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Ruffs are hand-wash or dry-clean only, reshape while wet and dry flat. I'll be in the air and the Earth. I'll be in the stars that light the African heavens. I'll be watchin' over you and your family. My spirit will always be close enough to touch and protect you all. So, do not grieve for me. My body will die, but my soul will live on. For my soul cannot die. Always remember that my soul is the spark of God in me.
Sometimes one quote can make an entire Sometimes one quote can make an entire novel. Truly this quote sums up the heart of Makeda. I was intrigued by idea of blood memories. How wonderful would it be to have lived many lives and actually remember those lives?!
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Makeda is about much more than that though. I learned about the Dogon people why have I never heard of them? Robinson also attempted to explore different familial relationships. I felt he was most successful when he wrote about Graylon and his love for his grandmother. A grandparents love is a beautiful thing and I was touched by the tenderness described in Makeda.
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I wanted more from the other relationships in Gray's life. His parents and his brother got the short end of the stick in this story. These characters felt flat and voiceless. Why did his father disown Gray like that? It just didn't seem to be a rational response to the tragedy described. It just did not interest me much. Overall, a good book and one I am glad to have had the opportunity to read.
Goodreads giveaway Jul 20, Jacki rated it liked it Shelves: adult-fiction , shelf-awareness. Randall Robinson, best known for his efforts in foreign policy advocacy and his bestselling nonfiction works An Unbroken Agony and Quitting America, turns his hand to fiction with the story of a young African-American man whose sense of self is shaped and buoyed by his visions of the past.
Gray March feels little connection to his emotionally distant parents, but from early childhood he is strongly bonded to his blind grandmother Makeda. Only to Gray will she divulge her dreams of Africa, dreams Randall Robinson, best known for his efforts in foreign policy advocacy and his bestselling nonfiction works An Unbroken Agony and Quitting America, turns his hand to fiction with the story of a young African-American man whose sense of self is shaped and buoyed by his visions of the past. Only to Gray will she divulge her dreams of Africa, dreams that she believes are true memories of past lives.
As he comes of age against the turbulent backdrop of the Civil Rights movement, Gray discovers a need to prove to the world that his grandmother is right about her visions. While the plot could not exist without the concept of reincarnation, Robinson's message has little to do with the mechanics or spiritual implications of past lives.
Instead, Gray's ability to come to terms with himself through discovery of his family and racial history symbolizes the healing power that comes with knowing one's roots. One of Gray's professors suggests that black Americans are struggling with their cultural identity because slavery ripped it from them, but Robinson is not only exploring what it means to be black.
His theme of knowing the past before planning the future applies to all cultures, all people. Pick up this odyssey of family drama, history and love, and be prepared to consider your own beginnings. View all 3 comments. Mar 22, Susan Henn rated it liked it Shelves: modern-fiction , historical-fiction. Perhaps the discrepancy was due to my lack of understanding of African-American history and culture. So although well written and historically interesting, it was not the book I had hoped to read!
Jan 23, Mike Heyd rated it really liked it Shelves: first-reads , owned. Despite the descriptions of books on their covers or in Goodreads one never quite knows what to expect. I was prepared for the magic of Makeda's dream world. I was far less prepared to be drawn so completely into the heart and mind of an African American writer. Randall Robinson was completely unknown to me before I entered the First Reads drawing and won this book, but I am very glad that we were introduced.
Given the oft-quoted and inescapable fact of "so many books, so little time," it's no s Despite the descriptions of books on their covers or in Goodreads one never quite knows what to expect. Given the oft-quoted and inescapable fact of "so many books, so little time," it's no surprise that I had not discovered a writer of such dexterity and power; but that makes the discovery all the more pleasurable. I'm not a great fan of the first person in fiction, unless it is done very well.
Too often first-person narratives are so full of braggadocio or colorful phrasing that the narrator is constantly in front of the story. Robinson never gets in the way of his story. He just tells it, almost matter-of-factly, and quite compellingly. Some who write about the black experience in America understandably focus so much on its terrible inequities, unintentionally or otherwise, that they may inflame more than heal the wounds.
Randall Robinson avoids that with deftness and grace. Makeda beautifully coveys the truth that under the skin we are far more alike than we are different. I unreservedly recommend this book to all.
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Feb 26, Claudia rated it it was amazing. This author takes us on a spiritual journey through many reincarnations of an old soul, who in this reincarnation is a blind African American retired laundress and empowers her grandson to know, without a doubt, that no matter how downtrodden, disadvantaged, poor, seemingly uneducated, or no matter how lowly your current job, that you are a part of culture, and man's glorious achievement. That no matter how " third world" a country appears to be, it is the repository of knowledge western science This author takes us on a spiritual journey through many reincarnations of an old soul, who in this reincarnation is a blind African American retired laundress and empowers her grandson to know, without a doubt, that no matter how downtrodden, disadvantaged, poor, seemingly uneducated, or no matter how lowly your current job, that you are a part of culture, and man's glorious achievement.
That no matter how " third world" a country appears to be, it is the repository of knowledge western science is just finding out about. And the important thing is not how many zeroes are in your bank account or income, but that you love, and know the past. I have always found it quite baffling why Christians are so averse to the concept of reincarnation. It was left out of the state approved version of Christianity promulgated by the the Council of Niacea. After all, Jesus promised "Life Everlasting"! More cultures believe in reincarnation than those that do not.
More people alive on this planet right now believe in it than those who do not. Written in a poetical, lyrical, spiritual prose. This author sings.
Jun 24, Linda rated it liked it. Makeda, a blind laundress in Richmond, Virginia reveals her dreams to Gray, her grandson. Makeda dreams of her past lives in Africa. Her most vivid dreams are about her life in Mali. She belonged to the Dogon ethnic group. The Dogon were highly skilled in astronomy. Makeda asks Gray to document her dreams. Makeda only trusts Gray with her dreams because others would think she's insane.
Years pass and Gray realizes scientists who discovered a star did so ten years after his blind grandmother desc Makeda, a blind laundress in Richmond, Virginia reveals her dreams to Gray, her grandson. Years pass and Gray realizes scientists who discovered a star did so ten years after his blind grandmother described it it to him.
Makeda's past lives aren't of blood relatives, but it makes Gray curious about his history. He goes to Mali to find what Makeda sees in her dreams. I was excited to receive this complimentary copy from Akashic Books through Goodreads. I don't think I've read books by African American authors before.
This story makes me want to know more about my history. Nov 22, Yasmin rated it really liked it.