Our 2017-2018 book group still has openings on Sunday afternoon. October’s selection is the rich debut novel Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi, a novel that confronts us with the involvement of Africans in the enslavement of their own people.
The tale begins in the late 18th century in an Asante village, part of the Gold Coast which eventually became Ghana. A young girl, Effia Otcher, is sold by her father to a British slavetrader named James – as a bride, not as a slave – and taken to live with him in Cape Coast Castle, a fort overlooking the sea. The slaves are in dungeons underneath the castle, awaiting transit to the Americas and the Caribbean via the Middle Passage. Among them are ex-house servants, overflow prisoners of tribal and regional wars and unlucky captives sold to the Europeans for money and goods, such as 15-year-old Esi Asare, Effia’s half-sister. Esi was seized during a raid on her own village and brought to the castle by “bomboys”, local boys who worked for the British transporting cargo. In a series of subsequent interconnected stories, the bloodlines of these two women are followed through seven generations covering the associated histories of the US and Ghana up to the turn of the 21st century.
This year’s book groups’ reading list will include books on race and social justice, works of fiction by women of color, and books with a spiritual and/or religious theme. November’s selection will be Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry, edited by Mitra Rahnema.
If you are interested in joining the Sunday afternoon group in time for the October discussion, please contact Jenn Stiles at firstname.lastname@example.org