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She mentions placing the African and black American cultures side by side for examination, at one point even learning to still her anger by viewing the people around her: "Black American insouciance was the one missing element in West Africa. Courtesy and form, traditional dignity, respectful dismissal and history were the apparent ropes holding their society close and nearly impenetrable.

The changed Malcolm X had just returned from Mecca, where he had ejected himself from the following of Elijah Muhammed and now saw life differently. He even scolded Maya Angelou as she drove him to the airport, "don't be in such a hurry to condemn a person because he doesn't do what you do, or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn't know what you know today. I did have one minor issue with a characterization of Liberians--one minor detail with the Americo-Liberian history cited.

Yet what this memoir did well was that it compared social issues across cultures, it was encouraging even during the parts where it was disheartening, it spoke of transformation and social change, and it was scented with a lot of rich West African culture.

The ending was superb. View all 9 comments.


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I read this book in Ghana-- the site of the majority of the story. Maya Angelou is amazing. I could smell, feel, and visualize everything she spoke about. It didn't hurt that I was on the Legon University campus when I began this journey. Angelou accurately portrays the African-American experience when we make that journey of discovery to Mama Africa.

All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes

She vividly describes that desire to fall down and kiss the earth-- the earth that is OURS-- that our ancestors and cells within our bone's marro I read this book in Ghana-- the site of the majority of the story. She vividly describes that desire to fall down and kiss the earth-- the earth that is OURS-- that our ancestors and cells within our bone's marrow yearns for. Along the way, she meets figures like Malcolm X and Kwame Nkrumah. She also has drama with her son. Most importantly though, she discovers herself and realizes her own journey.

This book is powerful, and people are just "straight up tripping" if they don't give it 5 stars.

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Read it, imagining that you are on her journey. If you haven't been to Africa yet, or lived through the fervent 's -- allow her to take you there. I promise you won't be disappointed. This is book 5 in Maya Angelou's autobiography series. I've read books when I was younger. I'll have to dig thru my Mom's old books and read book 4 before the year ends! Maya Angelou can do no wrong - seriously! This book takes place in Ghana mostly Accra in the 's, shortly after Ghana's independence in While in Ghana, Angelou finds a job as an administrator at the University of Ghana - Legon and at a local newspaper as a journalist.

Angelou takes us through the different conversations and interactions she has with the kind-hearted Ghanaians she experienced during her stay. I loved how most Ghanaians made her feel at home. Ghanaians in general are very hospitable, and this book definitely highlights this my country did me proud in this book! I was glad that Maya Angelou was living with a community of African Americans, but interacted mostly with Africans throughout her stay in Ghana - there was a good balance. Even though W. B DuBois was also in Ghana at the time he gained citizenship and lived in Ghana during the latter part of his life , he was unable to protest with them, and even dies shortly after the March on Washington from old age.

My favorite part of the book is when Malcolm X arrives in Ghana and Angelou along with the other 'Revolutionist Returnees' do their best to make him feel at home, arrange various talks for him and even get him to meet president Kwame Nkrumah. It was great to read about these iconic leaders actually having normal lives in this book! Angelou struggles a lot in this book with her identity and facing the facts of the past. It constantly angered her to recollect how Africans sold other Africans into slavery.

She couldn't even visit the Elmina Castle - which housed several slaves at the Cape Coast of Ghana, because the historical weight behind this historical venue nauseated her. I appreciated her quest to experience and understand what the 'black experience' was like in Africa - Ghana, which is a place where almost everyone is black. This memoir ends on a satisfying note - for me. Apr 04, Monica rated it it was amazing.

All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes | Third Culture Mama

I've got nothing but love, respect and admiration for this woman. Brilliant writer, exceptional human being and humorous lady. What a combination of brilliance. I recommend all of her books to anyone and everyone. There's something in there for all of us. And the story goes on. This one was a wonderful eye-opener; so much to learn about the differences between "real" African and American-African character. This book I'm sure I'll read again! What an eye-opener. Fascinating, inspiring and beautifully wrought. I give this five stars because Maya is such an incredible story teller.

She wisks you along like a boat on a fast-moving current. She expresses both loathing and yearning for America, and I am torn between understanding and disappointment at her negativity towards the nation that fought the civil war and still strives to overcome years of slavery. View 1 comment. This is the fifth of seven memoirs by the great poet, performer and activist, Maya Angelou. She wrote with such fierceness and emotion that I couldn't put this book down.

In the s, Maya and her son Guy spent some time in Ghana after she divorced her husband. Her journey to Ghana gave her a new perspective on personal freedom, race relations, and slavery. She stayed close to friends that she knew from home and abroad, but she also befriended quite a few people from many different places as sh This is the fifth of seven memoirs by the great poet, performer and activist, Maya Angelou. She stayed close to friends that she knew from home and abroad, but she also befriended quite a few people from many different places as she lived life with her singular joy and thoughtfulness.

Near the end of her stay, she traveled to Germany and joined her old acting troupe for a few performances. It was in Germany that she and Roscoe Lee Browne discussed the legacy of racism carried from one generation to the next. She wrote that "Prejudice is a burden which confuses the past, threatens the future, and renders the present inaccessible.

I plan to read her last two remaining memoirs in the next few weeks. Not much happens in this, Maya lives in Ghana and has a job, she meets people and feels discontent. Engaging autobiographical story of her time living in Ghana in the 's. In her lovely style, she compares her experience of black Americans with the African experience and how they differ but have similarities.

She tells of the fascinating people she meets there, including a visit by Malcolm X and meeting the President of Liberia. Her piercing insights into herself are always enlightening and every one of her autobiographies have been awesome. It's always a pleasure to read Angelou's graceful prose, and this time the subject matter offers something new.


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While there are familiar elements her connection with the civil rights struggle, her relationship with her son, her tangled love life it's the exploration of the experience of being a black American in Africa which is the most interesting. In addition to the sense of dislocation experienced by all expats there's the complex issue of racial heritage, and an often difficult realisation It's always a pleasure to read Angelou's graceful prose, and this time the subject matter offers something new. In addition to the sense of dislocation experienced by all expats there's the complex issue of racial heritage, and an often difficult realisation about the differences between African and African-American.

Even stronger is the scene towards the end involving a meal with German and Jewish guests for whom the Holocaust was a painfully fresh memory which they attempt to cover with black humour. It's honest, it's light-hearted, it's contemplative and still it manages to reflect on one person's struggle with history and it's cruelties. The first one I've read in Angelou's autobiographical sequence, but definitely not the last!

Mar 24, Ying Ying rated it it was amazing Shelves: biography-memoir , favorite-authors. This is a book of exquisite story paired with exquisite writing. In this volume of Maya Angelou's memoir series, she goes to Africa in her search for home, discovering her roots and understanding her own differences. Her son grows up and prepares to lead an independent life. Apr 19, Elizabeth rated it it was amazing. What a wonderful book! I love Angelou's autobiographies. They are so human, they make you laugh but then on the next page you are sobbing.

A fantastic storyteller.

All God's Children Need Travelling Shoes

Anyone who is or has lived in another country will love this book. Jul 13, Akosua rated it it was amazing. Tremendously inspiring read. Happy I read it when I was in Ghana.

Jun 04, Pranjali Deshpande rated it really liked it. I've been reading Maya Angelou's autobiography series in a haphazard manner, starting from the end and picking up the stories in between. But any book I pick up doesn't really feel like a continuation of the ones before, and that's a good thing , if someone doesn't want to commit to reading the whole series.