Thursday, May 24, 2012
Book Review - In Africa's Honor
In the era of the American Civil Rights Movement, and barely three years after Africa's most populous nation celebrated her independence from colonial rule, the Nigerian government brought her full weight to bear in a world championship title bout-the first ever in Black Africa. The Dick Tiger vs. Gene Fullmer III fight, held in Liberty Stadium in Ibadan, Nigeria, on August 10, 1963, was a forerunner for all the big fights in the African continent. Westerners didn't believe that a newly independent African nation could dare muster the audacity, or financial backbone, to stage a world championship event. In Africa's Honor chronicles this groundbreaking fight while narrating the details of Richard (Dick Tiger) Ihetu's life in and out of the boxing ring. Presented as a play by Justina Ihetu, Dick Tiger's daughter, and complete with archival photos, this drama showcases the patriotism and heroism of a boxer who had an inauspicious beginning. Ihetu provides insight into the wheeling and dealing behind the match, and she humanizes the principle players-laying bare their innermost thoughts and anxieties to help form a deeper understanding of the character, and circumstances that reveal Africa's promise, of unity, dignity, and honor.
About the Author
Justina Ihetu is Dick Tiger's daughter. She earned a bachelor's degree in English literature from Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee and a Masters degree in Reading, from Brooklyn College, New York. She is currently a reading specialist and has worked in the school system for more than two decades. Justina also oversees the Dick Tiger Foundation Inc., a charitable organization instituted to promote Dick Tiger's legacy of altruism and self-development. She lives in New York with her two children, Alexis and Daniel.
My Take on the Book
This was a book that is perfect for any father as it shows the love and admiration of one daughter to her father. Beyond that though the author has provided a great glimpse into a story that I had never heard about, but one that was very exciting and poignant. The book was well written and truly draws you into the action and patriotism of the man throughout the struggles that he worked to overcome personally while the country struggled nationally. The book was a quick read and the author did a great job at drawing the reader into the story. This book opened my eyes!
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