If you readily quote the likes of Shakespeare, Bacon, Keats, Churchill, and find it difficult without resorting to some tedious research in order to find suitable quotations by Africans, this new book published by Brent-based, pan-London voluntary organisation BTWSC should be of help.
‘African Voices: Quotations By People Of African Descent’ (ISBN: 978-9-9544492-0-9, priced £8), is an accessible A5-sized book that answers in the affirmation the question posed in the headline.
The book was recently launched at the House of Commons, at an event hosted by Dawn Butler MP, Minister for Young Citizens and Youth Engagement.
"I am here today celebrating the launch of ‘African Voices’, a book of quotations from people of African descent, and it is a positive, uplifting book," said the minister at the launch. "I think it is the book of this generation. It is the book of now. Often, when you’re looking for a speech to write or you’re looking for some inspiration, you buy a book and flick through it and you think about what people have said and why they’ve said it, and this book encompasses all of that.
"So I want to congratulate them (BTWSC) on doing this book. It is a great honour to be able to get a room for them at the House of Commons, the most powerful place in this country to have this powerful book launched."
In addition to the book’s editors and compilers Ms Serwah and Kwaku, and Ms Butler, fellow UK contributors that attended the launch included broadcaster Henry Bonsu, journalist and community activist Marc Wadsworth, Supt Leroy Logan, scientist Dr Marc Richards, educationalist Dr Morgan Dalphinis, refugee advocate Dr Hailu Hagos, PR executive Bieneosa Ebite, charity worker Dame Betty Asafu-Adjaye, Cllr Nana Asante, and 16 year old BTWSC youth leader Ahmed Ahmed.
Harrow East MP Tony McNulty rushed to the launch, after a prior engagement to lend his support. "I always say to people, never ever forget your roots. You cannot begin to understand who you are or who you potentially can be, if you don’t understand where you’ve come from," said McNulty.
"To have a book like this celebrating the intellectual might of so many of African heritage must be good, not only for those of African heritage, but for everybody. Because this adds to the rich body of what is humanity, and humanity is golden.”
A family-friendly ‘African Voices’ themed event is planned for late summer.
African Voices costs £8, and is available via www.btwsc.com/AfricanVoices, or at The Willesden Bookshop, 95 High Road, London NW10 4QU (020 8451 7000), Playfare Resource Centre, 30 Craven Park Road, Harlesden, NW10 4AB (020 8965 7433), New Beacon Books, 76 Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park, London, N4 3EN (020 7272 4889), and Centerprise Bookshop, 136-138 Kingsland High Street, Kingsland, London E8 2NS (020 7923 7745).
A review of the book can be found at: http://www.tricia-blackbooknews.com/2010/04/book-review-african-voices-and-give.html#comments