ILLUSTRATION BY SAM KERR
Lindsey Vonn is an Olympic gold medalist skier and a Forbes Under 30 alumna. Vonn reviews Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (Vintage, 2017), for our ongoing series of book reviews by leaders from the worlds of business, academia, entertainment and politics. See more reviews from leaders here.
Homegoing is a novel that traces the lives of a family for over 250 years, starting with two half-sisters in the country of Ghana and continuing into America. It takes you from the villages of the Fante and Asante tribes to the Cape Coast Castle, to the mines of Pratt City and the streets of Harlem. Each generation carries forward the memories of the previous generation. Each generation has stories that are intriguing, entrancing, devastating, humanizing, and hopeful.
The author Yaa Gyasi so poignantly addresses the intergenerational trauma caused by the Transatlantic Slave Trade by putting names and faces to that trauma. I believe this book plays a critical role in understanding how colonization, racism, and systemic oppression of the past continue to haunt our present. Anyone who cares about equality, love, and humanity, and wants to truly understand the history of our country in order to better understand themselves should read this book.