The Autobiography of an African Princess

Hardcover | November 19, 2013

byFatima MassaquoiEditorVivian Seton, Konrad Tuchscherer

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Born to an African king in colonial Sierra Leone at the beginning of the twentieth century, Princess Fatima Massaquoi lived an extraordinary life that encapsulated the contradictions, upheavals, and unprecedented opportunities of her time. This critical edition of her memoirs makes her story available to readers for the first time. Beginning with her lovingly recounted memories of growing up in Liberia, it follows her to Hamburg, Germany, where she pursued an education and forged friendships, but also experienced the racism, terror, and nationalistic fervor that accompanied the Nazis' rise to power. In the face of these mounting dangers, Massaquoi traveled to the United States, where she furthered her studies, embracing her newfound freedom even as she observed deteriorating conditions in the segregated American South in the early years of the civil rights movement. Spanning continents and cultures, this narrative introduces us to a truly remarkable woman while offering a fascinating window into the complex history of the twentieth century.

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From the Publisher

Born to an African king in colonial Sierra Leone at the beginning of the twentieth century, Princess Fatima Massaquoi lived an extraordinary life that encapsulated the contradictions, upheavals, and unprecedented opportunities of her time. This critical edition of her memoirs makes her story available to readers for the first time. Beg...

Vivian Seton is the daughter and only child of Fatima Massaquoi. She received her Abitur from the Freie Waldorf Schule in Germany, an LL.B from the University of Liberia, and an MSc from Georgetown's School of Languages and Linguistics. She has taught French and German at Montgomery College, Catholic University, and the University of ...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:300 pages, 8.4 × 5.66 × 0.64 inPublished:November 19, 2013Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230609589

ISBN - 13:9780230609587

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Hans Massaquoi
1. My Birthplace, Ethnicity and Parents
2. My Birth and Customs about Childbirth in the Gallinas Country
3. Life and Customs in the Bali (Bari) country of Sierra Leone.
4. Life and Customs in the Vai Country of Liberia
5. On Beauty and Aspects of Vai Social Organization
6. Life in Monrovia
7. School Begins at Julie C. Emery Hall
8. More on Life at the Mission School
9. I Bid Farewell to Liberia
10. I Arrive in Germany
11. I Meet a Nazi … and More on the Work of the Consulate-General
12. Hard Times, 'isms' and School
13. Christmas and School Trips in Germany
14. The 'Invincibles' and My Departure for Switzerland
15. L'Ecole Superieure et Secondaire (Switzerland) and Rough Times on My Return to Germany
16. Departure for America
17. Welcome for a 'Savage' at Lane College and Death of Father
18. The Fisk University Saga
19. Goodbye Friends – You Shall Be Hearing from Me

Editorial Reviews

"A truly fascinating autobiography of arguably the most intriguing woman in Liberia in the first half of the twentieth century, supplying a rich mine of information on the Vai, on early Liberia, the power elite, and race relations in three countries—Germany, Switzerland, and the United States. Superbly edited by three competent hands, Fatima Massaquoi comes through as well-bred, royal, regal, and majestic. This is a book to teach students about the transformative powers of nationalism, transnationalism, and cosmopolitanism." - Toyin Falola, author of a Mouth Sweeter Than Salt: An African Memoir"Vivian Seton, Konrad Tuchscherer, and Arthur Abraham have given us a great gift: a memoir of a fascinating woman who was a lively and perceptive observer of a critical period of world history, in Africa, Germany, and the United States. It is a rich and rewarding book, expertly edited and introduced, now properly preserved for posterity." - Marcus Rediker, author of The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom