Monday, August 23, 2021

My Panel at the Trade With Africa Business Summit

Early this year, Toyin Umesiri, enterpreneur and promoter of trade with Africa, invited me to be one of the speakers at this year's Trade With Africa Business Summit that she was hosting on May 31-June 4. She wanted me to talk about my book, Africans and Americans: Embracing Cultural Differences which she had read and interviewed me about. Here is the panel in which I made my presentation:

Sunday, August 8, 2021

My Book Cover Designer Passed Away

I am sad to write here that Barbara Pietrzak Nelson, designer of the covers of my book, Africans and Americans: Embracing Cultural Differences, passed away last year. If you have a copy of the book, you will see her name at the beginning, on page iv.

Barbara was a warm, gentle, and lively person who took a great and genuine interest in my work and always cheered and inspired me with her dreams of what an influencer I was destined to be. She was adamant about this, from the time she got to know me and designed my first Africonexion website and in subsequent months when she maintained it.

She sought to help me realize my dreams through the work she did on the website. Upon my request, she even made the green cover of my book a little lighter on the top than on the bottom. May she rest in Eternal Peace. Amen.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

A Reader Has Passed Away

Today, August 5, I decided to look at a post I wrote some years ago, "Book Reviewed in 'The Zumbro Current'," which I had published on my blog. The post featured a review of my book, Africans and Americans: Embracing Cultural Differences. I then decided to look for information about the reviewer, only to discover that he passed away several months ago, from this obituary

I am saddened, especially because I never got to see him, even though he lived only about thirty miles away. Our connection is more than that of a writer and his reader; as the obituary says, Duane studied at St. Olaf College, where I teach, and he served on its Board of Regents. May he rest in Eternal Peace.

Here is the review he wrote:

Book Review: Africans and Americans: Embracing Cultural Differences

The Abner Haugen Library at Zumbro Lutheran Church has a copy of this extremely helpful book on cultural differences between Americans and Africans. It is written by Joseph L. Mbele, a Tanzanian scholar who currently is a professor of English at St. Olaf College. Anyone traveling to another country or continent would find this short book well worth reading. A few of the topics covered are: eye contact, personal space, gender issues, gifts, how “time flies, but not in Africa.” Both my wife Ann and I recommend this 98-page book.

-Duane Charles Hoven. "The Zumbro Current," October 2014, p. 7.