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Makeda Kindle Edition

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Length: 350 pages
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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)
  • Publication Date: 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
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,535 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Evie Getchell TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 17, 2011
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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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Friederike Knabe VINE VOICE on September 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Traoré on September 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
"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 By Amazon Customer on 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Read-A-Lot on September 15, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
By the title alone, if you are a reader who enjoys "factual" fiction you know you are in for a treat. The book is essentially a coming-of-age story, but told with a backdrop of African history. When and where have the Dogon been mentioned in a work of fiction? The thoughts that run through Gray's mind are certainly designed to be instructive to the reader. It is rare that a novel can be educational in regards to African history, and how it relates to the contemporary African-American but Makeda is that. Randall Robinson has hit a home run with his first novel.
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