The Paradoxes of History and Memory in Postcolonial Sierra Leone

The Paradoxes of History and Memory in Postcolonial Sierra Leone

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This anthology reflects the complex processes in the production of historical knowledge and memory about Sierra Leone and its diaspora since the 1960s. The processes, while emblematic of experiences in other parts of Africa, contain their own distinctive features. The fragments of these memories are etched in the psyche, bodies, and practices of Africans in Africa and other global landscapes; and, on the other hand, are embedded in the various discourses and historical narratives about the continent and its peoples. Even though Africans have reframed these discourses and narratives to reclaim and re-center their own worldviews, agency, and experiences since independence they remained, until recently, heavily sedimented with Western colonialist and racialist ideas and frameworks. This anthology engages and interrogates the differing frameworks that have informed the different practices-professional as well as popular-of retelling the Sierra Leonean past. In a sense, therefore, it is concerned with the familiar outline of the story of the making and unmaking of an African "nation" and its constituent race, ethnic, class, and cultural fragments from colonialism to the present. Yet, Sierra Leone, the oldest and quintessential British colony and most Pan-African country in the continent, provides interesting twists to this familiar outline. The contributors to this volume, who consist of different generations of very accomplished and prominent scholars of Sierra Leone in Africa, the United States, and Europe, provide their own distinctive reflections on these twists based on their research interests which cover ethnicity, class, gender, identity formation, nation building, resistance, and social conflict. Their contributions engage various paradoxes and transformative moments in Sierra Leone and West African history. They also reflect the changing modes of historical practice and perspectives over the last fifty years of more

Product details

  • Hardback | 332 pages
  • 154.94 x 218.44 x 30.48mm | 635.03g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0739180029
  • 9780739180020

About Sylvia Ojukutu-Macauley

Sylvia Ojukutu-Macauley is professor of history at Truman State University. She is also the director of the Ronald McNair Post-Baccalaureate Program at Truman. Ojukutu-Macauley has also taught at Fourah Bay College-University of Sierra Leone and the University of Ghana-Legon. Ismail Rashid, is professor of history at Vassar College. He is the coeditor (with Adekeye Adebajo) of West Africa's Security Challenges (2004).show more

Review quote

This collection of essays, showcasing the works of very accomplished and prominent scholars of Sierra Leone's history at home and abroad, seeks to reconfigure the western paradigms of engagement and interpretation of historical knowledge about Sierra Leone and re-center the conversation to include and reflect indigenous perspectives of the nation's past through exploring social constructs such as class, gender, identity formation, nation building, resistance, and social conflict. The writers' examination of the significance of these issues in recalibrating western notions of history and its sociocultural context illustrates the various paradoxes and transformative moments in Sierra Leone and West Africa. International Journal of African Historical Studies In an ethos of endemic corruption, ethnic-based politics, degraded educational structures, environmental pollution, and praetorian ambiguity, this anthology identifies the way to renewal. It plumbs the disquieting tensions of the trenches, gives voice to the marginalized, and rescues us from the cynical narratives of elite interests and personages. We see grassroots potential for relevance and verve, and our editors supply a long-felt need for interpretations of complex phenomena of gender, race, ethnicity, and social class. -- McSamuel Dixon-Fyle, Professor of History, DePauw Universityshow more

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Introduction Sylvia Ojukutu-Macauley and Ismail Rashid Chapter 2: Rebellious Subjects and Citizens: Writing Subalterns into the History of Sierra Leone Ismail Rashid Chapter 3: Clapping With One Hand: The Search for a Gendered 'Province of Freedom' in the Historiography of Sierra Leone Sylvia Ojukutu-Macauley Chapter 4: (Re) envisioning the African Diaspora: Historical Memory and Cross-fertilization in Post-colonial Sierra Leone Nemata Blyden Chapter 5: Historical Memory, Pan-Africanism and National Identity Tamba M'bayo Chapter 6: The Chalmers Commission and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Sierra Leone Official Inquiries as Historical Memory Lansana Gberie Chapter 7: Decolonization and the Rise of Krio Separatism Gibril Cole Chapter 8: The Roots of Military Praetorianism in Sierra Leone Festus Cole Chapter 9: History and Memory in Contemporary Sierra Leone: Re-inscribing Fragments from an Atlantic Past Ibrahim Abdullah Chapter 10: History, Memory and Post-Colonial Sierra Leone Arthur Abraham Chapter 11: Sierra Leone at Fifty: Confronting Old Problems and Preparing for New Challenges Yusuf Bangura Chapter 12: They Hold Up Half the Sky: Prospects and Challenges for Sierra Leonean Women in the 21st Century and Beyond Sylvia Ojukutu-Macauleyshow more