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Women Writing Africa


WREI worked with The Feminist Press at the City University of New York to promote the first and second volumes of a dynamic new series, Women Writing Africa: The Southern Region, and will continue the partnership as other volumes follow. The product of a decade of research into a rich but hidden literary tradition, this project of cultural reconstruc-tion aims to bring the voices of African women to readers around the globe. Women Writing Africa will make visible the oral and written expression of African women. The "writing" has been deliberately broadened to include songs, poems, and significant oral texts as well as short fiction, poetry, letters, journals and journalism.

On March 6th, 2003, WREI introduced Women Writing Africa to the diplomatic and feminist community of Washington, DC. At a celebration of International Women's Day at the South African Embassy, over 120 women from the diplomatic community, the U.S. Congress, women's advocacy groups, and academia, heard readings by Florence Howe, founder of The Feminist Press, and Tuzyline Jita Allan, associate professor of English at Baruch College.

On April 15th, 2003, WREI partnered with The Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University to present Women Writing Africa to academe. Teachers and scholars from colleges and universities in a five-state area came to learn about this landmark project, which-it is hoped-will impact the way that African history and literature is taught.

On February 10, 2004, WREI organized a reception for Margaret Daymond and Chiedze Muzengezi, two editors of Women Writing Africa: The Southern Region, at the Woman's Democratic Club. A packed reception hall heard Dr. Simbi Mubako, Zimbabwe's Ambassador to the US, speak about the value of this project to African women and congratulate Ms. Muzengezi, his countrywoman, for her work. The two editors read passages from this first volume in the series and stayed long after the program's conclusion to talk to interested attendees.

The Women Writing Africa project was funded through generous grants from the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations.

For more information about Women Writing Africa, contact Marjorie Lightman.