Who tells the story? West African writers and voices of protest

Lesson rationale

There is a vast range of inventive combinations of word, symbol and song across peoples and cultures in West Africa. This interweaving of art, communication forms, languages and writing systems lends itself beautifully to cross-curricular learning. Indeed, the cross-curricular approach enhances students’ ability to understand and learn from West African cultures. For this reason, most of the activities combine, for example Art, History, Geography, RE, English Literature and English Language in different ways.

Writers of West African descent played a crucial role in the movement for abolition of the transatlantic slave trade.

Key questions in this lesson:

  • How can we use two historical figures (from different eras) to compare and contrast?
  • What are the key historical events and/or developments that link the two figures?
  • What are the questions you need to ask of the two items to frame your research?
  • How do historical events influence the form, content and presentation of the figures represented in the image or text?