This Child Will Be Great Summary

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Ellen Johnson Sirleaf-This Child Will Be Great is a memoir and autobiography about Africa’s first woman president. Sirleaf was born in Liberia with parents who were apart of the common struggle that came from being part of a working class family in Africa. This memoir highlights the path it took from dealing with her parent’s hardship to becoming Africa’s first woman president. For Sirleaf it is important for all to know, that although she is from a lighter complexion her upbringing was no different to any other Liberian woman. The book is titled “This Child Will Be Great” because that thought was engraved in her heart by one of her mother’s friends when she was just a baby. This phrase encompassed her family’s values and when times were tough, …show more content…
The first being the indication of how she had no American lineage and the struggle her parents had to go through. Second, she discusses the major events that were going on while she was rising up the ladder to presidency, and finally the sacrifices she had to go through and the hard decisions she had to make as a Liberian woman. Because of her lighter complexion throughout Sirleaf’s life she had to constantly prove that she indeed had no American lineage. The way she tackles this issue in her memoir is by providing the reader with two chapters of her parent’s background. She starts off with her father’s upbringing. She states that her grandfather was a Gola chief of great renown and was often called Jahmale the Peacemaker. Her grandfather decided to send her father as ward in order to have more opportunities in life. The origins of the ward system flourished in early Liberia when settlers were in need for cheap labor and the family providing the ward was in need of something in return (from monetary help to providing schooling for the ward). In her memoir, her father benefited from this system as he pursued his career as a well-known politician until he got severely …show more content…
She was brave enough to leave her husband to continue her education, she was able to obtain many important job titles, and finally, she was able to become the first women president in Africa. Her memoir provides gender history a narrative about the struggle a typical women had to go through in order to transform herself into an exceptional women figure. Her extensive narrative of the political events also provides gender history, an insight of how women were able to get into the political world dominated by men. Her ambition for education also provides gender history with information that women with enough perseverance had the possibility to obtain a college education. In the last chapter Sirleaf states “In effect, to be a great leader is to sacrifice oneself, because if you ever stop to think about your own preservation, your own safety, and your own survival, you will immediately become constrained. You will cease to act, or to act in the best interests of those you are leading.” In short, this excerpt is what many African women in African Gender History had to do in order to be recognized and remembered. Ahebi the first female king had to think of her people before herself in order to have gained the title of King this is exactly what Sirleaf had to do throughout her life. She could of stay in her abusive marriage and care for her

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