AWEJ. Special Issue on Literature No.2   October, 2014                                 Pp. 167-181

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Confronting Racism and Hegemony in World Literature: Extending Achebe’s Critique of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness


Abdullahi, Kadir Ayinde
Department of English,
Faculty of Arts, Social and Management Sciences,
Yobe State University, Nigeria



The interest of this paper is to examine racial issue and historical references, as well as the imperial discourse that Achebe has succinctly appropriated as thematic material and out of which his fiction emerged. The concern extends to Achebe’s theoretical directions and the important debates about racial politics and hegemony in fiction. The essay serves as a reminder that the prevailing condition of what critics refer to as post colonial culture emerged from the historical phenomenon of colonialism, with its wide range of material practices and effects such as slavery, displacement, emigration and racial as well as cultural discrimination. These material conditions and their relationship to question of ideology are the heart of the most vigorous debates in Achebe’s works. Since the colonial space is an antagonistic one, the paper reviews the divergent opinions of participants in the imperial discourse and locates the neutralizing influence of Achebe’s literature in the colonial world.
Key words: African Literature, ideology, colonialism, racial discrimination, culture


Abdullahi, Kadir Ayinde holds a Doctorate Degree in Literature from Ahmadu Bello
University, Zaria. He is currently a senior lecturer and Head of the English Department at Yobe
State University, Damaturu, (Nigeria). His area of research interest is African and Black
Diaspora Literature.