How sisterhood, prayer, and sex changed a nation at war: a memoir.
Now who wouldn’t read a book with that subtitle?! Introducing, for the proud country of Liberia, Mighty be our Powers by Leymah Gbowee.
Side note: wondering why the Liberian flag looks eerily similar to the US flag? That’s because Liberia was founded in part by the American Colonization Society, who didn’t like having so many freed American slaves running around. So they sent them back to Africa. I wish I was joking. The Liberian constitution is modeled on the US’s constitution, and the two countries have had very strong diplomatic ties through the 1990’s, when the country experienced two civil wars nearly back-to-back.
Which brings us to Leymah! Leymah is a truly inspiring woman. Trapped in an abusive relationship, she fights to free herself and her children from a controlling and violent husband. She graduates college with a degree in social work, and then, in the midst of a civil war, starts a grassroots movement with her fellow Liberian women to end the war and usher in peace.
Guys, it worked.
This amazing group of women got together, got organized, and stopped a ruthless dictator (one Charles Taylor) from completely running their country into the ground. They literally sent him packing. It doesn’t get more heroic than that!
What I love most about these women (besides their amazing success) is that they were both Christian and Muslim. One of my favorite parts of the book is when they are sitting in a market protesting, and they would start off the day with both Muslim and Christian prayers:
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want…
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds…”
I wish more people could pray together like this.
Have you ever read anything from Liberia? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @ProjLibrarian !