I recently read Tomi Adeyemi’s novel, Children of Blood and Bone. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/04/children-of-blood-and-bone-tomi-adeyemi/554060/ I welcome stories that stretch my habitual paradigms. In her novel, skin color is at play – the darker maji, oppressed and feared for their magic, and the lighters in charge, who call the maji ‘maggots’ – and treat them as such. Adeyemi engages a palette of brown colored skins. I am grateful for release from caucasian persuasions.
I returned book to our library but meant to cop a paragraph that seared me to my soul. I believe it was on page 313. Her main character, Zelie, enlightened the prince to the fear she felt every day waking up. Where she knew when she walked the streets she’d be looked upon as ‘other’; to some degree as threat to others.
Tomi Adeyemi, at the age of 24, weaves in masterfully the experience of African American life here in our (all of our) United States of America. Zelie and her kind were constantly harassed and treated with mistrust and violence. I worked to put myself as best I could into the fibers of that experience, knowing in this life I will not be able to do that. But it strikes deep to bear witness to all that’s lost to each and every one of us when a huge swath of our United States of America citizens face this as a daily reality. I catch a glimpse of it as a woman. But only a glimpse.
And then the title of this brilliant 24 year-old Nigerian American’s first published novel planted itself behind my sternum – we are all children of blood and bone. I pray to be incarnated to witness that national revelation.