L'Heritage Africain dans les Oeuvres Littereraires de la Diaspora Antillaise

Author: Oguntola, Lieay Olusola

Supervisors: Timothy-Asobele S. J. and Johnson Stella M. A.

The deportation of Africans that occurred during the slave trade era has given rise to discussions on African heritage in the Diaspora. This thesis is preoccupied with the continued presence of African heritage in the works ups and life of French Caribbean writers. The thesis mainly explores the survival of African heritage in French Caribbean Diaspora as experienced and reflected in the works of fiction produced by male and female French Caribbean writers. In essence, the study interrogates the conceptualisation of African culture, belief system, thought and philosophy in the literary works of Jacques Roumain, Aimé Césaire, Simone Schwarz-Bart and Maryse Condé. Roumain and Césaire assume their African-ness without fear or bias. By contrast, Schwarz-Bart and Condé attest to the hybridity of the Caribbean man. Mythocriticism and sociocriticism theories provide the theoretical framework that help to explain reasons why African memories still linger in literature and day to day activities of the French Caribbean people as seen in their spiritual, religious, social, cultural, philosophical and economic lives. Major factors that contribute to the continued presence of African cultural heritage in the French West Indies are analysed in order to see the effects and impacts of the past history on the people. All the writers outline the political, linguistic and cultural disintegration that emanated from historical injuries caused by the Whites. The research contends that French Caribbean identity, whether viewed as Black, European or American or as a result of migratory influx can never free itself from the dominance of African heritage. Even though, globalisation seems to be taking over the value system of mother Africa and her Diaspora, the researcher argues that mother Africa and her French Diaspora need to support themselves mutually in the areas of politics, finances and culture. This research recommends that Africans and her kinsmen in the Diaspora need to reappraise their heritage and make a conscious effort to expunge obsolete and degrading aspects that can hinder her sustainable development. .