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5.0 6
by Randall Robinson

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"Eloquent and erudite, Robinson's oft-times mystical coming-of-age saga teems with rich and evocative historical insights."

"Hypnotic . . . one of the finest novels this year . . . [Robinson] is a gifted storyteller."

"Makeda is beyond ambitious and imaginative . . . well written and powerful,


"Eloquent and erudite, Robinson's oft-times mystical coming-of-age saga teems with rich and evocative historical insights."

"Hypnotic . . . one of the finest novels this year . . . [Robinson] is a gifted storyteller."

"Makeda is beyond ambitious and imaginative . . . well written and powerful, with an ending that is equal parts tragic and romantic in nature . . . a breathtaking revelation, weighted with romance and lovely passionate prose."
--New York Journal of Books

"Robinson is not only exploring what it means to be black. His theme of knowing the past before planning the future applies to all cultures, all people. Pick up this odyssey of family drama, history and love, and be prepared to consider your own beginnings."
--Shelf Awareness

Makeda Gee Florida Harris March is a proud matriarch, the anchor and emotional bellwether who holds together a hard-working African American family living in 1950s Richmond, Virginia. Lost in shadow is Makeda's grandson Gray, who begins escaping into the magical world of Makeda's tiny parlor.

Makeda, a woman blind since birth but who has always dreamed in color, begins to confide in Gray the things she "sees" and remembers from her dream state, and a story emerges that is layered with historical accuracy beyond the scope of Makeda's limited education. Gradually, Gray begins to make a connection between his gr

Part coming-of-age story, part spiritual journey, and part love story, Makeda is a universal tale of family, heritage, and the ties that bind. Randall Robinson plumbs the hearts of Makeda and Gray and summons our collective blood memories, taking the reader on an unforgettable journey of the soul that will linger long after the last page has been turned.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Gray Marsh is close to his blind grandmother, who entrusts him with stories of past lives she experiences in dreams. Her vivid dreams of a childhood in Africa include many facts that should be unknown to her, including customs, geographical features, and astronomical observations made by the Dogon people. Gray investigates these claims as he grows older and establishes himself in the academic community, and he comes to see himself and his grandmother as exceptionally connected to an African past. A journey to Mali predictably confirms not only the mystical details of his grandmother's visions but also the narrator's growing belief that he has been educationally shortchanged by the Western canon. VERDICT Robinson (The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks) attempts to craft a unique coming-of-age novel set in a racially divided America, but his story is flawed by repetitive and didactic passages that veer frequently into polemic. A controversial novel on history and race that may interest readers of African and African American history.—John R. Cecil, Austin, TX
Kirkus Reviews

Through his grandmother Makeda, narrator Gray March finds much to love about his African—and his African-American—heritage.

For a time Gray has only known his blind and loving grandmother in her persona as Mattie March, a laundress for white families in Richmond, Va., but it turns out she has great depth to her soul. For one thing, her real name turns out to be Makeda, reflecting an African heritage that goes back generations. For another, she has dream-visions of past life experiences, one of the most notable being her memory as thedaughter of Ongnonlou, a 14th-century Dogon priest from Mali. Mattie/Makeda accepts these dreams as a matter of course, and as she spins out her past history to 15-year-old Gray, he becomes fascinated and writes down the details of her life as a Dogon girl. Most startlingly, the Dogon people are skilled astronomers who worship Sirius as well as some smaller, satellite stars...whose existence wasn't confirmed by astronomers until the late 20th century. (According to Robinson's postscript, this detailed astronomical knowledge of the Dogon is a mystery that has yet to be resolved.) Gray's fascination with his grandmother's story eventually leads him to Mali, and his research confirms the existence of Ongnonlou as well as geographical details of the landscape of which Makeda could obviously have no firsthand knowledge. Makeda also channels other past lives, in one of which she was a Jew and in another a Muslim, but her experience of having been raised Dogon over 500 years before dominates both her life and her grandson's.

Robinson writes with erudition about strange and wonderful matters.

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Akashic Books
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Meet the Author

Randall Robinson is the author of An Unbroken Agony and the national best sellers The Debt, The Reckoning, and Defending the Spirit. He is also founder and past president of TransAfrica, the African-American organization he established to promote enlightened, constructive U.S. policies toward Africa and the Caribbean. In 1984, Robinson established the Free South Africa Movement, which pushed successfully for the imposition of sanctions against apartheid South Africa; and in 1994, his public advocacy, including a 27-day hunger strike, led to the UN multinational operation that restored Haiti's first democratically elected government to power. Mr. Robinson lives with his wife and daughter in St. Kitts.

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Makeda 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
revmelonymcgant More than 1 year ago
Please read celebrated TransAfrica founder and Civil Rights Icon, Randall Robinson's MAKEDA!!!!!! MAKEDA is riveting; a blessing and affirmation of my heart and a calling for US All to Re-Member the Truth of our Greatness! Circumstances do not define who we are in our hearts! I especially liked the cover and feel of the pages! Mr. Randall Robinson's eloquent truth is presented in an equally eloquent, magnificent package! I read all night and this book is simply captivating! I honor you for your vision Mr. Robinson! MAKEDA is truly is a soul awakening Masterpiece! With loving respect! Rev. Melony McGant
Aset More than 1 year ago
Randall Robinson did it again I enjoyed this book. The story telling put you in that place. Can not wait for another book please do a sequel of this story.
Anonymous 21 days ago
Literature at its finest. Every word is a piece of gold woven into a precious garment. The author creates a world that we all can identify with at a fundamental level. The reality of a dream come full circle. Robinson is a singular talent whose writing exudes soul.
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