“The True History of Paradise” by Margaret Cezair-Thompson in a sense tells the history of Jamaica through the lives and experiences of a fictional character and her family. The book opens in 1981 when political violence tore Jamaica apart and created a state of emergency that resulted in many people fleeing the country. Jean Landing is a young woman of mixed heritage from a financially comfortable and politically connected family. Devastated by the violence that now plagues the country, Jean plans to emigrate to America. When her sister dies right as she prepares to leave, the loss of her family member and beloved country causes her to look back over her life and we also get some insight into the lives of her ancestors.
If you’re interested in learning about the guerilla war where native Kenyans fought against British colonialist powers then my Mau Mau Rebellion Black History Short is for you.
Shortly after the establishment of the first European settlements in what would become South Africa, Africans and Boers began fighting over access to land. Over the years, Africans would be pushed off their land and their livestock confiscated leading to conflicts and full-scale wars. By the end of the 1800s, South Africa was carved into four White-controlled regions, colonies of the British and Boers.
“King Leopold’s Ghost” by Adam Hochschild is the story of how King Leopold II of Belgium used violence and coercion to gain control of the Congo. In this review, I discuss how on a larger scale the book also provides a perspective on how various European powers carved up Africa for their own gain.