Respect Yourself

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Foma arrives at her Connecticut university, eager to live life on her terms. Eight years ago, she and her parents immigrated to America from Cameroon. Since then, she has longed to escape the pressures of being a good African daughter and feeling like an “other" among her peers because of her race, African heritage, and the dark hue of her skin. Now, finally on her own and away from her parents’ watchful eyes, her encounters with her new roommate and suite mates leave her feeling uneasy and self-conscious as old insecurities resurface. 

However, Foma finally gets a chance to be the confident and courageous young woman her grandmother encouraged her to become when she meets Kunle, a college senior. During their turbulent romance, he inspires her to unite the black students on campus. Then, when a student Foma admires becomes the victim of a violent attack, she follows his lead in advocating for racial justice, even if doing so leaves her exposed as racial tensions on their college campus rise.

In this thought-provoking page-turner, F. J. Nkengasong tackles the topics of racism and colorism head-on while exposing readers to the rich African culture—one filled with delectable cuisines, stimulating customs and traditions, and humorous banter. 

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