All About Chez Alpha Books - March 2018
International Women's Day
Celebrating International Women's Day and International Day with my students. Gracious, smart, and dynamic is how I can best describe them and whatever world they will lead is the world that I want to be living in! Honoring the women of Bangladesh, Libya, Pakistan, Mauritania, Comoros, Syria, Lebanon, Algeria and more...All my sisters!

International Women's Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. International Women's Day first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe.
Since those early years, International Women's Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing international women's movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations women's conferences, has helped make the commemoration a rallying point to build support for women's rights and participation in the political and economic arenas. Continuing reading:
Cheikh Anta Diop and the New Light on African History by John Henrik Clarke (1974)
Cheikh Anta Diop, one of the most able of present day scholars writing about Africa, is also one of the greatest living Black historians. His first major work, Nations Negres et Culture (1955) is still disturbing the white historians who have make quick reputations as authorities on African history and culture. In this book Dr. Diop shows the interrelationships between African nations, north and south, and proves, because in this case proof is needed again and again, that ancient Egypt was a distinct African nation and was not historically or culturally a part of Asia or Europe. More myths about Africa are put to rest in another one of his books, The Cultural Unity of Negro Africa , (1959). The publication of his first book in the United States, The African Origin of Civilization: Myth of Reality , is a cause for celebration. This book and others of recent years, all by Black writers, have called for a total reconsideration of the role that African people have played in history and their impact on the development of early societies and institutions.
A Great Story Hour!
We read BRINGING THE RAIN TO KAPITI PLAIN because this story is now so close to reality. It’s an older story but well-loved and with Cape Town bracing for “Day Zero” – (the day when running water for 4 million is finished) this folktale from the Nandi people in Kenya has a similar theme. Ki-Pat, the herdsman tries to make it rain during a drought so the cattle will have grass to graze on. With South Africa now facing a historic drought, we thought children and adults needed to understand how water is a precious commodity. After the story, it was on to the art activity. We always have a creative group!
Why Read Poetry
This beautiful work of poetry by Franck Mboumba aka KEMIT is available at Chez Alpha Books. Some people may ask why read poetry? According to K. A. Fareed, "Poetry is a literary work in verse, a writing of high quality, and great beauty, a piece of art, with emotional sincerity, a graceful expression showing imagination and deep feeling....It is a profound insight that enables a poet to idealize reality and to see the things or situations in a particular way, to express his feelings of his own accord and to represent them in such a way as to delight the readers." We're sure you will love Damné les Année and will be the first to agree with Fareed.
In Celebration of Twentieth Century African American literature
Since the first poems published by former slaves Phyllis Wheatley and Jupiter Hammon around the time of the American Revolution, African American literature has played a vital role in the history and culture of the United States. The slave narratives of figures such as Frederick Douglass and Harriet Wilson became a driving force for abolitionism before the Civil War, and the tumultuous end of Reconstruction brought about the exploration of new genres and themes during the height of the Jim Crow era. The Harlem Renaissance was a particularly vibrant time for African American writers, and the mid-twentieth century saw a creative spell that has yet to wane. Most significantly, African American women have been front and center during this period.

Oxford University Press collected facts about nine of the most important African American writers of the past century, with the hope that their works retain their pivotal place in the American literary canon. Continue reading:
Literary Updates-
The Black Panther Influence
About King Leopold's Ghost -Wakanda’s political and mythical stature in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is based in its treasured and protected resource, vibranium. This vibranium is arguably the most precious metal on the MCU’s Earth as it is only found within Wakanda. Buried in the red clay soil of the Congo lies an assortment of the most sought-after metals and minerals on the planet. Valued at a staggering 24 trillion dollars, enough wealth to solve the problem of poverty throughout the world, let alone in Africa, yet the Congolese people are one of the poorest on the planet. Continue reading:
If you’re one of the moviegoers who contributed to Black Panther’s record-breaking opening weekend, chances are you’re already dying to revisit Wakanda. And while we totally recommend watching the film again (many, many times), we also recommend reading everything by Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Nnedi Okorafor.
Okorafor, who’s about to wrap up a run on Marvel’s Black Panther. So if you’re looking for more stories featuring kickass women and inventive tech on the African continent, Okorafor has you covered. Continue reading:
Book Recommendations-Some Classic and Some New
The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon:
It's a must read-
A distinguished psychiatrist from Martinique who took part in the Algerian Nationalist Movement, Frantz Fanon was one of the most important theorists of revolutionary struggle, colonialism, and racial difference in history. Fanon’s masterwork is a classic alongside Edward Said’s Orientalism or The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and it is now available in a new translation that updates its language for a new generation of readers. The Wretched of the Earth is a brilliant analysis of the psychology of the colonized and their path to liberation.
Letters to a Young Muslim by Omar Saif Ghobash:
In a series of personal letters to his sons, Omar Saif Ghobash offers a short and highly readable manifesto that tackles our current global crisis with the training of an experienced diplomat and the personal responsibility of a father. Today's young Muslims will be tomorrow's leaders, and yet too many are vulnerable to extremist propaganda that seems omnipresent in our technological age. The burning question, Ghobash argues, is how moderate Muslims can unite to find a voice that is true to Islam while actively and productively engaging in the modern world. What does it mean to be a good Muslim?

Right from the first page of “Second-Class Citizen” the reader is lead into to Adah’s childhood and the beginning of her dream to succeed in life, her dream to become a "big" person. Nudged persistently by this dream, she is determined to get an education even though it's a privilege given mostly to male children. She overcomes her mother's opposition and never stops learning. Because girl teenagers were not allowed to live by themselves in Lagos, Adah decides to marry. And there the novel begins proper. She marries Francis who is studying...
Education Update
Here's Why a 15 Bac Result Doesn't Always Guarantee University Success.
For many students obtaining a 15 on the French Bac seemingly assures them that their university studies will also be equally successful. Parents, understandably beam with pride as results like these have been a long- term goal. I have seen this attitude over and over again, while at the same time to the shock of student and their parents, I have also witnessed these students struggle and, in some instances, fail during their university experience.

Students often do not realize that the university experience will not be the same as secondary school or lycée. In reality, it was never meant to be the same. In addition, many students I meet with are extremely studious yet sometimes lack the soft skills that are also needed to transition effectively into the university particularly if their goal is to study abroad.
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