Segu Reading Response

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Segu Reading Response
The history of Africa during the 18th and 19th century was a really vague topic for me to understand. After reading Segu by Maryse Condé my thinking of this period was made clear by the personal experiences of the Traoré family sons. What I came to understand is this book deceitfully explains the decline of West African countries in the eyes and personal struggles of the Bambara people of Segu. In this case it’s the focus on the travels of the four sons of Dousika Traoré. Tiekoro, Siga, Naba, and Malobali all summoned on personal journeys that gave me a better understanding of what actually happened during the 18th and 19th century time period of people who actually experienced it.

Some major themes I picked out while reading is the expansion/spread of the Islamic religion being leaked into African countries, and the Atlantic Slave trade happening in them as well. The spread of Islam from the east extended into the Sahel, into the ear and converted the eldest son Tiekoro’s accustomed beliefs. The conflict that arouses with this is family members have to decide whether or not to convert to Islam or stick with Segu’s customary animist beliefs. This societal and cultural change gives these sons new identities as they moved to different communities. Siga is the complete opposite of his brother Tiekoro’s new belief and doesn’t want any part of it. I feel as if these two brothers represent the struggle many faced in Segu. It was just cool to see this theme being seed on both ends of the spectrum but also because they are brothers. Of the next two brothers Naba and Malobali were captured by slave traders just shortly after Tiekoro’s Islamic transformation. This brings me into the theme of the Atlantic Slave trade of the West. Naba was sold to a merchant after a hunting incident but later ends up a slave in Brazil. Malobali also rejects Tiekoro’s Islamic religion and runs away to not soon after becoming a mercenary for several years in the...
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