We Won't Budge

Overview

Thirty years after leaving his native Mali, Manthia Diawara has a home in New York City, and more than a few acclaimed publications to his name. Still, he cannot shake the memories of his birth country-or of his first place of self-imposed exile: the heady streets of 1960s Paris. In this bittersweet memoir, Diawara recounts a year spent looking at how the assimilation process shapes the lives and dreams of immigrants everywhere. From the nightclubs of Bamako, to the cafes of Boulevard Montparnasse, to the black ...

See more details below
Paperback (New Edition)
$14.43
BN.com price
(Save 9%)$16.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (15) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $10.87   
  • Used (8) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

Thirty years after leaving his native Mali, Manthia Diawara has a home in New York City, and more than a few acclaimed publications to his name. Still, he cannot shake the memories of his birth country-or of his first place of self-imposed exile: the heady streets of 1960s Paris. In this bittersweet memoir, Diawara recounts a year spent looking at how the assimilation process shapes the lives and dreams of immigrants everywhere. From the nightclubs of Bamako, to the cafes of Boulevard Montparnasse, to the black neighborhoods of 1970s Washington, D.C., this important and original book shatters many cherished notions about experiencing race in the world today. At turns humorous and harrowing, beautifully written and shrewdly argued, it offers an unsentimental view of African traditions at the same time that it confronts America's most deeply ingrained prejudices.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Now director of the Africana Studies program at New York University, Malian native Diawara recounts his journey from rock and roll-struck adolescent to Parisian intellectual manque, and from D.C. dishwasher to New York teacher, in sharply wrought anecdotes. Whether evoking the pleasures of family life, good company and good food or describing the anxieties of living under the gaze of the French police or the INS, Diawara's narrative hand is economical and sure. But, as he explains to a fellow Malian he meets in Paris, he is less interested in being a memoirist or historian than one "who like[s] to question things, people, and history." This questioning centers around the meaning of what it is to be African in an age of globalization, an uneasy immigrant to a First World increasingly nervous about those outside its gates. Diawara's account of what he sees as the systemic racisms of France and the United States derives its descriptive power not only from a residue of sometimes bitter personal experience but from an unwillingness to let that experience blind him to the ways in which that racism can be internalized on all sides and passed on. Addressing with an eloquence all the more effective for its broad tolerance the daily brutalities of Western officialdom and ignorance, he is equally concerned with the forces of conformity and superstition that can hobble his community's demand for justice and fair treatment. If Diawara offers no ultimate solutions, his passionate but balanced testimony and analysis suggest a framework for usefully seeking answers. (June) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An elegantly written, perceptive analysis of the tensions common to the immigration experience. Born in Mali, now a US resident, Diawara (In Search of Africa, 1998, etc.) makes a deceptively low-key but important argument about African immigration that questions both liberal and conservative notions about immigrants, as well as sentimental attitudes toward Africa. The author (Comparative Literature and Cinema Studies/NYU) begins with his arrival in Paris, where he planned to spend a yearlong sabbatical writing a book about a decolonization movement. Instead, felled by a debilitating malaria attack, he revisited his own past and pondered such topics as ethnicity, the difference between French and American attitudes to immigration, French racism, elements in African culture that hinder progress, and his own decisions about how to live and think. While working in Paris in the 1970s, he recalls, he was determined to move to the US, whose music, language, and literature he was assiduously studying. Once in Washington, D.C., he worked at two of the city’s then-fashionable French restaurants while studying at a local university. He saw and rejected his fellow immigrants’ ambition to save enough money to make an impression when they returned home. He thought they should rather create new lives for themselves in the US, where, unlike France, the opportunities were numerous. Now, revisiting France, he remains critical of its widespread racism: liberals are intolerant of multiculturalism, the Right is nationalistic, individuals and bureaucrats are condescending and suspicious. Diawara also faults Africa’s extended-family system, which "locks people into conformity, saps the individual’s energies andresources, and prevents him from having a private life or accumulating fortunes necessary for the development of societies and industries." He deplores the fact that African immigrants in France retain practices like female circumcision that preserve the worst of their culture. A rich and provocative intellectual feast.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465017102
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 8/18/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Manthia Diawara is the Director of the Africana Studies Program and the Institute of African American Affairs at New York University, where he is also a Professor of Comparative Literature and Cinema Studies. He is the editor of several books on black culture and history, including Black Genius (with Walter Mosley and Clyde Taylor), and the author of African Cinema and In Search of Africa. He lives in New York City.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)