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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
America's Daughter by Maria Nhambu is a gripping memoir, the second entry in a series that chronicles the life, difficulties, and challenges of an immigrant in the United States. It is timely and very relevant, with themes and a message that addresses the conundrum of contemporary discrimination and the color line. From the beginning, the author warns that “The story I tell in the following pages might appear to be that of any immigrant coming to America and learning a new culture. It’s not. As a college-aged foreign student, I had more than the usual struggles because I came from a less-than-usual background.” She was left at an orphanage for mixed-race children when she was only a few days old, an orphanage in Tanzania, East Africa, run by German missionary nuns. From an early age, she knows rejection and attends school with children like her, who are stigmatized. Thanks to her American high school teacher in Tanzania, Catherine Murray, she moves to the United States to start a new life.
In this book, the author chronicles her experiences, starting with the culture shock and going through the challenges that Black Americans experience. It is a tale of grit, of learning to sail against the tides, of refusing to be broken, and of ultimately reconnecting with the author’s roots. This is also a story of triumph, of a woman who sprang from humble origins to create a legacy — graduating from college and becoming a teacher, getting married and creating a family with lovely children, and ultimately doing the things she loves the most — she teaches Swahili and African Studies, performs African dance at schools, and creates Aerobics With Soul®, a fitness workout based on African dance. This is a heartwarming and inspirational story that leaves readers with a powerful message about grit and hope and the eternal truth that hard work pays off, ultimately. America's Daughter is rich in style and inspiring in its message.