Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa

Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa

by Keith B. Richburg

Paperback(ReprintTand Update with a New Afeterword)

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In “the most honest book to emerge from Africa in a long time” (USA Today), a black american correspondent for the Washington Post reports on the horrors he witnessed in Somalia, Rwanda, South Africa, and other troubled African nations-and reflects on his own identity. Map; updated with a new afterword.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780156005838
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 07/28/1998
Series: Harvest Book Series
Edition description: ReprintTand Update with a New Afeterword
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.94(h) x 0.72(d)
Age Range: 6 Years

What People are Saying About This

Joshua Hammer

"Eloquent . . . an important and original book"

Shelby Steele

"Black America has always imagined Africa like the adopted child imagines the birth parent. The dream is that Africa holds a truth for us. Keith Richburg marches through that dream and finds that he was an American all along."

Brian W. Jones

"Striking in both its honesty and horror...A passionate reminder to a multiethnic democracy that human dignity, not banal notions of cultural identity, is the source of enduring civic and personal esteem."

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Out Of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having lived in Africa for six years, I regonised many examples that Mr Richburg wrote about. But only a black American can write these experiences and published the book. As being white, I would be classified as a racist. Which is not true but many situations in Africa are very allien to someone who grew up in Europe or in the USA. Having been in situations that left me gobsmack, it was a relieve to read this honest book and often I was shaking my head with agreement or laughing as the same things happened to me. Also Mr Keithburg's reflection about being black in the USA and now being scared as a black man in Africa is something that I also noticed in Africa with black Americans. I recommend this book as a relieve to other books that are not always telling the truth.
Cyberlibrariannyc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is an outstanding book. Considering that Mr. Richburg states point-blank in the book that he now refers to himself as an American, not an "African-American," I find it rather amusing that this book is often placed in the "African-American" section of bookstores. That's a real shame because a lot of the book-reading public will miss out on his story. It is a truly fascinating read and proves, once and for all, that you really cannot go home again.
Zynnan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fascinating book. It provides a unique look at the political turmoil of Africa from an American journalist's perspective. The outsider happens to be an African-American who among all the violence, suffering, and despair realizes that Africa is not home away from home. In the end, Richburg discovers that he shares nothing with African culture as he slowly becomes aware of his "American" identity. It definitely questions the idea of the validity of race labels in American society, for after all, we are all part of the American experience.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Superb in every way & so informative makes me want to know more. How such a young. black man can work out so many provocative points of view for himself and his older white readers is remarkable. You won't be able to put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You have never seen Africa like this before! Very well written. I will be reading this one again. So glad I have it on my Nook. I will be "sharing" it with a friend who has also traveled to Africa.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In a milieu of romanticizing Africa for political and social advantage, the author's stark honesty replaces myth with truth.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Being a journalist, Keith Richburg is able to vividly convey the plight of the Tustsi people in Africa. Well crafted - couldn't put it down. Every black person in America should read it and get over feeling victimized 'which they were - but, it turns out, to a greater future'in the early days of this country. I would wish for them the sensitivity to forgive us those long-ago sins, and rejoice in the fact that their forfathers bore the pain that ensured them a life anywhere but in Africa. The didn't suffer alone. Written in stone at the Alamo is the saying: 'Texas is heaven for men and dogs, but hell for women and oxen.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
Keith Richburg's book takes you right to Africa where you are right with him as he travels the continent. It's a very good book as a memoir but if you are looking for background information, or new insights on Africa- this book does not deliver. It has no serious analysis of either the black problem (either African or African American). I give the writing a 3.5 but the content rates a one as the book would have been great with just a little bit more analysis While reading Mr. Richburg,the book had the feel of a story teller's tale- and had revealing moments when I recognised Mr. Richburg's rage at fellow black people and ex-colonialists etc. Mr. Richburg's title doesn't dissemble- it's about how he confronts Africa- buy it for a good general read, but if seeking to learn about Africa, you're probably better off with another book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Out of America's thesis ignores the fact that the United States is partially responsible for causing the political, economic, and social turmoil in Africa that gave birth to the author's brutal critique of the continent. For this reason, it is difficult to judge the author as a credible source, since a summary review of the United States' involvement in Africa severely challenges his view of America as the world's greatest democracy and his uncritical gratitude for being the descendant of an African who was enslaved in America. However, the book is valuable in articulating the negative sentiments that many Africans in America unfortunately hold for the 'Dark Continent.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
I too am an African-American living in Africa. Sadly, I must concur with Mr. Richburg's observations, particuarly in Nairobi, Kenya. The experiences described by the author in that part of Africa mirrored my own almost identically. The book is a validation of my own feelings and observations which were quite often disbelieved or misinterpreted by people at home. The book's real message is that African-Americans should embrace the unique opportunity they have to live in the world's freest democracy. If Black Americans could only see the sacrifices Africans are willing to make to be in their position, they would (and should) embrace their American citizenship with unprecedented pride and determination to make it a more perfect union.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was astonished at this honest and beautifully written book. Although no excuses can be made for the ultimate evil of slavery, it shows that history can right itself in that millions of blacks are now living in a country where there is opportunity rather than wholesale slaughter.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Out of America does a good job of conveying the authors sentiments and thoughts about the African continent, and to some extent, her peoples. What it does not do is offer insight into how US and Western meddling have caused the continent much turmoil and lost years, starting even before the advent of slave raids on the continent. It is a great memoir, but nothing more. It stops far short of a true, honest, probing and reflective journalistic effort.