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Makeda [Kindle Edition]

Randall Robinson
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The debut title from the new OpenLens imprint: a universal tale of family, heritage, and the ties that bind.

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"In Robinson's majestic prose and sweeping historical vision, the tongues of Virginia Woolf, Gabriel García Márquez, and Toni Morrison blend to remind us that we can renew our souls in the eyes of ancestors who return to us in whatever way our lives demand."—Michael Eric Dyson, author of Know What I Mean?

“Rich and detailed . . . Makeda is a lively and irresistible story about family and the coming-of-age of an intelligent black man in twentieth-century America. At once tender, intellectually daring, and emotionally unsettling, Makeda joins that short list of great American novels.”
—Kwame Dawes, award-winning author of She’s Gone

“I have always loved Randall Robinson, and with Makeda I love him more.”
—Bertice Berry, author of Redemption Song

“Above all is Robinson’s way with language; his development of characters who float mythically through a story of epic proportions.”
—Herb Boyd, author of Baldwin’s Harlem

From the Back Cover

"Makeda teases, provokes, challenges, and illuminates the complex, painful, and joyous personal and collective journeys in search of family, identity, love, and place that define us. Like the protagonist Makeda’s many incarnations, this haunting novel of return reminds us that we are all part of something far greater than ourselves, or this moment."
—Jill Nelson, author of the New York Times best seller Volunteer Slavery

"Randall Robinson is not only a legendary freedom fighter, but also a towering public intellectual and powerful novelist. His fascinating new work, Makeda, has great mind, heart, and soul!"
—Cornel West, author of Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, A Memoir

"Makeda is brilliant and path-breaking, filled with passion and compassion. It took hold in my heart and wouldn’t let go. A scholar and a poet uncompromisingly committed to justice, Randall Robinson is a rare and exquisite writer. This novel will burn in your brain long after you have left its haunting pages."
—Susan L. Taylor, former editor in chief of Essence magazine

"Makeda is a soaring, wrenching, and ultimately revealing glimpse into the roles within a powerful matriarchal family . . . A must read for anyone who wants to appreciate history, the role of women, and the significance of transferring ideas, goals, and ambitions from one generation to the next."
—Charles J. Ogletree Jr., author of The Presumption of Guilt

"Luminous and magical; in Makeda, Robinson has created a brilliant and well-imagined work."
—Bernice L. McFadden, award-winning author of Glorious

Product Details

  • File Size: 704 KB
  • Print Length: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Akashic Books (August 30, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005H2S0IA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #310,294 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Every once in a great while I come across an extraordinary piece of fiction that serves as a valid passport into the private and intimate interior terrain of its author. Makeda is one of those special works of fiction. As I became absorbed in this highly spiritual tale, I felt as if I were stepping on sacred ground, given permission to enter an exclusive landscape, allowed to experience something holy and profound.

Randall Robinson's Makeda is a transparent window into the soul of the African American. Directed by the sense of the ancient, this exquisitely poignant novel explores and expands the identities of race, ethnic, religion, culture, gender and class.

With the vehicle of dreamwork infused with history, science, and spirituality, Robinson moves us through the strong and virulent world of racism, a world in which the proud and highly evolved people of noble Black African origins have been repeatedly exiled and displaced by slavery from the land of their ancestors. It is a vibrant reminder from the resonant voice of Makeda Gee Florida Harris March for the world to once again place the Black African at the heart of the universe.

Makeda Gee Florida Harris March is the wise and graceful matriarch of the March family, a small African American family in Richmond, Virginia -- poor but proud, hardworking and honest. The story begins in 1950 when the family, like most African American families, is embattled by the social ills that were virile in America during the 1950s.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Looking beyond the fence..." September 9, 2011
What could West African history and cosmology, the Queen of Sheba and early Christianity possibly have to do with a simple, blind, old woman, who is only moderately educated and has lived all her life in Richmond, Virginia? Quite a lot, you will find when you read Randall Robinson's thought-provoking and persuasive novel. Recognized for his extensive non-fiction writing on topics that range from African-American socio-politics to international human rights, Robinson ventures with Makeda into a world of fiction that transcends any genre definition of a traditional novel. It integrates a fictional memoir, a coming-of-age and a very tender love story with elements of magical realism and, combined, makes for a moving account of a personal and spiritual journey. Interwoven into these different narrative strands are discussions on African-American socio-political issues and a refresher course on aspects of African history.

