Reading Around the World: Ghana

To my mind, the fifth volume, All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes, is the best of all the volumes of Maya Angelou’s autobiography. Set in 1962 (the year I was born) this book tells of the author’s journey to Ghana with her 17 year old son. Now part of a racial majority, she still encountered another sort of prejudice as an American. Her 17 year old son, too, found things out when he enrolled at the University of Ghana. Ms. Angelou married a Ghanaian who is described as a “freedom fighter.” I read this book just after I came home from Peace Corps in Malawi. All those years later (29 years) I had watched as the sole African-American in our group was rejected on our village visit–the locals wanted a “real” American (i.e. white) and how she struggled for acceptance. After two years of hard work she succeeded and stayed on after we went home to take an independent job. Ms Angelou,  with her high status and profile and her extensive contacts among actors, writers, etc, had quite a “journey” in this book.  I highly recommend ALL the volumes in her autobiography, but this one even more so.

All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes, by Maya Angelou

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