A Drop of Midnight

Amazon Crossing. Mar. 2020. 304p. ISBN 9781542017077. $24.95; pap. ISBN 9781542016704. $14.95. MEMOIR
With this memoir, originally published in Sweden in 2016, Rapper Diakité, known as Timbuktu, considers his multiracial heritage and family history. Born and raised in Sweden, Diakité was self-conscious as a child because he looked different from his white mother; he also experienced racism at school for being black. As an adult, he became more interested in his black heritage and traveled to the United States to connect with his father’s family. Diakité visits impoverished communities in South Carolina and Harlem, plantations in New Orleans, and historic sites connected with the civil rights movement in Alabama, while trying to process the pain and struggles of his ancestors and the circumstances that brought his parents to Sweden. His tense but loving relationship with his father, who initially opposed Diakité’s travels, pulls the narrative together. Through these experiences, Diakité better understands his father’s point of view and comes to terms with his own identity as a multiracial Swede. Willson-Broyles’s translation captures Diakité’s sense of longing.
VERDICT This touching exploration of race and heritage is incisive, heartbreaking, and heartwarming. Recommended for readers interested in multiracial memoirs and the search for family and identity.
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