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The Literature of Ama Ata Aidoo

BY: Shon Levy | Category: Education | Submitted: 2010-07-08 19:26:58
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Article Summary: "Ama Ata Aidoo is a African feminist who utilizes her creative practice to promote women's empowerment..."


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Ama Ata Aidoo, author, poet, playwright and short story writer, was born Christina Ama Aidoo in Ghana in 1942. She was the daughter of a chief in the town of Abeadzi Kyiakor. She attended school there and graduated at the University of Ghana in Legon. Her published collections include two plays, The Dilemma of a Ghost(1965) and Anowa(1969); two collections of short stories, No Sweetness Here(1970) and The Girl who Can and Other Stories; two novels Our sister Killjoy(1977) and Changes(1991); and a collection of poetry Someone Talking to Sometime(1985). Since her first play, Aidoo has been an important figure in the struggle for Ghanaian national liberation in the context of colonialism and neo-colonialism.

She was also involved in the Pan-Africanist struggles against the oppression of black people in Africa by neo-colonialism as well as racism in the diaspora. She is one of the few writers who treat the theme of the Atlantic slave trade and the situation of the African diaspora in America. She is an avid defender of African women's liberation and this is one of the main themes in her works. Aidoo is also an avid critic of the corruption and hypocrisy of the national bourgeoisie in post-independent Ghana. She has also been involved in Ghanaian politics and was, in the early 1980s, the Minister of Education under the Jerry Rawlings government.

Aidoo's writings reflect her career and have certainly been influenced by the historical events which have shaped her life in her country. She maintains that the struggle for women's liberation must not be subordinated to anti-imperialist struggles, but rather must be an intrinsic part of these. For Aidoo there is no African liberation without African women's liberation.

The problems of the contemporary African woman are expressed in Aidoo's works as part of the situation of colonial and post-colonial Africa. She portrays a woman oppressed by imperialism and neo-imperialism as well as suffering from multiple oppressions: African traditions, the experience of colonization and western ideology.

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