Aphasia by Chris Abani: Reading and Meditation

September 14, 2020  • Brianna Curran

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Aphasia, Chris Abani


Language is intrinsic to the expression of culture and identity. From dialect to regional vernacular, down to familial inside jokes and silly words made up in relationships, language is synonymous with the preservation of our experiences both personal and collective. Abani titles this piece, “Aphasia” after the language disorder which affects a person’s ability to express and understand language. Parallelling aphasia with the cultural loss of language is powerful – the disease itself is treatable, and so too is our preservation of heritage. With it must come intention, patience, and respect. 

What parts of your heritage and culture are precious to you? How are they linked with language? How can your community recognize the significance of dying languages and offer recognition and support to preserve it?

Brianna Curran, Washington, DC

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