African Voices in the Americas

Speak Easy Salon

Both the Palisades and Northwest One Neighborhood Libraries promoted the literature by African authors living in the United States. Speak Easy Salon members read The House at Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper. Readers noted that while they knew of Liberia's colonization by freed Africans from the United States, they see little or nothing in the news about Liberia today. Helene Cooper's memoir provides a rich rendering of the life forged by these pioneering families. Writing in a wide range of emotional hues, she portrays her family's life before and during the overthrow of William Tolbert's government. Further, Ms. Cooper does not flinch from an analysis of the mis-steps of Liberia's ruling elite. During the book discussion, Speak Easy members agreed that the book created a strong interest in reading more about Liberia.