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The History of the N'ko Alphabet

Dianne White Oyler's well-documented study has numerous illustrations, including photos of Souleymane Kanté and his family, N'ko schools and grassroots organizations, and examples of N'ko's use in West African communities. The expansive appendixes include statistics on N'ko literacy and lists of the literature published in N'ko.
Available as a hardcover and softcover edition.
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The History of the N'ko Alphabet

Book Description (Annotation)

In her seminal work Dianne White Oyler discusses the creation of the N'ko alphabet, based on the Maninka language, by Souleymane Kanté (1922-1987) in 1949 in Haute Guinée (Guinea). She carefully documents N'ko's dissemination by a grassroots literacy campaign that started with Kanté and continues to the present. Her analysis shows the importance of language in transnational identity and the cultural nationalism of Mande-speaking people in West Africa. Oyler also discusses Kanté's and Nko's relationship to Pan-Africanism.

Binding 1: hardcover
Pages: 256
Publication date: November 2005

Price: US $40.00

Binding 2: softcover
Pages: 256
Publication date: November 2007

Price: US $32.00
Imprint: Africana Homestead Legacy Publishers

BISAC subjects: HISTORY / Africa / West; FOREIGN LANGUAGE STUDY / African Languages; SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General; ETHNIC / African; SOCIAL SCIENCE / Black Studies (Global)

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Emmanuel T. Dolo

A native and resident of the United States of America, is currently an associate professor at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina where she teaches world civilization and various African history classes. Prior to this appointment, she taught western civilization and African history at Minot State University in Minot, North Dakota. She earned her Ph.D. in history at the University of Florida (1995). She also has an M.A. in history with a certificate in African studies (University of Florida, 1989), an M.A.T. in elementary education (Jacksonville University, 1977), and a B.A. in history with a minor in secondary education (Jacksonville University, 1968).

Her research and teaching awards are notable: 2000 Fulbright Hays Group Projects Abroad to Ghana and Guinea in West Africa teaching about Islam; 1999 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for School Teachers teaching about Islam in West Africa at the University of Arkansas at Monticello; 1997 Fulbright Hays Group Projects Abroad Program in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Asmara, Eritrea to study Ethnic Federalism; 1994 Un Temoignage de Satisfaction from ICRA-N'KO, the non-governmental organization which promotes the dissemination of the N'ko alphabet in the Republic of Guinea and West Africa, 1994 West African Research Association Fellowship for research in West Africa (Senegal, Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire); 1992-1993 Fulbright Dissertation Scholarship to conduct field research in the Republic of Guinea; 1987 Fulbright-Hays, U.S. Department of Education Summer Seminars Abroad Scholarship for study and research in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Senegal; and 1985 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for School Teachers Grant to study Africa in the World History Institute at the University of Florida. Among her academic honors in 2002 and 2003 are Fayetteville State University Teacher of the Year, College of Arts and Sciences Teacher of the Year, and Department of Government and History Teacher of the Year, and in 2002 College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Award for Outstanding Service.

Dianne White Oyler speaks English, French, and Maninka. She also is the author of numerous articles published in academic journals.



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Softcover, US $32.00, sales price $19.20

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"Oyler's study of the N'ko language has been helped by her observation participation approach, use of documents produced by home-based African scholars, and her close collaboration with the producers and teachers of the N'ko, who rightly perceive her as their cultural ambassador."    

Saidou Mohamed N'Daou, Associate Professor of History, Chicago State University and former National Deputy Director for Higher Education in Guinea





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© 2005 Dianne White Oyler.

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For the media

Press release, Web articles, reviews

FSU Professor Completes Comprehensive Study of N'ko, a West African Writing System
(PDF) 1 Feb 2006 (distributed through PRWeb)







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