Thursday, February 08, 2007

Black Man's Grave: Letters from Sierra Leone

Black Man's Grave: Letters from Sierra Leone is the first book to seriously examine the causes and conduct of Sierra Leone’s horrific decade of civil war and tells the story of Sierra Leone's chaotic descent through the eyes of those who struggles to survive it. Based on years of correspondence between residents of the small northern village of Fadugu and the book's authors both former Peace Corps volunteers in Fadugu, the book provides a grassroots view of the forces that finally exploded in grim profusion.

The cast includes Sierra Leone's “bif man”, Siaka Stevens; RUF leader Foday Sankoh, whose grandfatherly demeanor belied the viciousness with which he sought to impose his “revolution”; and one who aspired to the bug man role, Charles Taylor from next-door Liberia. Taylor's support for Sierra Leone's rebel war expanded from initial hostility toward Stevens' handpicked successor into a commercial venture that supplied arms in exchange for diamonds. In an offshoot of that unsavory trade, links between Sierra Leone's Diamonds and al Qaeda have been traced. The revelations of Black Man's Grave help us understand the frustrations that simmer throughout much of the third world and threaten a peaceful future for all.


GARY STEWART has written over 50 articles and reviews on Africa for such publishers as the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, West Africa, Option, The Beat, Folk Roots, Take Cover, and New African. He is the author of Rumba on the River (Verso, 2000) and Breakout: Profiles in African Rhythm (University of Chicago Press, 1992). He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Fadugu from 1968 to 1970.

JOHN AMMAN writes about the American labor movement and is a co-editor of Surviving the New Economy (Paradigm, in press) and a contributor to Under the Stars: Essays on Labor Relations in Arts and Entertainment (ILR Press, 1996). He has lectured at Cornell University and is currently a business representative for International Cinematographers IATSE Local 600 in New York. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Fadugu from 1979 to 1982.

Black Man's Grave: Letters from Sierra Leone

By Guy Stewart and John Amman

Paperback 5.5" x 8.5", 224 pages;

Includes map and 12 photos; notes, sources, and index

Price: $14.95; Distributed to the trade by Biblio Distribution, 1-800-462-6420

More information on the book is available at Cold Run Books

Link to allAfrica.com