A few titles to end the year:
Sasha Abramsky, The House of Twenty Thousand Books. New York: NYRB, 2014.
About the life of Chimen Abramsky and his library and a world of deep literacy that doesn’t exist in the same way anymore.
Francis Njubi Nesbitt, Race for Sanctions: African Americans Against Apartheid, 1946-1994. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2004.
Concise overview of anti-apartheid organizing among US Africans, beginning with Robeson’s Council on African Affairs.
Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Birth of a Dreamweaver. New York: New Press, 2016.
The third installment covers Ngugi’s time at Makerere covers the moment his writing takes off, a moment–the dawn of African independence movements– pregnant with possibility.
Yaa Gyasi, Homegoing. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2016.
Everyone has already reviewed this, I can only add that it helps us see what modernity has meant for us and our families, the ones whose names we might never know.
and we brought humanity to a place not capable of being humane…
and we still die, but are never killed.
we must ever be who we are and never who we are not.
we are humans with life.
Ngugi wa Thiong’o, In the House of the Interpreter: A Memoir. London: Harvill and Secker, 2012.
Second volume of Ngugi’s memoir, focusing on his secondary (colonial) education.
Gloria Naylor, Bailey’s Cafe. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1992.
The recently transitioned Gloria Naylor’s fourth novel is set in the early half of the 20th century and features an ensemble cast produced by its vagaries.
Some recent discussions of which I was fortunate to part on the various ways we can think differently about liberation and its cultural and international dimensions with the Africa World Now Project and RGB Live.
“Understanding the Black Radical Tradition,” RBG Live, May 11, 2016
“The Enduring Rhythm of Ngugi wa Thiong’o,” Africa Now, July 6, 2016
“Role of Black Universities in African World Resistance,” Africa World Now Project, September 21, 2016
Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Dreams in a Time of War: A Childhood Memoir. London: Harvill Secker, 2010.
The first memoir of a set that expands this October, exploring Gikuyu life and traditions and the meaning of coming of age in settler colonial Kenya.
Alvin Tillery, Between Homeland to Motherland: Africa, U.S. Foreign Policy, and Black Leadership in America. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2011.
Attempts to demonstrate that elites from various Black political tendencies shaped foreign policy interests to conform to domestic interests rather than transnational ones.
Happy Birthday to John William Coltrane.
There is always, life after the rain.
For you. For Alice. For Ravi. For all of us.