egypt, one to South Africa and the other visited her parents’ country of Nigeria.

Of all the students, only two knew Chinua Achebe and had read “Things Fall Apart.” One had read Chimamanda Adichie’s “Americanah.” One student told me that he honestly picked the Afrodiasporic literature because it worked with his schedule and he needed a three credit elective to complete his required credits in order to graduate.

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