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14 - Self, Collective, and Collection

from Part IV - Conclusion

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 June 2022

Toyin Falola
Affiliation:
University of Texas, Austin
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Summary

This chapter is a conclusion, a revisit from the beginning to recapture all that has been written. Analogously and methodically, the West had encountered Africa, witnessed its cultural practices but made the wrong, albeit demeaning, interpretation of it. Then came the “native,” attempting to walk them to the light through vast decades of experience and armed with an arsenal of cultural materials as evidence. The result is the challenge of the colonial matrix of power and resituating African literature at the center of African epistemology via autoethnography. Reemphasizing the points earlier made, the chapter discusses the position of self as an ambassador of the society it (self) comes from, having allowed its cultural ethos to manifest through self. Thus, everything about the individual manifests and reflects the “internal dynamics sustaining society.” This is further backed by the fact that the society shapes an individual through its “mores” and “institutions,” and thus makes it expedient to read a society through the character of an individual (an emissary), as opposed to an alien who cannot know beyond what is visible to the eyes.

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Chapter
Information
Decolonizing African Knowledge
Autoethnography and African Epistemologies
, pp. 453 - 481
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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