The race for theory, with its linguistic jargon, its emphasis on quoting its prophets, its tendency towards 'Biblical' exegesis, its refusal even to mention specific works of creative writers, far less contemporary ones, its preoccupations with mechanical analyses of language, graphs, algebraic equations, its gross generalizations about culture, has silenced many of us to the extent that some of us feel the peoples can no longer discuss our own literature. The insidious quality of this race for theory is symbolized by the very name of this special issue – Minority Discourse – a label which is borrowed from the reigning theory of the day and is untrue to the literatures being produced by writers, for many of literatures. For one must distinguish the desire for power from the need to become empowered – that is, seeing oneself as capable of and having the right to determine one's life. Such empowerment is partially derived from a knowledge of history.