An Introduction to Chinua Achebe's An Image of Africa

In An Image of Africa, Chinua Achebe calls out Joseph Conrad for his racist attitudes in Heart of Darkness. Achebe contents that despite the fact that Conrad's novel is a blistering attack on Colonialism in the Congo, his characters are mere stereotypes. Introduce viewers to the key ideas in Achebe's lecture with a short video.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Include the video in a unit study of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness
  • Have groups apply Achebe's criticisms of Conrad's one-dimensional characters to his own Things Fall Apart

Classroom Considerations
  • A protocol must in place for the the safe, mature discussion of controversial issues like racism and white privilege
Pros
  • The narrator's explanation of Achebe's criticism is specific and direct
Cons
  • The video compares Achebe's ideas to the advertising on a cereal bar