- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Mark Batty Publisher; 01 edition (30 Aug. 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0977282767
- ISBN-13: 978-0977282760
- Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,852,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Afrikan Alphabets: The Story of Writing in Afrika Paperback – 30 Aug 2007
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Afrikan alphabets have a long history, fantastic variety, and some continue to be in current use today. They are comparatively little known due largely to their suppression by colonial powers. This book sets the record straight. An entertaining and anecdotal text explains the wealth of highly graphical and attractive illustrations. Writing systems across the Afrikan continent are reviewed, compared and contrasted. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The main problem with the book involves a considerable element of `Afrocentrism': the recent tendency (especially in the USA and elsewhere in the African diaspora) to exaggerate the role of Africa in world culture, by way of reaction to the previous, often racist down-playing of Africa's contributions to history and intellectual life (and to institutions such as slavery). Examples are the ready acceptance of Bekerie's extreme and often dubious claims about the Ethiopic `abugida' (intermediate between an alphabet and a syllabary), and the seriously exaggerated claims made for the Cameroonian Shu-Mom system (made especially strongly in the preface). Afrocentric pseudo-historical works are cited without any acknowledgment of their highly marginal status. Quasi-mystical notions involving `harmony' and spirituality are foregrounded in places.
There are also some oddities, commencing with the decision to spell the words Africa and African with K rather than C, on the ground that K is the letter normally used for the sound in question in Africa itself. The C-K contrast arises only in the context of the modern use of the roman alphabet, where either letter would serve. The Romans used the form with C because this was how they transliterated all Greek loans which had kappa (K) in the original.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
Otherwise, the book is fantastic and the Zimbabwean author a blessing to the global community of people of African descent. His understanding of the unity of our people is unsurpassed and refreshing in light of the separatism we are taught to practice among ourselves.
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