This essay moves between the author’s autobiographical reflections and a close reading of Maureen Warner-Lewis’s Guinea’s Other Suns (1991/2015) in order to unpack the ways Warner-Lewis’s research on Africa in the Caribbean has challenged the split between them around questions of ethnicity and racialization. It further attends to the significance of this work on and in Trinidad, given the refusal of Africanness at the time the book first appeared.
Maureen Warner-Lewis’s Work as African Recognition
Victoria J. Collis-Buthelezi is associate professor in English at the University of Johannesburg and director of the university’s Centre for the Study of Race, Gender, and Class. Her research interests include Black intellectual history and Caribbean, African, and African American literatures. She has published in Small Axe and Callaloo, as well as The Black Scholar, for which she was coeditor, with Christopher Ouma and Litheko Modisane, of the special issue “After Madiba: Black Studies in South Africa.” She is a member of the Other Universals Collective, a consortium of scholars in South Africa, Ghana, Ethiopia, Barbados, and Lebanon committed to exploring intellectual histories of exchange across Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and South Asia. Her current book project excavates the print cultures of Black migrants to Cape Town from the Caribbean, the United States, West Africa, and other parts of South Africa before the rise of anticolonial nationalism.
Victoria J. Collis-Buthelezi; Maureen Warner-Lewis’s Work as African Recognition. Small Axe 1 July 2023; 27 (2 (71)): 98–108. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-10795265
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