1st Edition

Justice and Human Rights in the African Imagination We, Too, Are Humans

By Chielozona Eze Copyright 2021
    184 Pages
    by Routledge

    184 Pages
    by Routledge

    Justice and Human Rights in the African Imagination is an interdisciplinary reading of justice in literary texts and memoirs, films, and social anthropological texts in postcolonial Africa.  

    Inspired by Nelson Mandela and South Africa’s robust achievements in human rights, this book argues that the notion of restorative justice is integral to the proper functioning of participatory democracy and belongs to the moral architecture of any decent society. Focusing on the efforts by African writers, scholars, artists, and activists to build flourishing communities, the author discusses various quests for justice such as environmental justice, social justice, intimate justice, and restorative justice. It discusses in particular ecological violence, human rights abuses such as witchcraft accusations, the plight of people affected by disability, homophobia, misogyny, and sex trafficking, and forgiveness.  

    This book will be of interest to scholars of African literature and films, literature and human rights, and literature and the environment.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at http://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781003148272, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.


    1. Introduction
    2. Chapter 1: Narratives and the Common Good
    3. Chapter 2: Ecological Violence and the Quest for Justice
    4. Chapter 3: Mythic Consciousness, Witchcraft, and Human Rights Abuses
    5. Chapter 4: Barriers to Being: Albinism, Disability, and Recognition
    6. Chapter 5: Intimate Justice: Homophobia and Human Dignity
    7. Chapter 6: Dignity of Woman: From Misogyny to Sex-trafficking
    8. Conclusion: Politics of Love and the Common Good


    Chielozona Eze is a professor of African and African Diaspora Studies at Northeastern Illinois University, where he is Bernard J. Brommel Distinguished Research Professor. He is also Extraordinary Professor of English at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. He is the author of Race, Decolonization, and Global Citizenship in South Africa.

    "There is nobody more qualified to do justice to the imbrications of literature and ethical commitment in Africa than Chielozona Eze. With this well-accomplished and erudite book, Eze consolidates his position as the leading scholar of African ethics in literary contexts. Students and scholars of culture and philosophy will find this book an invaluable model for their own work." -- Cajetan Iheka, Yale University, author of Naturalizing Africa: Ecological Violence, Agency, and Postcolonial Resistance in African Literature

    "Justice is often associated with an ideal state of affairs. Although this is an important way to approach the question of justice, realizing justice requires more than thinking about ideals. We must consider the aspect of what happens in situations where injustice is enthroned. This means to think about the damage done to individuals and social and political institutions due to the prolonged experience of injustice. Chielozona Eze offers in this book an outstanding study of these issues. He takes the reader on a journey that culminates in a clear understanding of the connection between political organization and the contexts of justice. Anyone interested in original ideas about justice, based on re-imagination of African conceptual resources, should read this book." -- Uchenna Okeja, PhD. Associate professor of philosophy, Rhodes University

    "How do the stories we tell work for and against justice, dignity, and human rights? This engaging and thought-provoking book offers insightful reflections on questions at the heart of the African political and social experience. Drawing from diverse strands of the debates on social and environmental justice, disability rights, and sexual minority rights, this book brings unique interdisciplinary perspectives to understanding human rights in Africa." -- Bonny Ibhawoh, Senator William McMaster Chair in Global Human Rights, McMaster University, Canada