At about ten years of age, Gray March "decided" to become a "writer". Having listened to his grandmother's stories since early childhood, "I began preparing to give this account of the fascinating events of my grandmother's life [...] She told me things she told no other living person." Mattie (Makeda) Gee Florida Harris March is indeed a very special person and her life's experiences not only enchant Gray, they provide much emotional and historical depth for this astounding and highly engaging novel. Gray, growing up in the nineteen fifties and sixties feels lonely and insecure; his parents appear to be emotionally stunted, weighed down by circumstances he will only come to understand much later. His grandma is the only person he trusts to tell "things I had told neither my brother Gordon nor Mama nor Daddy, things I thought they might not know how to take.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read makes you think October 24, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I brought this book because I heard the author talking about it on one of the morning shows that I listen to on the way to work. I ordered that same day. When the book came to me I started reading it and found it to be very entertaining. Even though it is fiction if you have any history at all it will make sense to you. There are places that the characters take you that you can see with your imagination and live them along with them. I have not finished the book as of yet but I do love what I have read so far. Bravo...Bravo...Thanks Roland Martin for the interview with the author.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read book . . . soon to be a bestseller! September 12, 2011
"Makeda" is an inspiring and artfully written novel, and Robinson is a nonpareil storyteller who makes evident that writing is a talent, not an acquired skill. The story creatively weaves in profound questions on both personal and collective identity. In doing so, it unveils little-known historical truths and deconstructs misconceptions which are the result of social miseducation. Robinson offers a rich and colourful perspective on the Black experience, and the novel is a beacon of hope for a social prise de conscience of the common heritage that unifies the African Diaspora. Bravo for breaking with tradition by delivering an earnest discourse on love, family, identity, and social struggle.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful History Lesson September 28, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book made me want to do research and more research and more research. It was engaging and a wonderful read. I enjoyed the fact that he didn't dumb the book down and challenged my vocabulary (thank God for the definition feature on my Kindle). It was a journey across the years and a welcome change from "His"tory. Kudos Mr. Robinson, sorry I missed you at HueMan Bookstore.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book for all to Read
To say that I loved this book would be an understatement. I want all my friends and relatives to read it. It is sad and uplifting all at once. I couldn't put it down.
Published 2 months ago by Marcia in Carson City
5.0 out of 5 stars Dense, hard to get through, but so worthwhile ...
Dense, hard to get through, but so worthwhile. As a Black woman, I think that I am especially appreciative of this particular piece, and the amount of research that must have gone... Read more
Published 4 months ago by C. Stewart
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing book...
Published 4 months ago by christin haynes
5.0 out of 5 stars Always open minded
This book is informed by the author's travels to validate his grandmother's dreams of other incarnations. I was,as usual,fascinated by well researched ancient history. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Charlo.
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a beautiful imaginative book that makes you realize how...
This is a beautiful imaginative book that makes you realize how important it is to have a meaningful story as part of your heritage.
Published 7 months ago by JoAnn Reding
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
This book delves into a special relationship between a blind, but intuitive grandmother, and her grandson. I loved how her awareness of the spiritual world was of interest to him. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Veronica
4.0 out of 5 stars Africa and the Stars
This was a really interesting historical novel. It is told from the standpoint of a young college student during the civil rights era who wants to discovery his African roots that... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Paula L. Cole
4.0 out of 5 stars Be drawn into Makeda's world
A beautifully conceived novel with two main characters: a young black man coming of age in the south during the civil rights movement and his blind grandmother - a woman who worked... Read more
Published 17 months ago by D. Dirmeyer
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting book.
I have no African background, but still found the book to be interesting. It gives some insight into a different way of life and the grandmother was very interesting to read about.
Published 19 months ago by elizabeth hoffman
5.0 out of 5 stars Makeda
My husband saw this author who discussed this book on a tv program. He is enjoying this book so much he wanted another for a friend of his to read.
Published 20 months ago by Pat
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