On Coffee for the Road

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A Negritude Philosophy on Coffee for the Road
Prepared by Glenn Libres
III-9 AB/BSE Literature
Survey of African Literature

The story of an African family whose family members particularly the mother get discriminated from the prejudice of the white people in the café forbidden for the colored people, Coffee for the Road clearly identifies such African philosophy called negritude that sought to make the Africans aware and proud of their cultural heritage.

Evidently, the thermos flask that struck the forehead of the white woman is a clear demonstration of an African response with the dignity and pride to their tribal heritage. The event emphasizes European attitudes of prejudice and discrimination against Africans. However, it extols the beauty of the African continent and its cultural heritage as to how the mother is encouraged to hurtle the thermos flask at the white woman which is tantamount to an African courage of breaking the bonds of servitude from the colonizers.

The central image which the text deals is the coffee that carries the motives, attitudes and values of a negritude philosophy. It is remarkable that the text is entitled Coffee for the Road not Coffee at the Road. The difference that these titles build depicts that the coffee is not just a drink that shall be bought at the road but will purposively provide satisfaction and will further balances the biological and even psychological needs of the children as an escape to the weariness they feel for the journey.

In the long run, the coffee becomes the central cause of the conflict. Out of European attitude of prejudice and discrimination against Africans, the white woman at the counter of the café deprives the need of the mother for the coffee. The deprived warmth of the coffee then contributes to the wrath of the mother that leads her to hurtle the thermos flask at the white woman. Her wrath mainly translates her courage to even the...
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