China Achebe's thoughts on an African Proverb are insightful.


Chinua Achebe is a Nigerian author who is best known for his book “Things Fall Apart”. That book as well as “Home and Exile” are reviewed on this site.

In Home and Exile Achebe tells us of an African Proverb that tells us that "until lions produce their own historians, the story will only glorify the hunter."

Achebe wants us to see that many writers portray Africa in ways that they think are expected, not having the right point of view. They have a dark and primitive point of view that strips much of the real beauty of the culture away.

This lesson applies to much of what we read of history. The American West has a viewpoint with many of the old writers that does the same thing to the culture of the American Indians.

Achebe's message is that Africa will be best served if African authors write about it.

We should consider whether our viewpoints as writers are factual or traditional. 

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