Abena Busia was born in Ghana, daughter to the former prime minister. As a youth her family was forced into exile following a coup d’etat. Her personal history is marked by the experience of exile, as she traveled the world encountering other people of African descent in the Americas and Europe. Her focus became the points of cultural connection within the African Diaspora (the scattering of African peoples throughout the world through slavery). She received her Ph.D. from Oxford writing her dissertation on images of Africa in the colonial imagination.
Her collection of poems, Testimonies of Exile (1990), speaks to multiple experiences of exile. Her poetry expresses the complexity of her cultural experience: She dresses in traditional Ghanaian attire and speaks with a British accent that reveals the history of colonization yet never betrays the pulsating rhythms and culture of her native Africa.
As a professor she has taught at Yale, UCLA, and University of Ghana and is currently an associate professor at Rutgers University. Much of her recent work focuses on black feminism, exploring the issues of identity, race, and politics. She is currently the codirector of Women Writing Africa, a Ford Foundation literary project of the Feminist Press that publishes African women’s written and oral narratives.
Another Work by Abena Busia
“What Is Your Nation? Reconnecting Africa and Her Diaspora through Paule Marshall’s Praisesong for the Widow.” In Cheryl Wall, ed., Changing Our Own Words: Essays on Criticism, Theory, and Writing by Black Women. London: Rutgers University Press, 1989.