Our skin is trouble: Racial discourse in Athol Fugard’s Sizwe Bansi is Dead, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Wole Soyinka’s ‘Telephone Conversation’

Theresah Addai-Mununkum, Rexford Boateng Gyasi


The recent incident in Minneapolis, United States, where George Floyd, an African-American man, was manhandled by a police officer has brought about the resurgence of racial awareness as championed by the Black Lives Matter Movement. The concept of race has shaped the lives of so many generations and continues to do so in the 21st century. Racial segregation as well as the public hysteria on racism has had so much influence on societies and has led to discrimination and racial slurs across races. Using Critical Race Theory, this study examines racial discourse in Athol Fugard’s Sizwe Bansi is Dead, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Wole Soyinka’s ‘Telephone Conversation’. The analysis of the discourse reveals racial tendencies in the description of the black race through white-black (Self/Other) binary (racial segregation), race-based discrimination and animal metaphors. The paper contributes to scholarship on racial discourses and foregrounds the function of language in depicting the racial orientation of characters in literary texts.


Racism, Racial Discourse, Critical Race Theory, Discrimination, Animal Metaphor

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijclts.v.9n.2p.24


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