The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Book Review:

Jul 18, 2022

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi is a novel about the consequences of colonialism and slavery. The novel portrays a series of interlinked storylines. It follows the descendants of two half-sisters from the Gold Coast (modern day Ghana). One sister was captured and sold off to slavery in the American colonies. The other remained on the Coast as divided tribes positioned themselves within an encroaching British Empire.

The American chapters depict the gruesome conditions of slavery, the Civil War, Jim Crow, the Great Migration, and the Civil Rights struggles. A chapter on the use of convict labor in the American South during Jim Crow follows the efforts of formerly convicted black and white miners who fought against the bosses in Alabama to organize an integrated labor union.

The West-African chapters portray the rivalries between tribes, wars with the Europeans, imperialism, and the Ghanaian struggle for independence. Homegoing highlights some of the political currents that took shape in Ghana after independence.

Homegoing is available in paperback edition. It is also available at your local library. For those who like to listen to books, there is an audiobook version as well.