Guest Author - Jeanne Egbosiuba Ukwendu
If you are looking for an unabridged book of African proverbs, his isn't it. This a book of black proverbs which includes the countries of Algeria, Angola, Barbados, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, United States (South Carolina Gullah, Louisiana Creole, and various black communities), U.S. Virgin Islands, Uganda, and Zambia.
The authors, Askhari Johnson Hodari and Yvonne McCalla Sobers, have selected the better proverbs instead of making it an all-inclusive book where you have to read through low quality proverbs to find the really good ones. All the proverbs are organized into categories. However, instead of alphabetizing the chapters the authors have arranged them in a life cycle type order starting with birth and ending with death and the afterlife. Organizing the chapters in this way, made the book much more enjoyable to read.
The author go through great pains to explain why they've organized their book in this fashion and also why certain spellings of tribes are used. For example, they have used the spelling "Agikuyu" for the Kikuyu tribe and "Igbo" instead of the westernized spelling "Ibo". They explain they want to keep the original and truer spellings and names intact.
The best part of the book, aside from the proverbs, is the short vignettes that introduce many of the chapters. The authors write about living in Ghana and their experiences with their relatives and neighbors weaving appropriate proverbs through out their stories. The vignettes are well written and very poignant.
I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a book on black or African Proverbs.
Lifelines: The Black Book of Proverbs is available from Amazon.com in both hardcover and Kindle editions.
This copy of Lifelines: The Black Book of Proverbs was purchased by me with my own funds.