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2014 Group Read Nominations > SEPTEMBER 2014: Nominations for Regions - Southern Africa and USA

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message 1: by Donald (new)

Donald | 126 comments Please nominate two books for the September 2014 group read - authors of African descent as follows:
(1) Southern Africa
(2) USA

Please note Southern African countries are:
Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi and Democratic Republic Congo

Nominations will close on 10 August 2014

SOUTHERN AFRICA NOMINATIONS
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UNITED STATES NOMINATIONS
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message 2: by Beverly (new)

Beverly My nomination for Southern Africa is:

Zenzele A Letter for My Daughter by J. Nozipo Maraire

Zenzele: A Letter for My Daughter by J. Nozipo Maraire

Written as a letter from a Zimbabwean mother to her daughter, a student at Harvard, J. Nozipo Maraire evokes the moving story of a mother reaching out to her daughter to share the lessons life has taught her and bring the two closer than ever before. Interweaving history and memories, disappointments and dreams, Zenzele tells the tales of Zimbabwe's struggle for independence and the men and women who shaped it: Zenzele's father, an outspoken activist lawyer; her aunt, a schoolteacher by day and secret guerrilla fighter by night; and her cousin, a maid and a spy.

Rich with insight, history, and philosophy, Zenzele is a powerful and compelling story that is both revolutionary and revelatory--the story of one life that poignantly speaks of all lives

My nomination for US is:

Men We Reaped A Memoir by Jesmyn Ward

Men We Reaped: A Memoir by Jesmyn Ward

In this stirring and clear-eyed memoir, the 2011 National Book Award winner contends with the deaths of five young men dear to her, and the still great risk of being a black man in the rural South.

“We saw the lightning and that was the guns; and then we heard the thunder and that was the big guns; and then we heard the rain falling and that was the blood falling; and when we came to get in the crops, it was dead men that we reaped.” —Harriet Tubman

In five years, Jesmyn Ward lost five young men in her life—to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the bad luck that can follow people who live in poverty, particularly black men. Dealing with these losses, one after another, made Jesmyn ask the question: Why? And as she began to write about the experience of living through all the dying, she realized the truth—and it took her breath away. Her brother and her friends all died because of who they were and where they were from, because they lived with a history of racism and economic struggle that fostered drug addiction and the dissolution of family and relationships. Jesmyn says the answer was so obvious she felt stupid for not seeing it. But it nagged at her until she knew she had to write about her community, to write their stories and her own.


message 3: by ConnorD (new)

ConnorD | 181 comments For the USA I would like to nominate The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment That Changed the World

"Seen around the world, John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s Black Power salute on the 1968 Olympic podium sparked controversy and career fallout. Yet their show of defiance remains one of the most iconic images of Olympic history and the Black Power movement. Here is the remarkable story of one of the men behind the salute, lifelong activist John Carlos."


message 4: by ConnorD (new)

ConnorD | 181 comments For Southern African my nominations is from Namibia Mukwahepo. Women Soldier Mother by Ellen Ndeshi Namhila

"In 1963 Mukwahepo left her home in Namibia and followed her fiance across the border into Angola. They survived hunger and war and eventually made their way to Tanzania. There, Mukwahepo became the first woman to undergo military training with SWAPO. For nine years she was the only woman in SWAPO's Kongwa camp. She was then thrust into a more traditional women's role - taking care of children in the SWAPO camps in Zambia and Angola. At Independence, Mukwahepo returned to Namibia with five children. One by one their parents came to reclaim them, until she was left alone. Already in her fifties, and with little education, Mukwahepo could not get employment. She survived on handouts until the Government introduced a pension and other benefits for veterans. Through a series of interviews, Ellen Ndeshi Namhila recorded and translated Mukwahepo's remarkable story. This book preserves the oral history of not only the 'dominant male voice' among the colonised people of Namibia, but brings to light the hidden voice, the untold and forgotten story of an ordinary woman and the outstanding role she played during the struggle."


message 5: by Nea (last edited Aug 05, 2014 10:00PM) (new)

Nea (neareads) A Question of Power by Bessie Head
A Question of Power
"Your mother was insane. If you're not careful you'll get insane just like your mother. Your mother was a white woman. They had to lock her up, as she was having a child by the stable boy who was a native." It is never clear to Elizabeth whether the mission school principal's cruel revelation of her origins is at the bottom of her mental breakdown. She has left South Africa with her son and is living in the village of Motabeng, the place of sand, in Botswana where there are no street lights at night. In the darkness of this country where people turn and look at her with vague curiosity as an outsider she establishes an entirely abnormal relationship with two men. A mind-bending book which takes the reader in and out of sanity.


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