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A Man from Another Land: How Finding My Roots Changed My Life Hardcover – April 27, 2011

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About the Author

Actor, producer and human rights activist, Isaiah Washington is an NAACP Image Award and Screen Actors Guild winning American actor. A veteran of several Spike Lee films, Washington is best known for his role as Dr. Preston Burke on the ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Center Street; First Edition edition (April 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599953188
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599953182
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Isaiah Washington IV (born August 3, 1963) is an American actor. A veteran of several Spike Lee films, Washington is best known for his role as Dr. Preston Burke on the ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy. In 2005, Washington originated the role of gifted cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Preston Burke on the ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy. His portrayal earned him two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series, as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award. Washington was born in Houston, Texas, where his parents were residents in the Independence Heights community. The family moved to Missouri City, Texas around 1978, where he was one of the first graduates from Willowridge High School (1981). Washington went on to serve in the United States Air Force and attended Howard University. Washington married Jenisa Marie Garland on February 14, 1996. The couple have three children (Isaiah V, Tyme, and Iman).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J Timothy Quirk on August 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I finished reading Isaiah Washington's book last week but as I am still thinking about the book today, I guess it has earned the phrase "thought provoking". The essence of the story for me is that it is a memoir of self discovery told in a very interesting voice with something new to say. While there is the narrative of the DNA that provides a link to Sierra Leone, I think the real discovery is how the reader perceives the author through his account of events. Mr. Washington is a man who knows what it is like to live in relative anonymity (as he starts out), to live in a world of approbation, and to live in a world of public disapproval, somewhat overblown media-hyped disapproval. The discovery is to be true to one's self through it all. There are vignettes of joy and of pain, of history and forgiveness. There is a celebration of knowledge, of understanding DNA and that it has "memory". The author is on a journey that is truly fascinating because he does not know where it will lead when it begins. I found the situations in Sierra Leone compelling and the narrative places that country squarely "on the radar". Like all things in the book, Mr. Washington finds some situations in Sierra Leone exhilarating and some situations truly heartbreaking. There is a story on page 141 of a water pipe which I won't relate here-you can read it. But as a father, my heart breaks reading that story as his does while he is witnessing it. So this is a truly compelling, human story that snuck up on me with each chapter.

As I read A Man from Another Land, it seemed to me like a shoo-in for an audio book. You feel like the account is truly Mr. Washington's personal journey that he is telling.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dera R Williams VINE VOICE on July 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Ever since he could remember, no matter where Isaiah Washington went in the U.S., African natives would stop him and ask what country in Africa he came from or what tribe he belonged to. He would always disappoint them with the answer, "I was born and raised in Houston, Texas." From the time he was very young, Washington felt a kinship with Africa. In the color-struck African-American community, where intra-racial colorism ran rampant, he was always fine with his dark skin; he relished in it and refused to let anyone make him inferior. In his memoir, A Man from Another Land: How Finding My Roots Changed My Life, Isaiah Washington recounts his journey of discovering his African ancestry.

After a stint in the U.S. Air Force, Washington entered Howard University in Washington D.C. where he was confronted with more colorism issues from classmates and college officials, which only served to draw him closer to his African roots. He became an activist, joining protests against South Africa apartheid and the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela. He began acting at Howard and soon was doing dinner theater, then the plays and films with Spike Lee in New York and eventually movies in Los Angeles. In 1998 he went to Namibia to shoot a movie, Kin. The crew went to Cape Town first and when they stepped off of the airplane, Washington felt as if he had arrived home. Sitting by the river, a force came over him that shook him to his core and he knew he had been there before. Later after he returned home, he was put in contact with Dr. Kittles of African Ancestry, his DNA was tested and it was revealed he shared 99.9 percent ancestry with the Mende and Temne people of Sierra Leone and his paternal side revealed he shared 99.3 percent with the Mbundfu people of Angola.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Urbane Renaissance Society on July 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
By Carla Newsome McManus
May 8, 2011

On a sunny Mother's Day afternoon at Atlanta's W. Hotel in Buckhead, we caught up with veteran actor Isaiah Washington to see what he's been up to lately. Many will best remember him for his role as the brilliant, confident and charismatic Dr. Preston Burke of television's Grey's Anatomy. Indie film lovers may remember him for his role as the philosophizing deep-thinking Savon Garrison in the romantic movie Love Jones. But contrary to character's famous quote in Love Jones, Mr. Washington is determined to work so that Africa will not "consistently and forever be broke". This uncommonly talented and progressive actor turned activist who received his first break in a Spike Lee film has reached a higher humanitarian calling on his mission aide his country, Sierra Leone through his foundation, the Gondobay Manga Foundation. In his newly released book A Man From Another Land: How Finding My Roots Changed My Life, Isaiah Washington, whose remarkable philanthropic work has earned for him dual citizenship to Sierra Leone and the United States, will take you on an inspiring and captivating journey to the Motherland of Africa. Join us for the journey! Read on and see how Mr. Washington, one of People Magazine's most beautiful people, beautifully and humbly embraces his country of Sierra Leone and takes you on a journey that you will never forget.

Carla: What is the most important thing you want your readers to come away with when they read A MAN FROM ANOTHER LAND?

Isaiah: To follow your purpose. Whatever your dreams are stay true to them. DNA has memory. There may be some individuals out there like me who have a certain dream although their environment says "You need to do this, you need to do that".
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