I actually found out about this book via Instagram. One of my fav hair bloggers Kitana had shared this on her page, and.I honestly only gave it attention because I liked the cover.
This book had me lost for words. It honestly, till this day, is the only book where I have taken notes from. The characters are complex and difficult and the complexity of the family tree will have you pulling out your weave.
This book actually inspired me to plan my group trip to Ghana and was the foundation around which we planned all activities.
I do not care who you are, if you do not read this book.... I cannot be your friend. (Kind of kidding, but actually not really)
Born A Crime
I remember the first time I heard about Trevor Noah, it was around the time he was announced as the new host of the Daily Show. I actually had never watched it, simply because I do not find jokes funny. (I am the one who will be at a comedy show with a straight face).
A coworker actually recommended this book to me because he knew Trevor and I were both African. To be honest I didn't read it until 6 months later...on a flight to Cape Town. (that was on purpose).
Trevor's story is one that is so so so inspiring. He tells the unfiltered story of being a young boy trying to grow up in South Africa when part of South Africa didn't even think you were real African.
This book is important for anyone who is trying to find a sense of identity, or to anyone who thinks fame is a series of things that go well in your life. HA!
I read this book when I was in Class 6. My English teacher Mr. Stickings (gosh why do I remember his name), made us read it. I say "made" because, at this very time Harry Potter had first come out and I had no interest in any other book.
When I look back, I value the power of teachers more than ever. He knew that at that tender age, we were starting to form an understanding of who we were, coupled with the unwelcome tension of peer pressure. Even deeper, as a young girl living in Ghana, I had a mental battle with the idea of culture. America and England seemed so much more interesting and I would give up my accent, language and national pride in an effort to be cool. This book was a key factor in grounding me and just like many other books...I STILLLLL think about it.
15 years later, the lessons from this book lead me on a journey to Lebanon to find my father's family and visit the very home he grew up in.
It Is a super quick read but with deep meaning. Here is my favorite quote from it:
Your blood may belong to your mother and you spirit to your father, but you belong to no one but YOURSELF.
The Woman I Wanted To Be
I read this book three years ago on a flight back from Germany. It was the Christmas I had finally walked away from a troubling relationship, and God knows I needed some sort of life compass. While Diane's story was interesting and definitely a testament of hard work...that wasn't the best part.
This book, written as a compilation of her most intimate diary entries, took you to her darkest times. Not in a pity her kind of way, but in a shit happens and you are built for this, kind of way.
Her book taught me how to actually start to listen to my own emotions and understand the value of being a women in my own way.
Incidents In The Life of A Slave Girl
This is one of the books I read the summer at Yale. My sister had it on her shelf, and the name of the book spoke of struggle. This book helped me understand female strength, mental strength and the power of sacrifice.
This isn't the typical book that talks about being captured and sold into slavery, but takes you. through the mental journey of salvery, and the power of the mind to help fight off another's power over you.
I haven't read this book since I was 13, but over ten years later, I still think about it...quite often actually. The main character became my emotional friend, and two years ago as I battled deep depression In my moments of silence, I often thought of her.