Racial Tension and Identity Conflict in Diasporic Fictions of Uwem Akpan, Helen Oyeyemi, Chika Unigwe and Duker

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Awelewa, A.
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JAAR Publishing Center
Contemporary African literature is marked by movement of authors from their original homelands to new spaces and creation of a new genre known as diasporic African fiction. Studies in this area are developmental. Selected for this paper are Uwem Akpan, Helen Oyeyemi, Chika Unigwe and Ekow Duker, whose works: Say You’re One of Them, The Icarus Girl, On Black Sisters’ Street and White Wahala, respectively reflect racial tension and identity conflict in the new diasporic African setting and circumstances that give birth to them. Applying postcolonial and psychoanalytic theories, this paper examines how the different nations of Africa and the social classes in the “imagined communities” portrayed in the texts have fared in their responses to the challenges of “arrested decolonization” in postcolonial Africa. The paper discovers that racial tension and identity conflict in Africa are a common problematic concern that arises due to colonial and postcolonial dynamics and that authors of African origin are worried, hence the commitment nature of their fiction, which tends to be psychotherapeutic. It concludes that diasporic African literature serves as a custodian of African consciousness.
The paper considers the crises of race and identity in parts of Africa. It also considers post-apartheid South Africa and the quest for religious, cultural, political and economic progress in Africa.
Diasporic African Literature, Racial tension, Identity conflict, Imagined communities, Arrested decolonization