“Behold the Dreamers” by Imbolo Mbue is the story of a couple, Jendi and Neni Jonga, who emigrate from Cameroon with their young son, Liomi, in hopes of a better life in New York City. The couple struggles for a while with Jende initially working as a cab driver while Neni works as a nurse’s assistant and is studying to become a pharmacist. Things seem to be heading in the right direction when Jende lands a better paying job as the driver for a wealthy family, the Edwards. That is until both families’ lives are turned upside down by the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
“The Girl Who Smiled Beads” by Clemantine Wamariya charts her and her sister, Claire’s, experience as refugees during the Rwandan genocide. Born into a relatively comfortable family, the girls’ lives are disrupted as the country descends into civil war and then ethnic genocide. Sent away from their family home in an attempt to keep them safe, the girls find themselves constantly on the move between countries and refugee camps in search of safety and some sense of normalcy.
If you’re interested in learning about Liberia and Africa’s first female president then my Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Black History Short is for you.
If you’re interested in learning about apartheid including the circumstances that led to its official creation, the laws that were enacted, meaning what they said and what they actually meant, as well as how apartheid affected people in their day to day lives, the movement that led to its abolishment, and its aftermath. Then this “Apartheid in South Africa” Black History Feature is for you.
Shortly after the establishment of the first European settlements in what would become South Africa, Africans and Boers began fighting over access to land. Over the years, Africans would be pushed off their land and their livestock confiscated leading to conflicts and full-scale wars. By the end of the 1800s, South Africa was carved into four White-controlled regions, colonies of the British and Boers.