Women in Africa: Tradition and Change

While a single lesson plan cannot fully explore the variety and complexity of African life, in this lesson students can gain insight into the lives of some black women in Sub-Saharan Africa by adopting a perspective that is in part traditional, based on the arts of African village life, and in part postcolonial, based on the work of African women writing in English and French today. Students first examine a selection of traditional African artworks that portray women within precolonial family and community life. Then students explore the literature that women have created in postcolonial Africa and present a report on one writer, profiling her career and writing and commenting on the part that traditional values play in her work. (This second part of the lesson can be presented in English or French.)

Guiding Questions

No guiding questions provided.

Learning Objectives

To learn about the role of women in traditional African village life.

To understand the contextual nature of artwork within traditional African village life.

To become familiar with women writers of postcolonial Africa.

To examine how the traditions of village life influence postcolonial literature.