Saturday, 28 April 2012

Uhura means freedom

As I was reading the introduction to The Granta Book of the African Short Story, I did a double-take at this sentence from literary critic Paul Zeleza's essay 'Colonial Fictions: Memory and History in Yvonne Vera's Imagination':
This generation incorporated in their literary imaginations disdain for colonialism and distrust of nationalism that had animated earlier generations of writers who bemoaned the cultural agonies of colonialism and the aborted dreams of uhuru.
Bemoan Uhura?  No way! Lieutenant Uhura? Who could forget her calm handling of any crisis on Starship Enterprise?

And then I noticed it was uhuru, lower-case, no letter A on the end. Looked like a chance to learn yet another new word. And where better to check it out than on a Star Trek site, with a quote from Spock, that compendium of all useful information? He said: 'And Uhura, whose name means freedom.'

Once I set off around the Net to research the word uhuru, I was overwhelmed by the wealth of sites devoted to it. If, like me, you are unfamiliar with the historical and societal implications of this movement, just search the term.


proud womon said...

looks like i have some reading to do parlance!

and thanks for the walk down memory lane... lieutenant nyota uhura was my favourite character...

parlance said...

proud womon, in some respectss Star Trek was a trailblazer. Uhura was a good female role for the time, in my opinion. Especially as an African American.