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ERIC Number: ED477337
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-May
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Racism in African Children's Literature: A Critique of Eric Campbell's "The Year of the Leopard Song."
Osa, Osayimwense
Eric Campbell, an English teacher, spent most of his working life in New Guinea and in East Africa, where he lived in the shadow of Kilimanjaro. He now lives in England and writes about Africa. People could expect an objective, and perhaps, a dispassionate account or depiction of African children and adults--their individual lives and sociocultural functions in a true geopolitical and sociocultural milieu in the 1990s--from a British writer and teacher reminiscent of another British teacher and writer, William Golding. But what a reader finds particularly in reading "The Year of the Leopard Song" is a disappointment. This paper discusses and analyzes Campbell's 1992 novel for children. The paper sees the novel as a deliberate continuation and revival of the misplaced old stereotypes of the barbaric and evil Africans. It states that in a children's literature course students can learn more about ideology and how the aesthetic practices of literary representation transform culture than in any other course they may take--they see how ideas of capitalism and imperialism get welded to moral imperatives in turn-of-the-century boys' adventure fiction, creating an ideal imperial subject itching for travel and conquest in the services of God and country. The paper notes that the functional nature of children's literature is to bring the world together in true brotherhood and sisterhood. It finds that international understanding and cooperation cannot be possible through "racist books" like Eric Campbell's "The Year of the Leopard Song." (Contains 12 references.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa