The House at Sugar Beach

Wow. I have to thank Helene Cooper for writing this book: The House at Sugar Beach - and it has not even been published yet. It has been excerpted already, just in yesterday's Sunday New York Times. What an awesome and touching book this will be; I can see it already.

Almost every Black American I know feels a deep-seated draw - almost tidal in nature - to the continent we call the "Motherland", even though most of us have never sat foot there. And within the continent is that little place known as Liberia and in many ways the pull is strongest from here. For Liberia was founded by freed slaves; it is almost like they are the ones who got out. There is a sense of they are the ones who escaped and managed to fulfill a long held dream that we all shared.

Of course, that dream died back in 1980. I was just a few years younger than Ms. Cooper, but I too remember the announcement of the coup. Still, I must confess it was with much less detail and depth than her own, front-line reporting. To me, it was a mysterious and far-off event and not one that was too infrequent on the continent of my long-lost home. The reports of the government change over were pretty much just a clinical report to my 10-year old ears.

Even in just this excerpt, Ms. Cooper does a brilliant job of little us into the world of the "Congo People", the nomenclature the native inhabitants develop to speak of the newly arrived immigrants. And this excerpt does a brilliant job of introducing us to her "adopted" sister Eunice - all without completely telling us just what was her fate. Now we have to buy the book!

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