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Wamba's passing. (letters to the editor).

I first came across Philippe Wamba's book Kinship on a recent trip to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania [Tribute, January-February 2003]. Having grown up both in the U.S. and Cameroon (the latter--where I was born and raised by Cameroonian parents), I have often found myself in search of creative ways of establishing deeper relationships among my African and African-American friends. As a group of friends from various African countries joining together with our African-American counterparts, we created a loosely based organization called "Bridging the Gap," whose aim was to provide informal forums over food and music (from our respective countries), sitting around the table, asking questions, and learning together to dispel the myths and gain a deeper understanding of our respective lives and of the ties that bind us as a people. Wamba's book told the story of the lives we lived, the thoughts we had, the experiences we shared and I was so happy to come across his book, and I started getting copies for my African and African-American family and friends.

As a student currently working at a local radio station, I suggested the possibility of using Wamba's book for discussion on our local radio station during this year's Black History Month, and maybe invite him for a roundtable/community forum discussion. And it was in my search for a contact telephone number for Philippe, that I came across the message of his untimely death last year.

Tumefiwa (Kiswahili for `we have been bereaved') indeed! I write this to you after drying my tears from weeping for Philippe as if I knew him personally. I am deeply saddened and full of regret for such a brilliant life cut short. I am saddened to have missed a chance to meet him, and have him join my friends and I to tell us of his experiences.
--Paulyne Ngalame
via email


The January-February 2003 issue of BIBR prompted me to buy two books. The essay by Kate Tuttle on Philippe Wamba was a touching, insightful analysis of a young African writer and activist taken from us long before his time. I grieve the loss of Wamba's humor, courage and truth telling. Since I support everything he stood for, I immediately bought another copy of Kinship.

I was disappointed, however, in Gary Dauphin's curt and dismissive review of John McWhorter's latest book, Authentically Black [Nonfiction Reviews]. McWhorter's essays make a learned and compelling case, showing how the embrace of collective African-American victimhood only fosters a separatist, anti-intellectual culture that, in turn, thwarts further advances. Thanks again for inspiring my two purchases.
--Charles Geshekter
Chico, CA
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Publication:Black Issues Book Review
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Mar 1, 2003
Words:433
Previous Article:Patrik Henry Bass. (letters to the editor).
Next Article:Patricia Stephens Due and Tananarive Due. (BIBR spotlight).


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