Black Gold of the Sun
Ekow Eshun
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Buy *Black Gold of the Sun: Searching for Home in Africa and Beyond* by Ekow Eshun online

Black Gold of the Sun: Searching for Home in Africa and Beyond
Ekow Eshun
240 pages
July 2007
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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Perhaps in Black Gold of the Sun: Searching for Home in Africa and Beyond, Ekow Eshun finds a new voice for black people. Of Ghanan descent, Eshun grows up in London but faces prejudice. He decides to return to Ghana to find his roots, and it is there, at the home of W.E.B. Du Bois and the one-time location of Richard Wright, a new consciousness emerges.

But Eshun’s journey through his past contains difficulties. He finds out that one of his ancestors was a mulatto slave trader, Josef de Graf who, because of his white skin, felt superior to African blacks. Eshun mentions that slavery went on in Ghana prior to the white’s arrival; with them, it began to happen on a larger, more sophisticated scale. The slave-traders frequently married their black slaves, and the children of these unions were free-born.

Eshun’s discovery of his ancestry brings him bitterness and self-loathing. He decides to leave Ghana and return to London. Things are resolved as he talks to his elder brother in London, and an understanding arises between them that seems to cut away at some of their past rivalry. At the end of the book, Eshun tells the story of the Caribs who courageously would rather die than become slaves: they threw themselves off a cliff as a multitude and drowned in the water before the Europeans could take them.

The book is meditative and gives insight as to what it means to be black in the twenty-first century, exploring the dynamics of prejudice. The book goes beyond a successful description of one man’s search for his roots, becoming a quest for a black identity.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Linda Benninghoff, 2007

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