Mariama Bâ: the First African Feminist Writer

African Heritage

Mariama Bâ

I have wanted to write about Mariama Bâ for the longest time. She is a writer from Senegal… she is the author of “Une Si Longue Lettre” [So Long a Letter], and “Chant Ecarlate[Scarlet Song]. Her book “Une si Longue Lettre” [So Long a Letter] is considered by many as being the first truly African feminist book, as it describes the woman’s condition in an African and Muslim society. It talks about the place of the woman in society, the effect on polygamy on women and society, and the clash between modernism and traditions. It is written as a letter from a widow Ramatoulaye to her best friend Aissatou who left her husband when he decided to marry a second wife. This book really describes the feminine condition in Africa, and was truly the first to address so overtly the woman’s…

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