An African Lent
Here’s an idea for Lent that will do more good than giving up desserts: Read a book about contemporary sub-Saharan Africa. It’s not a penance, though it can hurt. And seeing how much of the rest of the world lives sure does put a lot of our minor irritations, and even major problems, in perspective.
Consider reading a novel or memoir by an African author, such as …
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria)
Tsotsi by Athol Fugard (South Africa)
A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah (Sierra Leone)
When a Crocodile Eats the Sun by Peter Godwin (Zimbabwe)
Or read a journalist’s first-person account, like …
What Is the What by Dave Eggers (Sudan)
Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder (Burundi)
The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuściński (post-colonial Africa)
We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families by Philip Gourevitch (Rwanda)
Or, if you’d rather watch a movie, try one of these …
The Devil Came On Horseback (Sudan)
Tsotsi (South Africa)
War Dance (Uganda)
Hotel Rwanda (Rwanda)
What do you think?
Are there books or movies that you’d recommend as aids for spiritual reflection during this Lenten season?