In December of 2016, Dr. Artika Tyner and her mother, Jacklyn Milton published the children’s book, Justice Makes a Difference, the story of a young girl, who with the help of her grandmother and books recounting African American history, decides her destiny is to become a lawyer and be an agent of change in the world.
In 2018, Dr. Tyner and co-author Monica Habia, wrote a second children’s book, Amazing Africa: A To Z. This new book seeks to bridge the knowledge gap many people have about Africa. It brings children and even adults on a visual journey throughout the continent of Africa, teaching about the most intriguing and important facts of this great continent. Come along on this amazing and informative adventure!
Mama Africa is her name. Her claim to fame is being the Earth’s oldest populated area. Civilization began in Africa. Africa is the second largest continent in the world.
Amazing Africa: A to Z will take readers on a journey throughout the continent of Africa. I wrote this book to share my love of Africa with the world. I first visited Africa in 2007. It was a truly a dream come true. Since I was a child, I explored the wonders and beauty of Africa through my library books. I could not wait to see the pictures on the pages come alive.
When our plane landed in South Africa, I was welcomed by the beaming sun and warm greetings from each person who passed by. I made new friends in Soweto and Johannesburg who taught me the importance of “ubuntu.” Ubuntu means a person is a person through others. Through this introduction to Ubuntu, I gained new insights related to the essence of our shared humanity and common destiny.
This trip also transformed my professional career and vocational journey. I entered the Apartheid Museum as a family law attorney and left as a civil rights/human rights attorney. I could see the parallels between an apartheid South Africa and Jim Crow America. I became determined to use my law degree in the global struggle for justice and freedom.
My next trip was to Tanzania where I co-taught a course on international leadership. I was amazed by the beauty of the safari. I walked alongside the zebras and saw a lion resting in the shade. I met the Maasai people and learned about their culture. I traveled to Bagamoyo saw firsthand the horrors of slavery. I remember struggling to breathe in the holding cell and sobbing uncontrollably as I imagined the suffering of my ancestors.
Over the past two years, I have traveled to Ghana on many occasions; each visit filled with great anticipation. Ghana has become my second home. It is place where I can find refuge and strength. I wrote most of the text of this book on the shores of Elmina. After each trip, I return home and discuss the magnificent beauty, innovation, creativity and cultures of Africa. I am met with blank stares and an offensive line of questioning. Do you sleep in a mud hut? Are lions roaming the street? Due to violence, will you be safe traveling? Does anyone speak English? Do people walk around carrying machetes? Do they wear clothes? The most common question is: “Africa is a country, right?” It soon became clear to me that the narrative about Africa was inaccurate leading to unchecked biases, hurtful stereotypes, and misinformation without any factual basis. Africa was perceived as a violent jungle instead of the Africa that I had come to love filled with the majesty of nature, bustling economies, creative entrepreneurs, visionary leaders, a community filled with radical hospitality, to name a few.
In our book, we share about our experiences in Africa through the alphabet format. For instance, B is for beaches. You have not truly experienced life until you walk along the beaches of Zanzibar, Tanzania or Accra, Ghana. W is for writers which celebrates great writers like Chinua Achebe of Nigeria and Ayi Kweo Armah of Ghana.
Amazing Africa: A to Z seeks to bridge the knowledge gap about Africa. It takes children and even adults on a visual journey throughout the continent of Africa. Readers visit the pinnacle of Mount Kilimanjaro, learn a few new words in Swahili and Twi while exploring Africa’s rich natural resources.
The purpose of the book is to aid in learning about the most important and intriguing facts about Africa. With the turn of each page, we help to bridge the knowledge gap that exists about the continent. Each page is filled with key facts about the fastest growing population in the world.
My co-author a native daughter of Ghana, Monica Habia, shares the same love for Africa. She is committed to creating educational opportunities for women and girls. This book supports her mission by showcasing the accomplishments of great women leaders like Yaa Asantewaa, the Queen Mother of Ejisu in the Ashanti Kingdom and Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the former president of Liberia and the first elected female president in Africa.
Ms. Habia’s vision is to see our book serve as a catalyst for creating interest in learning about Africa and fostering love for the continent. She believes this book will make Africa a destination for everyone to embrace, visit, and invest. In particular, Ms. Habia reminds Africans in the Diaspora that Ghana has welcomed them home. It is a place where you can understand your history and appreciate your rich cultural heritage. After you exit the “Door of No Return” at the Cape Coast Slave Castle, you re-enter through the “Door of Return.” The first sign you will see reads: “Akwaaba” which means welcome. Our book, Amazing Africa: A to Z, welcomes you to Mama Africa!
To order this informative and beautiful book, visit: ArtikaTyner.com/Amazing-Africa-A-Z
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Dr. Artika Tyner (a.k.a. Miss Freedom Fighter, Esquire) is a passionate educator, an award-winning author, a civil rights attorney, a sought-after speaker, and an advocate for justice who is committed to helping children discover their leadership potential and serve as change agents in the global community. She is the founder/CEO of the Planting People, Growing Justice Leadership Institute.
Monica Yaa Habia was born and raised in Ghana. She believes in the power of quality education and is committed to bridge the knowledge gap of Africa through her writings and research. She currently lives in Minnesota and is a program design and support professional for organizations including non-profits.