Monday, February 27, 2012

Makeda by Randall Robinson

Randall Robinson

My first introduction to Randall Robinson was through his book The Debt: What America Owes to Black, and I was so moved by this book. This was the first book that I had read that examined the legacy of Bill Clinton in a perspective that made me look at him and his presidency from different lenses. This book also focused on the idea that the only way that Blacks can lay a foundation for their future is by reclaiming our lost heritage, and he also talked about reparations for slavery and racial discrimination. After reading this book, I went on a journey to discover who is this smart man who definitely has "fire shut up in his bones."

Randall Robinson is the founder and past president of TransAfrica.  (I have been to several of their functions, and I love this group.Randall "organizied a sit-in at a South-African embassy in order to protest the apartheid era government's policy of segregation and discrimination against black South Africans, a personal hunger strike aimed at pressuring the United States government into restoring Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power after the short-lived coup by General Raoul C├ędras, and dumped crates filled with bananas onto the steps of the United States Trade Representative in order to protest what he viewed as discriminatory trade policies aimed at Caribbean nations, such as protective tariffs and import quotas." This man has "fire shut up in his bones."

After reading The Debt, I read several of his other books, and the one that really gave me a lot of knowledge and made me angry was An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, from Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President. After reading this book, my respect for many of our leaders during the second Bush administration was left in question, and my respect for Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Randall Robinson, and his wife Hazel, went through the roof. I LOVE RANDALL ROBINSON! (Please, please read An Unbroken Agony. You'll never be the same.)

So, I was browsing through a magazine, and I read that Randall Robinson had written a fiction book titled Makeda. I had never read a fiction book by Randall, and I had to try it. The main story line is about a boy named Gray who's grandmother confided in him about past lives that she has lived. However, this book touches on so many other issues such as the Civil Rights Movement, African American writers during the Harlem Renaissance who were thought to be writing to please White people, life at Historical Black colleges with professors who challenges the status quo, the complexity of the African American family, Black love etc. (It is evident that this man has a lot on his mind, and he has "fire shut up in his bones.") I really prefer his non-fiction books so much more, but with all of the things that I think about on any given day, I am sure that if I write a fiction book, it may be similar to this book with a lot packed in.  

Let me tell you a true story about Randall and me. I promise that it is true. I live a life where I am always experiencing those Serendipity Moments. I have the most random, pleasant things happening to me all of the time. 

So, I was in the beauty shop one summer, and I think that it was about two summers ago. If you know anything about my summer activities: hiking, biking, swimming, tennis etc, you know that I am not the person who worries about her hair in the summer. But, for some reason, I felt the need to let my stylist, Eddie, touch my hair. As I was leaving the shop, guess who was passing in front of the shop? Randall Robinson, of course. I ran outside and asked "Are you Randall Robinson?" and it was him in the flesh. Here is the proof:

Randall and Me!

This is a man that people should know. Read anything by Randall Robinson, and I know that you will be enlighten in ways that you could never image. He has "fire shut up in his bones."

I LOVE RANDALL ROBINSON, and I think that you will too!


dorothyreed19 said...

I love it. Your hair is looking good to.

Jacqueline Stallworth said...

Thanks! I'm sure my hair was hot and sweaty right after that. Randall is the man!

ArchivedProfile said...

I didn't realize he was so tall. I was watching him on BookTV and heard him mention Makeda. I found it in a used bookstore a couple of weeks ago but haven't prioritized it yet. I haven't read any of his nonfiction so I may like it better than you did.

I was recently trying to make a list of black authors that write both fiction and nonfiction. I was prompted to do so after looking through a list of books that Zora Neale Hurston wrote. I'm not having much luck coming up with names...

Jacqueline said...

Yes, Shannon, he is tall... lol
W.E.B. Dubois is another one who writes fiction and nonfiction.

This books is not as good as some of his non-fiction books.

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