Spirit Rising

Spirit Rising

My Life, My Music

Book - 2014
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Introduction -- Opening: Seeing new worlds -- Ready for the revolution -- The musician's life -- Say it loud -- Motherhood and Mother Earth -- Back to Benin -- Voodoo child -- The messenger -- Mutoto Kwanza -- Batonga -- My father's voice -- Epilogue -- Recipes.
The singer, songwriter, and activist shares her story of escape from Africa, where her voice was censored by the Communist regime, to become a Grammy Award-winning, Billboard-topping musician and UNICEF Ambassador.
Publisher: New York : HarperDesign an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2014]
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780062071798
0062071793
Branch Call Number: 782.4216 KIDJO
Characteristics: 255 pages : illustrated (some color), portraits ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Wenrick, Rachel

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LPL_ShirleyB Dec 23, 2016

Angélique Kidjo uses her world-renowned singer-songwriter voice to empower; she is a wise, humanitarian truth-teller. And her music is captivatingly joyful. Read her book to learn about her family, advocacy work and rich, culturally-sensitive world-wide music career.

I dove into this book after reading Swing Time by Zadie Smith. This has been an illuminating, complementary follow-up for the shared topic of educational opportunities for girls in Africa and themes of rhythm and dance. I’m comparing Kidjo’s nonfiction memoir to Smith’s latest fictional novel. Angélique Kidjo’s memoir shares real-life wisdom about music’s power to transcend language barriers and insight for the diversity of rhythms throughout the African continent. She also explains many of the challenges for girls in Africa, including the widespread lack of educational support. She has traveled to many different countries in Africa as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and co-founder of the Batonga Foundation for Girls’ Education in Africa.

A quote from her book:
“We created the Batonga Foundation to give girls access to a secondary education, so they can become leaders and change Africa. The solution to Africa’s problems must be provided by Africans who’ve experienced them firsthand, especially the African women who are the continent’s backbone.”

By contrast, the fictional book Swing Time by Zadie Smith includes a fictional Australian music popstar who decides to fund a girls’ school somewhere in Africa; her commitment is questioned because she doesn’t holistically address the infrastructure of the school nor the students’ needs. Swing Time by Zadie Smith is a coming-of-age story with clever, searing insights about friendship, race, class and more. It’s also filled with serendipitous truth & wit and framed in vivid reflections of cultural icons and dance perfection.

I’m so glad I read both of these books!

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LPL_ShirleyB Dec 23, 2016

“We created the Batonga Foundation to give girls access to a secondary education, so they can become leaders and change Africa. The solution to Africa’s problems must be provided by Africans who’ve experienced them firsthand, especially the African women who are the continent’s backbone.”

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