Second Class Citizen by Buchi EmechetaSecond Class Citizen is a very auto-biographical account of Buchi Emecheta’s emigration from Nigeria to London. It’s a personal story, one that candidly depicts the challenges of living with a difficult and unfaithful spouse, of being a young mother with little money, of the added challenge of “polite” racism that forced her to live beneath her previous standards, and even her own trivial concerns, such as not being properly dressed in the hospital after nearly dying during childbirth. One wants to reach through the pages and shake this obviously intelligent woman and make her stand up on her own. Her upbringing in Africa has taught her that women are second class and do not matter as much as their husbands, they are only to take care of the home and have as many children as possible. Thankfully, after living in London for years, she unlearns those childhood “lessons.” You can hear this woman’s voice as you read and know she is a person you could easily befriend and always be entertained by; she almost always finds the positive in the negative (and she’s got plenty of negatives!). Dr. Emecheta is an author who has been an inspiration to me; not only was she living in a foreign country raising five children and acting as the sole support for her family, but she still managed to have a career and write prolifically. Where she had the time is anyone’s guess.
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Second Class Citizen. Second Class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta is about the struggle of Adah the main character and her survival, not only of herself but also her dreams, while growing into a woman, moving from a high class position in her native Nigeria to a very poor class in a predominantly white European society. She struggles with motherhood and with being a wife and supporting her entire family along with being her own independent person. Part of her struggle also deals with the issues of race and being black in the face of English racism. Buchi Emechata was born of Ibuza heritage in Nigeria near Lagos. With her two children and her husband she later moved to England.