Black History Month - time to 'book-ucate' ourselves!
By Patience Straker
01 October 2021
It's October again! Which means it's time to educate ourselves on Black British History again.
Even though this should be an important topic throughout the year, this is a great month to make sure it's on top of our agenda. To make it easier, we'll be sharing one recommendation to read/listen to/watch/follow each Friday during the month of October.
Today we're starting off with...
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a novel recommended by Patience Straker, Head of Billings at Max Fordham.
Here's what she says...
Chimamanda is a Nigerian writer. This book came to my knowledge through having a conversation with my sister some months ago, so I gave it a try. Once it got going, I really started to enjoy it!
In the past ten years, I mainly picked up non-fiction literature (biographies and biblically themed), but I found this novel to be a real page turner. Written by a Black author and based on some of their own lived experiences, I was totally enthralled by it.
Why? Definitely the subject matter, and because the author is from Nigeria. My parents are both Nigerian and I am a British-born Nigerian, so it had an instant appeal right there.
In essence, it's supposed to be a coming-of-age love story; however, it does take you on a journey of conversations about race, culture, hair, immigration and social relationships. If you want to learn more about yourself, your own prejudices and pre-conceptions, then this would be worth a read.
"I came from a country where race was not an issue; I did not think of myself as black and I only became black when I came to America." - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
It's about a high school student couple, whose plan for the future is to leave their homeland in Nigeria and go to the USA together. They are separated when only one manages to leave Nigeria and get to go to the USA, but once there, finds that it isn't the promised land that everyone back home made it out to be,and there commence the struggles through University and beyond. Her acute awareness of the ugliness of racism in America set her on a path of venting about her frustrations on an anonymous blog.
I thought it was a well-written story, which gave me an insight of the struggles Nigerian immigrants experience in the USA and UK, as well as a new understanding about my own Nigerian people that I had never considered before.
We hope you'll like this book as much as we do - keep your eyed peeled for next Friday too, when we'll be sharing our next recommendation.