This book highlights the reality of ethnicity in Africa, noting the contradictions between building European states on the basis of ethnicities while denying the same project in Africa as a result of colonialism. Ette (Delaware State Univ.) argues that it is necessary to understand the factors influencing ethnic conflicts as different minority groups are agitating for their rights within Africa today, evidenced by the never-ending tensions in Nigeria. Focusing on the Annang of southeastern Nigeria, the book examines how they defined their ethnicity, struggled to insert themselves in the politics of postcolonial Nigeria, and later reworked their identity. Their experience, Ette contends, is notable for having been reproduced all over the continent. He uses their case to argue that the role of ethnicity should not be ignored in African affairs, that ethnicity is not transitory, and that it is a crucial part of identity. This detailed history outlines the broad terrain of identity and culture and the social organization of the Annang, noting how the imposition of British colonial rule, the impact of Western education, and the repercussions of the Nigerian Civil War affect the contemporary project of ethnic identity. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.
12/4/2020 - CHOICE featured this title in a select roundup of their 2020 Outstanding Academic Titles, titled “OATs 2020: Titles about Africa.” Link: https://www.choice360.org/choice-pick/oats-2020-titles-about-africa
5/13/2021: Choice featured this title and their review of it in a selection of their 2020 Outstanding Academic Titles called “Studies of Africa.” Link: https://www.choice360.org/choice-pick/outstanding-academic-titles-2020-studies-of-africa/