No longer green: Female characters of African descent as sex workers in Chika Unigwe’s On Black Sisters’ Street (2009) and Amma Darko’s Beyond the Horizon (1995)
Keywords:African descent, diaspora, female characters, home, identity, immigrants, sex workers
This article explores the potentialities of diaspora as conveniently structured to demonstrate the emancipatory potential of migration for women in Chika Unigwe’s On Black Sisters’ Street (2009) and Amma Darko’s Beyond the Horizon (1995). Sex and sexual intercourse between men and women in the African societies that are fictionalised in these texts are not only an issue about morality, but also about how morality is governed and policed within these societies. While the societies in these texts hope to derive their integrity through women’s sexual purity, conflict arises when such communal integrity fails to recognise the individual circumstances of the female individuals upon whom such notions of purity rest. The question of what role sex and sexual practices play in upholding the honour of communities is a vexed one. While the societies that the texts explore here show less scrutiny on marital sex, regardless of whether it is consensual or forced, these societies occupy a judgmental pedestal on pre-marital and extra-marital sex. Harsher judgement, however, is reserved for individuals who engage in these practices for monetary gain. This textual analysis is informed by the postcolonial theory, as articulated by Homi Bhabha and his postulations on identity and ‘othering’.
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