A Journey of Love, Faith, Strength, and Determination by Grover Jackson (Kenya)
Grover Jackson, co-author of a generation-spanning memoir which details the life of a Black Southern sharecropper family in America, announces a multimedia event — “Back to Kenya”
A Journey of Love, Faith, Strength, and Determination
by Grover Jackson (Kenya 1967-69, Mary Fullard and E. Christine Jackson
Newman Springs Press
$8.99 (Kindle); $24.95 (Paperback); $36.95 (Hardback)
STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga., March 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Grover Jackson, Mary Fullard, and E. Christine Jackson announced the upcoming release of a multimedia presentation and lecture to pair with their recently published co-authored memoir, A Journey of Love, Faith, Strength, and Determination. As part of the epic family journey detailed in the book, Grover’s powerful and transformative two-year Peace Corps deployment to Kenya in 1967 is reexamined as a legacy journey of personal understanding. Grover returned to Kenya in January of 2020 to revisit the places and people that touched and changed him as a young man in the 1960s; and to help promote the importance of his memoir as a living contribution to Black History, Grover will offer a full multimedia presentation of both journeys to East Africa. “Back to Kenya” will be presented at: April 22 via Zoom presented by Brightside Global Trade, a multichannel magazine and producer of Virtual events and broadcasts https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85639009965
I was first introduced to Kenya as a junior in college, some 52 years ago,” said Grover. “At that time, it was just an exotic place on the map to me – East Africa. But I was very interested in learning more and in 1966, I got the opportunity. I was selected as part of a larger group to train with an agricultural program to Kenya, created as part of U.S. Foreign Aid to developing countries. This was a deep-level program, with extensive training in language, practical experience, and all of tools necessary to help a country that had just come through a brutal revolution against British colonial oppression – becoming an independent state in 1963. To be selected to go was a great honor. And for a young Black American, the son of sharecroppers, this was a profound visit that would continue to shape the rest of my life.
“Back to Kenya” – East Africa Revisited —
The multimedia presentation includes written background details, personal stories from Grover and his Kenya traveling companions, with both video and still pictures of Kenya today – specifically focusing on the Nakuru area where Grover worked and lived during his days as a Black American abroad. Although Grover’s first Kenya visit is explored briefly in his memoir, the “Back to Kenya” presentation includes a comprehensive retrospective study: both pictures and videos of places as they existed then, and how they appear today. Along with his friend and former PCV, Jess Womack, who accompanied him, Grover visited multiple farms to speak with native farmers. They discussed farming in Kenya today – as part of what he and other Peace Corps volunteers helped galvanize – while viewing firsthand the differences between Kenya now and the Kenya of his youth.
The full table of contents for the “Back to Kenya” presentation may be viewed online: www.JacksonsBookJourney.com on April 1.
A Journey . . . – An Epic Autobiographical Story of Black History In America
“From share-cropping to Wall Street, by way of Africa, our family history is Black History.”
Chronicling the lives of 14 siblings raised by poor but loving sharecropper parents who were directly descended from slaves, “A Journey” begins as a biography set in the mid-1800s, and recounts early days of hard work and a country filled with ever-present, white-supremacist dangers. Working through the fog of history and the deliberate erasure of Black stories, the authors managed to pull together facts, oral stories, and family legends that weave the early tale of a strong, determined family who refused to be broken by circumstance or hard times.
The family was held together by a determined mother who was “a woman of great wisdom and acumen – the matriarch who saw fit to encourage her older children to move north and prepare a place for the rest who would come when it was fitting to do so.” Each child later grew to become an accomplished adult with a rich story of their own to share.
A Journey . . . tells not only how the Jackson family got from here to there, but why … . The success of the Jackson siblings – 10 earning college degrees, five earning graduate degrees, with many who traveled widely – is a global tale. Grover’s trip to Kenya, East Africa, via the Peace Corps is of particular interest . . .. — Geraldine Smith-Wright, Professor Emerita, Drew University
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