This month’s creative Art is the jaw-dropping, mind blowing, most ‘Aha! Yes! You literally took the words right out of my mind’ book, Americanah. Written by celebrated Nigerian born feminist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the book brilliantly tackles on racism, immigration, feminism and/or its lack of intersectionality in the western world.
Americanah tells the tale of Ifemelu, a Nigerian immigrant to America and how she comes to understand immigration, race, racism (yes) and the stereotypes that people have of Africa in general. It’s a perfect read, to be completely honest, especially for the ‘non-American blacks’ like myself who are now past that stage of ‘Oh, so this is America to your typical African relatively new abroad’. It does have some romance too, between the title character and Obinze, a young man who is similar to Ifemelu in more ways than one. It’s a perfect read for anyone eager to understand what race and racism, both subtle and direct, is really like abroad, I would encourage you to read it.
Miss Chimamanda has been one of my heroes since the day I declared myself a feminist. In more ways than one, she verbally defined to me what a feminist was. Late 2013 when feminism was becoming really popular, I began obsessing with feminism but I was still hesitant to call myself one. I watched a lot of interviews, speeches such as the infamous HeforShe speech by Emma Watson, Beyonce making headlines about equal pay for women, Lena Dunham just but to mention a few. I understood what they were talking about, why they were talking about the need for gender equality in their soceity but I didn’t get where they were coming from. Then I listened to Chimamanda on a Ted talk on why we should all be feminists (https://youtu.be/hg3umXU_qWc). I got it, I understood why we need feminism in my village, in my country and in my continent; before I focused on why the rest of the world needed feminism. Feminism is contextual. Feminism, as with issues such as race, is freedom. I finally understood that when I read Americanah this month.
Here are some of my favourite excerpts of the book. If you’ve read it, let me know what your thoughts on the book!