Hustling Is Not Stealing: Stories of an African Bar Girl [NOOK Book]

Overview

The prospects of a sixteen-year-old West African girl with no money, education, or experience might seem pretty depressing. But if she's got a hell of a lot of nerve and a knack for finding the funny side in even the worst situations, she just might triumph over her circumstances. Our heroine Hawa does, and she did. In the 1970s, John Chernoff recorded the story of her life as an "ashawo," or bar girl, making a living on gifts from men and her own quick wits, and here presents it in Hustling Is Not Stealing, one ...
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Hustling Is Not Stealing: Stories of an African Bar Girl

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Overview

The prospects of a sixteen-year-old West African girl with no money, education, or experience might seem pretty depressing. But if she's got a hell of a lot of nerve and a knack for finding the funny side in even the worst situations, she just might triumph over her circumstances. Our heroine Hawa does, and she did. In the 1970s, John Chernoff recorded the story of her life as an "ashawo," or bar girl, making a living on gifts from men and her own quick wits, and here presents it in Hustling Is Not Stealing, one of the most remarkable "autobiographies" you will ever encounter.

What might have been a sad tale of hardship and exploitation turns instead into a fascinating send-up of life in modern Africa, thanks to Hawa's smarts, savvy, and ear for telling just the right story to make her point. Through her wide-open and knowing eyes, we get an inside view of what life is really like for young people in West Africa. We spy on nightlife scenes of sex and deception; we see how modern-minded youth deal with life in the cities in villages; and we share the sweet and sometimes silly friendships formed in the streets and bars.

But mostly we come to know Hawa and how she has navigated a life that few can even imagine. The first of two funny, poignant volumes, Hustling starts with an in-depth introduction by Chernoff to Hawa's Africa. From there the book traces her remarkable transformation from a playful warrior struggling against her circumstances to an insightful trickster enjoying and taking advantage of them as best she can.

Part coming-of-age story, part ethnography, and all compulsively readable, Hustling Is Not Stealing is a rare book that educates as thoroughly as it entertains.

"You can see some people outside, and you will think they are enjoying, but they are suffering. Every time in some nightclub, you will see a girl dressed nicely, and she's dancing, she's happy. You will say, 'Ah! This girl!' You don't know what problem she has got. Some people say that this life, it's unto us. It's unto us? Yeah, it's unto me, but sometimes it's not unto me. When I was growing up, I didn't feel like doing all these things. There is not any girl who will wake up as a young girl and say, 'As for me, when I grow up, I want to be ashawo, to go with everybody.' Not any girl will think of this."—from the book

Winner - 2004 Victor Turner Prize in Ethnographic Writing
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226074658
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 2/11/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 1,302,650
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

John M. Chernoff, the author of African Rhythm and African Sensibility, studied drumming in Ghana for seven years. He worked with David Bryne on composition and performance of The Catherine Wheel, and he produced three CDs of Dagbamba music on Rounder Records. He was also associate producer on two internationally distributed films, Drums of Dagbon and Africa Come Back.
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Table of Contents



CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


INTRODUCTION

: Excerpt from “Junior Wife”


: Preamble: Stories and Their Critics


: Africa: The End of the Earth When the World Began


: The Politico-economic Techno-philosophical Socio-historical Global-developmental Backdrop


: The View from Ground Level


: Cities as the Heavens of This Earth


: Commodity Traders


: Digression on the End of the World


: Ethnography to the Second Power


: The Brer Rabbit School of Feminism



PROCEDURES TO PROTECT IDENTITIES


A NOTE ON THE TEXT


PART ONE
Into The Life

1
NOT BAD AS SUCH

: Like a Letter


: The Village of Don't-Go-There


: More Aunts


: A Brief Adolescence


: Junior Wife



2
THE LIFE

: Paradise Hotel


: Cheap Money


: The Price of Tea


: Janet's Baby


: The Problem of Being Small


: Married without a Ring


: Reflections: After the First Year as Ashawo



3
PROBLEMS OF SELF-EMPOWERMENT

: Repaying Rough with Rough


: The Lebanese Twins


: Deviant Sex


: Really Deviant Sex


: Wounds


: What No Girl Says


: Butterfly Wings


: The Man with Four Noses


: Case Histories




PART TWO
With the British in a Provincial Capital

4
THE CHIEF OF BAGABAGA: Nigel's Courtship

: The Two Wives of the Chief of Bagabaga


: Jack Toronto


: Roads Not Taken



5
FUCKING ENGLISH PEOPLE

: William and Abena


: Reflections: Property and Family


: Power Show for Cigarettes


: Cool-Catch-Monkey


: Nigel's Mouth


: A Beating among Friends




PART THREE
Into The Life Again

6
AVOIDING THE LIFE

: A Ghanaian Boyfriend


: Reflections: An Independent Life



7
WITH JACQUELINE

: To Go to Togo


: At Podo's House


: The Turkey Tail Man



8
A BAD SICKNESS

: The Treatment


: Love and the Banana




PART FOUR
Juju

9
THE SHEER UBIQUITY OF IT

: Issahaku's Medicine


: Christmas for Juju


: The Keta Girls and the Seaman



10
WITCHES

: Witchfire


: Babies as Strangers


: The Witchcraft of the Senior Mother


: Belief in Witches


: Befriending a Witch


: Interlude: A Special Child


: Befriending a Witch (Conclusion)


: Revenge of a Bedwetter



11
CHILD OF THE GOD

: A Wonderful Man


: Pennies in the Hair


: Interlude: Village Playtime


: Return to the Village


: From Frying Pan to Fire


: Reckoning with the God



12
BLACK POWER

: Calling the Lost People


: The Master of the Dwarves


: Showing the Power




PART FIVE
The Life in Togo

13
A FAST BOY

: The Rich Biafran


: Frankie and Antonio


: Frankie's Game



14
A NICE PRISON IN TOGO

: Django and the Fucking Germans


: Interlude: The Maidservant's Tale


: Louky's Problem


: Prisoners for the Lions


: If All the Prisons Were like This


: Fish from the Sea in Vaginas


: Coda



15
I REMEMBER MAMA

: Drunkards


: The Trouble with Three Friends


: Quarreling in Secret


: Killer Girls from Ghana




EPILOGUE


GLOSSARY

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