African literature, oral and written literatures produced in Africa. Africa has a really long literary tradition, but really little amount of this literature to the 20th Century was written. In the absence of a broad literacy, African literatures were mainly transmitted orally from generation to generation through memorization and recitations.
The majority is of African literature written in European languages by the European colonization of the Continent of 16 Century to the mid-20th Century. This time displaced European languages African languages in the government, education, businesses and, to a large part in everyday communication. By far the most popular language in the European literature of Africa is English, French and Portuguese, respectively. Books in African languages and traditional oral texts went unnoticed until the late 20th Century, but today receive more recognition. Many experts prefer the term African literature, but of African literature, emphasizing the variety of literary traditions known by the term.
This survey relates only to the literature of the SSA. Literature from North Africa are not included because the cultures of North Africa a greater affinity to share with the Arab worlds with the peoples and cultures of the Sahara (for details, see the Arabic literature.) The literature of white South Africa is also excluded because they are more on the European literary heritage is used.
Literacy in Arabic came to the continent of Africa with the introduction of Islam in the kingdom of Ghana in the 11th Century by the Tare, indigenous peoples of the Sahara. When Islam to other parts of West Africas through literacy spread of jihad (holy war) and distributed. Islam depended on the Quran (Koran), the Holy Scripture, and is forced to learn passages by heart. From the seventh century Arab influences were also prevalent on the east coasts of Africa, where Arab traders and slaves were very active. The Arabic scripts were adapted by the end of Swahili in East and Central Africa was the lingua franca (language of trade and other cross-cultural communication).
The Christianity was a pathway for the introduction of literacy in Africa south of Sahara. Christian missionaries on the continent was in the second half of the 19 active, especially after the abolition of the slave trade and the growing interest of Europeans in other types of trade. In areas in which Muslims introduced literacy, mainly produces literature in African languages.
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