Editor/Compilador: M’Bare N’Gom
Title: “Escribir” La Identitdad Creacion Cultural Y Negritud En El Peru, 2008, Universal Ricardo Palma/Editorial Universitaria, http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Escribir_la_identidad.html?id=ioTpAAAAMAAJ&redir_esc=y
Genre: African Diaspora literature, Negritude studies in Peru
**Fascinating notes: Dr. N'gom possesses a doctorate in Latin American and Iberian Studies. He, also, earned the distinction of DEA, both from the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne. Presently, Dr. N’Gom is a professor at Morgan State University, he is Head of Language Department and Graduate Program in International Studies, Director of African Studies and the Program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. In the Latin American region, he specializes in cultural and literary research of African descent. Dr. N’Gom investigates Francophone African literature, Spanish, and African cinema. In addition, he is a recognized member of the Spanish Association of Africanists (AEA). And he has published, among other books, Conversations with Guinea (1996), and co-author with Donato Ndongo-Bidyogo of Literature of Equatorial Guinea. Anthology(Sial, Africa House, 2000) and Gloria Nistal of New Anthology of Literature of Equatorial Guinea (Sial, Africa House, 2012). It is also noted that N’Gom is a credited compiler Reconstructing Memory and National Identity in Literature Hispanonegroafricana (2004).
Synopsis: Devotees of classical Negritude and Harlem Renaissance writers and literature must brace themselves for an awakening. Dr. N’Gom is a scholar and a research that attracts and assembles a new bevy of fellow Negritude scholars to enlighten and broaden the horizon of Negritude studies. The very concept of the classic Negritude is passé in the light of “Escribir” La Identidad Creacion Y Negritude en El Peru. Peruvian Negritude impacts upon the consciousness of the durability of the movement. Nicomedes Santa Cruz is unveiled to readers through the porthole of English via Heidi Carolyn Feldman from San Diego State University. In her selection “ Nicomedes Santa Cruz’ Cumanana: A Musical Excavation of Black Peru,”readers are provided with a glimpse into the voice of the sole (soul) Peruvian represented in several anthologies. Through the Cruz Cumanana project, dormant Afro-Peruvian musical threads and trends are excavated for acknowledgment by the contemporary population. The traditional, Negrtiude forefathers Senghor, Cesaire, and Damas are aligned (by Feldman) for aesthetic contrast and fusion with the work(s) of Cruz. The Harlem Renaissance, in addition, is mentioned, by Feldman, to preface and acquaint readers with the legacy of a movement and the impact upon the advancement of the movement in Peruvian spaces. For, Cruz explored and lead to the recognition and reverence of Afro-Peruvian music ‘at par’ with European symphonies and opera. In short, Nicomedes Santa Cruz (*revealed by Heidi Feldman) masterfully documents Afro-Peruvian history through music. The mantle of Nicomedes Santa Cruz is further documented and presented in another selection by Carlos L. Orihuela, of the University of Alabama, at Birmingham. Readers find that Cruz offers insight into the Negro domain, in his verses. In fact, the contemporary issue of ‘Othering’ or ‘Otros’ in Afro-Peruvian culture is addressed within the poetry of Cruz. Passages from the very poems are presented by Carlos Orihuela, in Spanish. And there are other Peruvian writers that this work highlights. The revered Afro-Peruvian novel, Malambo, by Lucia Charun-Illescas, is honored by Cecilla Galzio. The selection “Personajes Y Espacio En Malambo De Lucia Charun-Illescas” addresses the issue(s) of the spaces that Afro-Peruvians occupy in their society. Charun-Illescas constructs a work that weaves historical fiction and the metaphysical elements of the ‘Indian mestizo’ universal, into a story of a slave Tomason. The protagonist, hero is a multi-faceted representation of Peruvian fusion. Of course, the textuality of the work is rooted in the Afro oral tradition. Carlos Orihuela graciously pays homage to Malambo. Orihuela facilitates the reader’s understanding of the complex nature of Tomason through caste representations. Incidentally, one can read the novel, independently, through an English translation that is available currently.
Dr. M’Bare N’Gom’s ability to assemble a cast of ‘like’ and versed academics is masterful. This work should be read by South American, Iberian, and Spanish scholars for insight. However, those loyal to the notion of ‘Double Consciousness’ and W. E. B. DuBois will find that his theories are still relevant and explored in the present day. This is a work that enriches us all.
Critique: I am still a pupil of Dr. M’Bare N’Gom. I was graced, at the start, to be his pupil at Howard University during a National Endowment for the Humanities summer session. This privilege continues to shape my career. I met the honorable and highly esteemed educators Dr. Martin Lewis and Dr. James Davis during this period too. The focus of the summer session evolved around studying Equatorial Guinea, but the academic range exceeded the immediate confines of the sessions. Africa, Spain, and South America were realized fully, by me, in the context of Afro-Hispanics. But, this work Escribir” La Identitdad: Creacion Cultural Y Negritud En El Peru is my present study session. My own scope of the Negritude movement was limited to the African-American perspective because of language challenges. Dr. N’Gom provides us with a platform of ideas to challenge our intellectual perspectives and prompt us to advance beyond borders. The Negritude is the next Diasporan frontier. This text prompts us to redeem the universal aspects of a movement. In fact, Afro-Peruvian Negritude is a new realm. The scholarly nature of this work intrigues one to read further and learn more. It must be conceded that most of the selections are in Spanish, but one may be inspired to master the language too.
I truly recommend this work to all.