Race. It seems to be such a negative four-letter word these days. Maybe it always has been.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie shines a light on this delicate subject in a way that is enlightening as well as poignant. “Americanah” (Alfred A. Knopf, 2013) is a fictional tale of two Nigerians, their love, their struggles with race, their plight in Nigeria and then traveling abroad.
Being Nigerian affords Adichie the luxury to show readers what life is like in that African country in a way that an outsider would not be able to.
For someone like myself who is white I had not given any thought to the difference between being born black in the United States and being born black in a different country. Adichie makes it clear black is not black. I had never thought about the differences. Ah, white privilege. Guilty.
But I digress.
Still, one of the things I liked about “Americanah” it that it had me thinking about my thoughts and feelings about race.
While I’m not usually a big fan of fiction, this tale had me captivated from the get-go. I’m going to assume the author’s descriptions of Nigeria were factual, offering me insight into a region I am totally unfamiliar with.
This book also made me think about things I don’t usually think about – race in particular. This was a good thing.
Read this, I’m sure you will enjoy it.