Catherine Onyemelukwe

Author, Blogger, Speaker

#1 Best Seller on Amazon

Best Seller Nigeria History

Nigeria History

If you look closely you can see the yellow tag at right, #1 Best Seller. To the right it says “In Nigeria History.”

I don’t know how many books are in the category Nigeria History on Amazon, but my memoir is the #1 best-seller in Nigeria History category for this hour at least!

I found this on the author page. You may need a magnifying glass! I also found a note that says the stats are updated hourly.

So I’m enjoying my moment of fame. This comes on top of my wonderful birthday yesterday.

Fabulous Fun-filled Birthday

My husband opened the day with a meaningful card and present.

Next we had our special projects Christmas concert on Sunday morning at The Unitarian Church in Westport. I love being part of the choir and seeing the pleasure the music brings to the congregation. The choir even sang happy birthday to me during our rehearsal!

Then Clem and I went to Lessons and Carols at Christ and Holy Trinity, our local Episcopal Church. Clem has loved this service since I’ve known him. We attended it at St. Saviours Church in Lagos.

We couldn’t stay ’til the end since I’d booked Barcelona Restaurant and Wine Bar in Stamford CT for a 6:30 birthday dinner. My dear friends Ann and Eileen came to celebrate with Clem and me. It was too noisy, but I had the thrill of happy birthday played by the small band!

I had birthday calls from all three children and my sister, with e-cards, emails, and lots of Facebook posts from friends far and near.

Riverside Book Club. About half the members had already left when I remembered I wanted a photo!

Riverside Book Club. About half the members had already left when I remembered I wanted a photo!

Friends at Riverside Book Club

On Saturday I had the pleasure of conversation with the Riverside Book Club at Riverside Church in New York about Nigeria Revisited.

Most of the twenty or so people present had read the book. They were full of questions and had many insightful comments. Luvon Roberson who arranged my coming, had also lived in Nigeria and spoke about her experiences, a great addition to the conversation.

And another woman, Ruth Omabegho, had lived in Nigeria even longer than I did. I knew her well but was completely surprised to see her in this setting. A friend of hers had told her that there would be a discussion of a book about Nigeria. She showed Ruth the book, Nigeria Revisited My Life and Loves Abroad.

Of course my name is on the cover. Ruth said, “I know her! Of course I’ll come.” She also added to the discussion. She’s the shorter woman holding her MOMA bag in the picture!

She’s been living in New York since 2005. I’m sure we’ll get together again.

Between the World and Me

My Mount Holyoke Alumnae Book Group read Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me for tonight’s meeting. The 150-page book takes the form of a letter Coates writes to his teen-age son to tell him about his experience of being black in America.

Between the World and Me

Between the World and Me

He is not hopeful about change in the dynamics of race in this country. He tells his son that the struggle must continue.

Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, says she read Coates’ book twice. The first time she was disappointed that he didn’t provide solutions and recommendations for positive steps by his son.

But she says, “The second time around I could see that maybe, just maybe, this is what is most needed right now — a book that offers no answers but instead challenges us to wrestle with the questions on our own. Maybe this is the time for questioning, searching and struggling without really believing the struggle can be won.”

Our discussion, as always, was lively. One woman said, “Why do we keep talking about slavery? Aren’t we past it now?”

Others said, “Yes, we’re past it, but its influence is still with us.”

We talked about Black Lives Matter and why the movement is important.

Fairly late in the discussion I brought up the video which I only learned about today.

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome

Beverly sent a link to a video of Dr. Joy de Gruy Leary speaking about post traumatic disorder that affects black Americans. She calls it Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, which she has studied and written about extensively.

Dr. Joy DeGruy

Dr. Joy DeGruy

I’d heard the phrase, but didn’t know the author who is well-known for this work.

I’ve watched nearly half of the video. It’s powerful. She talks about how much impact a single traumatic event can have on a person, causing symptoms like difficulty sleeping or being easily startled.

She said the results of trauma can be passed on generationally.

Imagine what 246 years of trauma, being passed from generation to generation, and then continuing after emancipation until today, has done, she says. Her book on the same topic, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, is available on Amazon.

One reviewer on Amazon said, “The Youtube video could stand alone; whereas this book is icing. The Youtube seemed more detailed, especially in terms of cognitive dissonance and other things like the postcard pictures of lynchings. I think the video is more recent and therefore there are more supporting facts. Regardless, this should be required reading for African Americans, especially in an academic setting.”

I think others too should view it or read the book.

Party Time With Marcelle

The tree near the cookie table

The tree near the cookie table

My teacher and editor Marcelle and her husband Eric have a pre-Christmas party every year, and I’ve been privileged to attend several times.

She clearly loves this holiday time.

Their house is stunning – beautifully decorated trees in every room, boughs of evergreen and holly covering every available space, and a table laden with at least thirty different types of delicious cookies, brownies, and cakes that she bakes.

She even provides guests with boxes to take treats home!


Author: Catherine Onyemelukwe

Author, blogger, speaker. Born in New York, grew up in mid west United States, lived in Nigeria for 24 years, back in U.S. since 1986. Advocate for racial justice.


  1. Congratulations on making #1 Best Seller. As a fellow author, I know how great it is to get recognition, no matter how long it lasts.

  2. Congratulations, Catherine!

  3. Congratulations on being a #1 Best Selling Author. For a minute-hour-day-week or year it’s a terrific accomplishment – the field of competition is enormous and the odds are astronomical. Enjoy!

  4. Congratulations on your book’s success, Catherine, and happy, happy birthday! It is a treat to share in these experiences with you, and to open my heart and mind to wonderful new things! Thank you! And wishing you all of the joys and heartfelt warmth that this season brings (and good food, too!) (and music, music, music!)