A book I have read written by Chimamanda Adichie and a tenny weeny bit of me is of the unsolicited view that Americanah reflects/ reflected some parts of her life.
For starters, Ifemelu’s blog mentioned in Americanah is still active till when this post was written, some of the blog posts quoted in the book are on the blog, she’s a Princeton fellow… I can go on and on but this is me just being fascinated and curious to what happened to Ifemelu and Obinze’s reunited love as mentioned in Americanah.
Well, Americanah is a book I could resonate to. Yes, I might have said the same about Becoming, that it is becoming a cliché. ( oh, did you see what I did there?)
Every character was well described in Americanah, lt left room for yearning for more details about what happened to Kosi and if Ifemelu accepted this ” after 7 months brewed up feeling ” thrusted at her, infront of her house.
Much justice wasn’t done in convincing me about Lagos rather it confirmed my view regarding the state in Nigeria and just incase you are wondering, Lagos is one of the busy states in Nigeria.
I am left wondering each time how the people I know residing in Lagos cope; like the noiseness of the state, the ever unending daily bustling.
Oh the Nigerpolitan!
To think we all don’t have to return to be seen that way. For even the conversation we have amongst ourselves when we meet whether in our beautiful country or outside, revolves around same topics.
Sometimes I am comfortable, other times I am bothered about it and I consciously try to dismember myself from it. I don’t really want to be a Nigerian and discuss Her as a foreigner, I want to be part of the change we hope for, I want to bring the goodies we enjoy in western world to Nigeria. She deserves it.
Mentioning race in Americanah couldn’t have been addressed better especially this clip from the book:
Dear American/British Non-Black, if an American Black person is telling you about an experience about being black, please do not eagerly bring up examples from your own life. Don’t say “It’s just like when I …” You have suffered. Everyone in the world has suffered. But you have not suffered precisely because you are an American Black. Don’t be quick to find alternative explanations for what happened. Don’t say “Oh, it’s not really race, it’s class. Oh, it’s not race, it’s gender. Oh, it’s not race, it’s the cookie monster.” You see, American Blacks actually don’t WANT it to be race. They would rather not have racist shit happen. So maybe when they say something is about race, it’s maybe because it actually is? Don’t say “I’m color-blind,” because if you are color-blind, then you need to see a doctor and it means that when a black man is shown on TV as a crime suspect in your neighborhood, all you see is a blurry purplish-grayish-creamish figure. Don’t say “We’re tired of talking about race” or “The only race is the human race.” American Blacks, too, are tired of talking about race. They wish they didn’t have to. But shit keeps happening. Don’t preface your response with “One of my best friends is black” because it makes no difference and nobody cares and you can have a black best friend and still do racist shit and it’s probably not true anyway, the “best” part, not the “friend” part. Don’t say your grandfather was Mexican so you can’t be racist (please click here for more on There Is No United League of the Oppressed). Don’t bring up your Irish great-grandparents’ suffering. Of course they got a lot of shit from established America. So did the Italians. So did the Eastern Europeans. But there was a hierarchy. A hundred years ago, the white ethnics hated being hated, but it was sort of tolerable because at least black people were below them on the ladder. Don’t say your grandfather was a serf in Russia when slavery happened because what matters is you are American now and being American means you take the whole shebang, America’s assets and America’s debts, and Jim Crow is a big-ass debt. Don’t say it’s just like antisemitism. It’s not. In the hatred of Jews, there is also the possibility of envy—they are so clever, these Jews, they control everything, these Jews—and one must concede that a certain respect, however grudging, accompanies envy. In the hatred of American Blacks, there is no possibility of envy—they are so lazy, these blacks, they are so unintelligent, these blacks. Don’t say “Oh, racism is over, slavery was so long ago.” We are talking about problems from the 1960s, not the 1860s. If you meet an elderly American black man from Alabama, he probably remembers when he had to step off the curb because a white person was walking past…..
It erks me every time, the “whites” play the race card or use that line “I have been to Africa” to buttress their white supremacy point.
These are two different issues from the matter at hand. You have a black as best friend or have been to Africa or Nigeria specifically which I usually get as response after I have said I am from Nigeria, doesn’t mean you understand the magnimosity of the issue at hand. I am happy to recommend Americanah to whites that do this.
Quit making it about yourself!
Quit telling me/Us stories you have heard about Africa!!
Quit confusing Africa !
Africa is a continent.
Nigeria is a country.
To the non blacks that genuinely understand and are given some form of treatment for aligning with us, you all are the MVPs.
I wouldn’t deny that the subtle infused humour was great neither will I rule out the fact that a lot of details made Americanah long but never boring.
It was a good read. I must say.
I definitely enjoyed the book and hopefully someday when I ever met Chimamanda, I have got some questions for her including those gotten while reading Americanah.