From Jamestown to Jamestown! This book is a must-read! Wow! It was simply insightful and thought-provoking. It makes history so easy to read and conceptualize.
The carefully woven letters to Ayesha provide a captivating and compelling story of the true African. Avoiding the use of verbose language, depth and character is felt in each letter as we learn more about Africa as the cradle of human civilization.
It prompts the African to arise and manifest the emancipation our forefathers fought for. It raises questions like “If there are 140 million Africans in the diaspora and 1.2 billion in the African Union, why haven’t we united as the great force we are to make Africa great again?”
The point on the miseducation of the Negroes struck a nerve because I was made even more aware of how I’ve been educated to think this way and how I sometimes subconsciously ‘accept’ certain behaviors of Africans because after all “what else would you expect from an African?” Or times when I hear myself saying “Trust Ghanaians to do that” or “You know Ghanaians” connoting this sense that the African can’t be expected to make something good of themselves.
As I read, I kept imagining Ayesha, a fifteen-year-old sitting in the library, her eyes hungry for the immense knowledge in this phenomenal book. History had never come alive to her in this way. She is questioning all the things she learnt in her social studies class about the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade, about the origins of civilization and she begins to see herself as a powerful force to reckon with. She is angry at the inhumane treatment meted out to her ancestors like that of Olaudah. Her understanding of religion and Christianity is challenged as she struggles to reconcile how the Bible was once used to justify slavery and even the apartheid in South Africa. She also reads about slaves in the Southern part of America and the insurrection led by the educated minister and slave Nat Turner to free every black man, woman, and child from chattel slavery and every form of oppression. She has a better understanding of what the Civil War is all about and terms like Jim Crow make more sense to her. She now fully understands the essence of becoming allies with her African counterparts in the diaspora.
The eyes of her understanding have been enlightened and after reading this powerful history, she vows to read more about her African identity and to work with Africans in the diaspora to rebuild the Africa we need. She runs home to share this revelation with everyone she knows. Marcus Garvey’s words remind her that “The Black skin is not a badge of shame, but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness.” After reading From Jamestown to Jamestown, she is poised with a new sense of identity and armed with the knowledge to liberate not just herself but her community and her nation.
– Maame ( Ghanaian University Student in America)