A Tale of Bullies and Deception
Neither fish nor fowl, every immigrant threads the needle between being one of “us” versus one of “them.” The plot is both a fantasy and an exercise in exploring ways in which recent African immigrants and African-Americans recognize and embrace each other’s cultural differences.
In Harlem, the mecca of black America, immigrants of every complexion live side by side with the descendants of slaves. The story begins with a description of how bullies belittle the twins, Bilal and Nawaal, who are of Nigerian descent. Grandpa Abram and their mother, Ola, do not know how to help the children.
Out of nowhere, a mysterious figure, Abekepi appears, and this fantastic piper offers to rid the neighborhood of bullies for a crazy reward. What follows is an intriguing, and sometimes unsettling, weaving of social themes, in which a supernatural being intervenes to turn the struggles of a single mother and her twins into triumph.
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Zeena Nackerdien obtained a Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. Zeena has been a research chemist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Maryland and a senior research associate at The Rockefeller University in New York. She is the author of several publications in scientific journals and has also written many books in different genres. As a scientist turned patient advocate and writer, she is intensely interested in building relationships with people from different cultures through story-telling and education. Zeena currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.