Aidoo begins her novel with the idea that arguing with a “moderate” Ghanaian is “frustrating” in that they are only able to “regurgitate only what he has learnt from his bosses for you.” Based entirely on “The need for law and order; The gravest problem facing mankind being hunger, disease, and ignorance; on hijackings as a deliberate attempt to hold decent society to ransom; The sanctity of the U.N. charter; The population explosion” (6). While Aidoo hits on this idea, it is rather blatant after reading the rest of the text that the bosses of the Ghanaian that has the potential to argue this way are white westerners who believe these are the largest problems because they are the problems that could hurt their economic pockets. The part that is so seemingly frustrated is the fact that the person who should be empathizing with Aidoo and supporting Ghana is instead siding with westerners supporting an ideology that does nothing but essentially cause Africans to immigrate to western locations as “feathers too, which drop and drop and drop from constant flights and distances” (20). It seems that the immigration factor within the text is only marked by continued racism and subjugation of anyone that is not white. From religion, where God is a “Nice Old European Gentleman with a flowing white beard” (26) to the black men, if they tried to date white women, eventually turning into “Beautiful Black Bodies Changed into elephant-grey corpses, Littered all over the western world” (62).
One issue I struggled with when reading this is the Aidoo’s inability to give any credit to the Scot she meets who claims they have things in common. “’We had chiefs like you,’ the Scot went on, ‘who fought one another and all, while the Invader marched in.’ Sissie thanked her, but also felt strongly that their kinship had better end right there” (91). While Aidoo seems to make a great many points I agree with in the novel, the characters inability to sympathize or understand that other countries/nationalities can have oppression as well against people who aren’t of color is rather infuriating. Just because she experienced something doesn’t give her the claim to state that others haven’t experienced something similar or worse in different rights. Alternatively, she instead basically counters the claims for oppression and makes it where the Scottish are in turn a part of why Ghana was colonized in the first place.
I could be misreading that second section, but it rubbed me the wrong way.