Gyasi, Yaa: Homegoing (2016)
Discussion: Tuesday, August 8, 2017, 7:00-8:30 pm. Hosted by Liz Samuels, 3737 NE Marine Dr in Portland. Note the change of venue and time! Someone will be there to let people in the gate from 6:45 to 7:00. At 7:00 we will walk together to the venue, which may be a floating home or the Rose City Yacht Club’s community center. Call 503-701-6218 if you arrive later. Feel free to bring snacks to share.
Review: © School Library Journal: This sweeping family saga encompasses seven generations of descendants of a Fante and his captured Asante house slave. After giving birth to a daughter, Maame manages to escape, making her way alone back to her own village. She is taken in by an Asante warrior, becomes his third wife, and has a second daughter by him. The two sisters, Effia and Esi, will never meet, their lives will follow very different paths, but their descendants will share a legacy of warfare and slavery. Effia will marry an Englishman who oversees the British interest in the Gold Coast slave trade. Esi will be captured by Fante warriors, traded to the Englishmen, and shipped to America to be sold into slavery. Progressing through 300 years of Ghanaian and American history, the narrative unfolds in a series of concise portraits of each sister’s progeny that capture pivotal moments in each individual’s life. Every portrait reads like a short story unto itself, making this volume a good choice for harried teens, yet Gyasi imbues the work with a remarkably seamless feel. Through the combined historical perspectives of each descendant, the author reveals that racism is often rooted in tribalism, greed, and the lust for power. Many students will be surprised to discover that the enslavement of Africans was not just a white man’s crime.