Q&A with Ernest Emenyonu on African Children’s Literature

ALT 33At the recent African Literature Association conference in Atlanta, Africa in Words had the opportunity to speak with Ernest N. Emenyonu, Professor and Chair of the Africana Studies department at the University of Michigan-Flint, about African Literature Today’s latest issue, “Children’s Literature and Story-telling” (ALT 33). 

Stephanie Santana for AiW, with questions provided by Tamara Moellenberg

What inspired you to feature children’s literature in the latest issue of African Literature Today? Why children’s literature now?

It’s really because it has been a very important genre that has consistently been ignored. I did a random survey—teachers, critics who came to conferences—about their feelings, attitudes, and perceptions of African children’s literature, and I was horrified that they continued to put it down as not being a serious genre. I also had contacted a number of publishers, and I found out that books for children were actually at the bottom of their budget…

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