Sidharth Vardhan

Racism in Americanah

Americanah review analysis Sidharth Vardhan Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Americanah review analysis
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Published: 2013
Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a…

(A review of 'Americanah',
a novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
First written on Septemeber 24, 2016)

Weak as a love story but powerful in its social commentary. I found a lot of similarities between people of Nigeria described here and that of India- people wanting to migrate to developed countries and real estate being the only investment that attracts the rich.

" There are many different ways to be poor in the world but increasingly there seems to be one single way to be rich.”

- Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Sidharth Vardhan Americanah review analysis
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Then, there are migrant problems - the social and psychological stress they have to bear. The best parts though are Ifemelu's sometimes angry blogs about racism in U.S.A. It is not always about the dark racism that is pointed out in the book, sometimes it is nice white people trying hard not to be racist:

"Kimberly was smiling the kindly smile of people who thought “culture” the unfamiliar colorful reserve of colorful people, a word that always had to be qualified with “rich.” She would not think Norway had a “rich culture.”

- Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Adichie is powerful and honest in her social observations and it is that which makes this otherwise weak love story ( it is so real that it is boring) worthwhile.

"Racism should never have happened and so you don’t get a cookie for reducing it."

- Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

"In America, racism exists but racists are all gone. Racists belong to the past. Racists are the thin-lipped mean white people in the movies about the civil rights era."


- Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

"American Blacks and American Whites use drugs at the same rate (look this up), but say the word “drugs” and see what image comes to everyone’s mind."


- Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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