Date: June 27 – 29, 2014
Venue: Marriott Dallas Fort Worth Hotel North, 8440 Freeport Pkwy, Irving TX 75063
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contacts: Dr. Joe Udeozoh, President, Anambra State Association, DFW
June 19, 2014
Who: Anambra State Association, Dallas-Fort Worth (ASA-DFW) and the greater Nigeria / International community
What: Celebration of the life and legacies of Prof. Chinua Achebe, symposium, banquet and memorial service (see event program)
When: June 27-29, 2014
Where: Marriott Dallas Fort Worth Hotel North, 8440 Freeport Freeway, Irving TX 75063
Why: In commemoration of a life well lived, and his unparalleled achievements as Africa’s leading novelist of the 20th century and one of the greatest writers of all time, area Nigerians and the international community will celebrate the passing of our late brother, Prof. Chinua Achebe, who departed this life for the great beyond more than a year ago, on March 21, 2013.
For many decades, Professor Chinua Achebe worked to build a greater understanding of Africa through his uncompromising political commentary, social critique, and creative writing.
Born in Ogidi, an Igbo town in Anambra State of Nigeria, Chinua Achebe studied at the Government College, Umuahia, and the University College (now the University of Ibadan). His first novel, Things Fall Apart, is the most widely read work of African fiction, having sold more than 12 million copies in English alone. It is a recommended reading in most of the schools of the Dallas, Tarrant, Allen and Forth Worth independent school districts. It has been translated into more than 50 languages. His other prominent works include No Longer at Ease, Arrow of God, A Man of the People, Anthills of the Savannah, and There Was A Country: A Personal History of Biafra.
Professor Achebe was the recipient of numerous honors. He was awarded the 2007 Man Booker International Prize for outstanding fiction and the 2010 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, one of the largest and most prestigious awards in the arts. Among his more than 40 honorary degrees is an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Brown University, where he served in the Department of Africana Studies as the David and Marianna Fisher University Professor and Professor of Africana Studies and founded the Chinua Achebe Colloquium on Africa, an initiative dedicated to his life’s work to foster greater knowledge of Africa.
In his lifetime, Chinua Achebe left for humanity literary legacies which have enriched World literature to the end of time. He gave African Literature not only an indelible identity, but also conferred on it a dignity which centuries of deliberate distortions and mischievous misrepresentations had sought to deny it. He provided a voice for the voiceless humanity in Africa and everywhere else in the world where calculated acts of oppression, socio-political injustices and dehumanization had reduced the quality of life of the citizenry for centuries. Today, Chinua Achebe is a name celebrated the world over for restoring human dignity to a people once seen and designated as ‘the wretched of the earth.’ He was a man of unrivalled intelligence, profound cultural wisdom, and above all, a human being with the highest sense of fearless integrity who quietly but resolutely proved, through his works, that indeed ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’. He was an Igbo man, but in all these, he fought to restore – on the global level – faith and credibility in Nigerian, African, and Third World values and traditions. It is for these that we have decided to celebrate his life and legacies the way we would want the world to remember him in the annals of time.
The event will begin with a Symposium featuring presentations by eminent scholars and writers, interspersed with cultural performances, and end with an interdenominational church service. Our greatest desire is to immortalize his name and legacies for posterity.
Dr. Joe Udeozoh
President, Anambra State Association, Dallas – Fort Worth