Mourning the death of paramount novelist Chinua Achebe, founder and pioneer of African literature

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LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION mourning the death of paramount novelist Chinua
Achebe, founder and pioneer of African literature

WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body to pay tribute to the
lives of those esteemed individuals of international renown who distin-
guished themselves through their life's work; and
WHEREAS, Foremost novelist, Professor Chinua Achebe, died on Thursday,
March 21, 2013, at the age of 82; and
WHEREAS, Born Albert Chinualumogu Achebe, on November 16, 1930, Chinua
Achebe was a Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic; he was best
known for his 1958 novel, THINGS FALL APART, selling over 12 million
copies around the world, and having been translated into 50 languages,
making him the most paraphrased African writer of all time; and
WHEREAS, Raised by his parents in the Igbo town of Ogidi in southeast-
ern Nigeria, Chinua Achebe excelled academically and earned a scholar-
ship for undergraduate studies; he became fascinated with world reli-
gions and traditional African cultures, and began writing stories as a
college student; and
WHEREAS, After graduation, Chinua Achebe worked for the Nigerian
Broadcasting Service (NBS) and soon moved to the metropolis of Lagos; he
gained worldwide attention for THINGS FALL APART; his later novels
include: NO LONGER AT EASE (1960), ARROW OF GOD (1964), A MAN OF THE
PEOPLE (1966), and ANTHILLS OF THE SAVANNAH (1987); and
WHEREAS, When the region of Biafra broke away from Nigeria in 1967,
Chinua Achebe became a supporter of Biafran independence and acted as
ambassador for the people of the new nation; the war ravaged the popu-
lace, and as starvation and violence took its toll, he appealed to the
people of Europe and the Americas for assistance; and
WHEREAS, When the Nigerian government retook the region in 1970, Chin-
ua Achebe involved himself in political parties, but soon resigned due
to frustration over the corruption and elitism he witnessed, thereby
deciding to devote himself to academia; he lived in the United States
for several years in the 1970s, and returned there in 1990 after a car
accident left him partially disabled; and
WHEREAS, Chinua Achebe's novels focus on the traditions of Igbo socie-
ty, the effect of Christian influences, and the clash of Western and
traditional African values during and after the colonial era; his style
relies heavily on the Igbo oral tradition, and combines straightforward
narration with representations of folk stories, proverbs, and oratory;
he also published a number of short stories, children's books, and essay
collections; and
WHEREAS, A David and Marianna Fisher University Professor and Profes-
sor of Africana Studies at Brown University, Chinua Achebe worked up
until the time of his death; and
WHEREAS, New York's Bard College, with a distinguished history of
supporting Chinua Achebe's work and legacy, will continue to be a prima-
ry home for his projects; and
WHEREAS, Professor Achebe's global significance lies not only in his
talent and recognition as a writer, but also as a critical thinker and
essayist who has written extensively on questions of the role of culture
in Africa along with the social and political significance of aesthetics
and analysis of the postcolonial state in Africa; and
WHEREAS, Chinua Achebe distinguished himself in his profession and by
his sincere dedication and substantial contribution to the welfare of
his community; and

WHEREAS, Chinua Achebe's commitment to excellence, and his spirit of
humanity, carried over into all fields of enterprise, including charita-
ble and civic endeavors; and
WHEREAS, Chinua Achebe is survived by his wife, Christie, their chil-
dren, Chinelo, Ikechukwu, Chidi, and Nwando as well as his grandchil-
dren, Chochi, Chino, Chidera, C.J. (Chinua Jr.), Nnamdi and Zeal; and
WHEREAS, Armed with a humanistic spirit and imbued with a sense of
compassion, Chinua Achebe leaves behind a legacy which will long endure
the passage of time and will remain as a comforting memory to all he
served and befriended; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
mourn the death of paramount novelist Chinua Achebe, founder and pioneer
of African literature; and be it further
RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to the family of Chinua Achebe.


  • 10 / Apr / 2013
  • 17 / Apr / 2013
  • 17 / Apr / 2013

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


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