“His Only Wife” by Peace Adzo Medie takes place in Ghana and tells the story of a young woman who enters an arranged marriage with the son of a wealthy family. When Afi Tekple marries Elikem Ganyo she assumes responsibility to ensure the success of their union. Her family members are hoping the marriage will grant them access to the Ganyo’s financial resources and connections. While his family is hoping her pretty face and personality will gain influence over the son who has a long-time girlfriend of whom they do not approve. Naivete and a sense of obligation to both families find Afi in a battle to convince her husband to leave his girlfriend and make her his only wife.
Category: <span>Book Reviews</span>
“The Color of Law” by Richard Rothstein charts the history of how local, state, and federal government policies and programs segregated cities across America. It disputes the widely promoted idea that individual racism and racist beliefs were the sole cause of housing segregation and the resulting discrimination that followed. Reaching back to the first wave of the Great Migration in the 1920s, Rothstein thoroughly explains how in most cases, the government led the charge in creating segregated communities even in locations where none had previously existed and citizens had no desire for these restrictive zoning patterns.
“Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is about immigrants leaving and coming home but also finding fulfillment as well as romantic, familial, and platonic relationships. It’s a whole bunch of different stuff that somehow all fits together. Ifemelu is a young woman who immigrated to America where she’s lived for several years and looks back over her life while preparing to return to Nigeria.
“The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander tackles the complex issues of mass incarceration. Other sources have discussed how the raw figures have grown over time. But as a civil rights attorney and legal scholar, Alexander provides an intriguing exploration of the history of the policies, reforms, and social attitudes that have contributed to the creation of the prison industrial complex.
“Jubilee” by Margaret Walker is a work of historical fiction that primarily tells the life of a biracial enslaved woman. To a degree, this is a generational story as we learn about the life of Vyry, her mother Hetta, and Vyry’s children. But Vyry is the glue that binds the whole story together. Her life spans the antebellum period, the Civil War, and Reconstruction, giving some insight into all three of those periods.