Great African Writers for Great Philadelphia Students
Help me give my students access to high-quality literature from one of Africa's best contemporary writers. Writing in Gikuyu and Swahili, Thiong'o created a presence and preservation of indigenous African literature and language.
My students attend a large, comprehensive urban magnet school in Philadelphia with over 2000 students. Coming from all neighborhoods, the students represent the vibrancy and diversity of Philadelphia; each class I teach is comprised of students from at least ten different racial, ethnic, or national origin groups.
Although my students are talented, they are not privileged and struggle to afford the extra-curricular events, like field trips or new literature, that enhance the educational experience.
The students crave the opportunities to view cultural events and to visualize literature being made real.
My students need access to the best contemporary literature from prize-winning novelists. Through access to scholars and writers in post-Colonial Africa, my students are able to participate in the international discussion affecting the literary world of today.
In discussing Thiong'o's literature, my students will be able to understand the challenges faced by a writer in an autocratic country who was fighting to maintain his voice and his cultural identity.
By addressing the themes in the novel, the students will be able to access the challenges faced in the present world by citizens from other countries aspiring to create in an international marketplace.
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