February is the month of celebrating black history. To mark this month, there are some important books and movies that as black people, especially Africans, we should all read to understand where we are coming from. It is true that the Nigerian government doesn’t take the study of history serious in schools but that is no excuse to remain ignorant about the country, the continent and black people history in general.
Here is a list of 10 important book that documents history in various times of our existence.
Kintu- Jennifer Makumbi
In 1754, Kintu Kidda, Ppookino of Buddu Province, in the kingdom of Buganda, sets out on a journey to the capital where he is to pledge allegiance to the new kabaka of the realm. Along the way, a rash action in a moment of anger unleashes a curse that will plague his family for generations. The book documents the passage of Ugnada from pre-colonial, colonial and postcolonial era.
Half of a yellow sun- Chimamanda Adichie
Half of a Yellow Sun takes place in Nigeria in the 1960s. The book begins when Ugwu, an Igbo boy from a bush village, goes to Nsukka to work as a houseboy for Odenigbo, a professor and radical. Odenigbo is in love with Olanna, the beautiful daughter of a wealthy Nigerian. The story follows through the Nigerian-Biafra civil war
Homegoing- Yaa Gyasi
Homegoing is the debut historical fiction novel by Yaa Gyasi, published in 2016. Each chapter in the novel follows a different descendant of an Asante woman named Maame, starting with her two daughters, separated by circumstance: Effia marries James Collins, the British governor in charge of Cape Coast Castle, while her half-sister Esi is held captive in the dungeons below. Subsequent chapters follow their children and following generations.
One day I will write about this place- Binyavanga Wainaina
Binyavanga Wainaina knew he was different from other people even when he was a young child. His memoir, One Day I Will Write About This Place, tells the story of his search for his place in the world. He describes his struggles to come to terms with his desire to write and overcome his fear that he will not succeed.
We need new names –NoViolet Bulawayo
Darling is a young girl living in Zimbabwe in the early 2000s. After her family’s home was bulldozed in the midst of a political upheaval, she, her family, and many more are forced to set up a village called Paradise.
The underground railroad-Colson Whitehead
The story centers mainly around Cora, a young slave on the Randall plantation in Georgia. Her grandmother, Ajarry, was taken by Dahomeyan raiders in Africa and sold several times before ending up in Georgia on the Randall plantation.
Born a Crime-Trevor Noah
Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.
Things fall apart- Chinua Achebe
The bulk of the novel takes place in Umuofia, a cluster of nine villages on the lower Niger. Umuofia is a powerful clan, skilled in war and with a great population, with proudtraditions and advanced social institutions. Okonkwo has risen from nothing to a high position.
The man died- Wole Soyinka
Wole Soyinka, was imprisoned without trial by the federal authorities at the start of the Nigerian Civil War. In The Man Died he records his arrest and interrogation, the efforts made to incriminate him, and the searing mental effects of solitary confinement.
The colour purple- Alice Walker
An epic tale spanning forty years in the life of Celie (Whoopi Goldberg), an African-American woman living in the South who survives incredible abuse and bigotry. After Celie’s abusive father marries her off to the equally debasing “Mister” Albert Johnson (Danny Glover), things go from bad to worse, leaving Celie to find companionship anywhere she can. She perseveres, holding on to her dream of one day being reunited with her sister in Africa.