Anita Katherine Dennis

Author, sociologist, anthropologist, and wife of an African Chief,
Anita K. Dennis shares her unique perspective on racism, love, and faith.
Hate
the poison of racism
Love
the antidote for racism

Liberia was doomed from the start.

The sins of the master were inevitably passed on to those who returned to Africa to make a fresh start.

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American racism traps Blacks — even in Africa. Prof. Dennis chronicles the compulsive and repetitious nature of racism and its destructive effects on peoples and societies, Dr. Dennis’s observations of the twists of irony and misplaced pride on all sides will provoke a wry smile as well as dismay.

During the 1990s, Liberia descended into civil war and anarchy. African-Liberian rebel groups roamed the countryside randomly killing as they vied for power. Doe was killed by a segment of these rebel groups and warlord Charles Taylor eventually became president in 1997. In 2003, Taylor was deposed by rebel groups and is now on trial at The Hague for war crimes. Despite Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s democratic election in 2005, Liberia remains in ruins as a classic failed state in Africa. The obvious question is: Why did the Negro experiment planted in Africa in 1822 fail so miserably?

A true African-American, Dr. Dennis writes from a broad historical and social perspective having lived in an African tribe, as a “Negro” in the 1950s and since the Civil Rights Movement as a “black man in America,” having moved in international diplomatic circles and having worked as a member of the American academic elite.

I looked up, fear fueling my imagination.

I wanted to see the world but this was beyond anything I had dreamed of. Only God could get us through this.

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When author Anita Katherine Dennis walked into the anthropology class during her sophomore year at Ohio University in 1964, she was sure the class would prove interesting. She had no idea how right she would be. In Beyond Myself, she narrates the love story that developed between her and her anthropology professor, Dr. Ben Dennis, an African tribal chief.

In this memoir, she shares how God sustained her during her interracial, cross-cultural marriage—especially as she played the role of chief’s wife in a remote village in Liberia, West Africa. Her life was full of extremes. She met the president of Liberia in the Executive Mansion—and slept in a mud hut. She visited European capitals—and lived in a remote African village. She flew on transatlantic flights—and was carried through the high forest in a chief’s hammock. Anita shares her struggles as she is accepted into the Mende tribe and lived in Vahun with an off and on kerosene fridge, swarming termites on the screens, a cyclone barely missing the house, and pungent elephant meat delivered in the middle of the night.

Beyond Myself offers an example of West meets Africa personified. Anita tells how life with Ben was more than a marriage. It was an education and adventure wrapped into one. Ben allowed Anita to escape her narrow cultural confines and embark on a journey from farm girl to global citizen, with plenty of missteps throughout.

Liberia was doomed from the start.

The sins of the master were inevitably passed on to those who returned to Africa to make a fresh start.

Read More +

American racism traps Blacks — even in Africa. Prof. Dennis chronicles the compulsive and repetitious nature of racism and its destructive effects on peoples and societies, Dr. Dennis’s observations of the twists of irony and misplaced pride on all sides will provoke a wry smile as well as dismay.

During the 1990s, Liberia descended into civil war and anarchy. African-Liberian rebel groups roamed the countryside randomly killing as they vied for power. Doe was killed by a segment of these rebel groups and warlord Charles Taylor eventually became president in 1997. In 2003, Taylor was deposed by rebel groups and is now on trial at The Hague for war crimes. Despite Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s democratic election in 2005, Liberia remains in ruins as a classic failed state in Africa. The obvious question is: Why did the Negro experiment planted in Africa in 1822 fail so miserably?

A true African-American, Dr. Dennis writes from a broad historical and social perspective having lived in an African tribe, as a “Negro” in the 1950s and since the Civil Rights Movement as a “black man in America,” having moved in international diplomatic circles and having worked as a member of the American academic elite.

I looked up, fear fueling my imagination.

I wanted to see the world but this was beyond anything I had dreamed of. Only God could get us through this.

Read More +

When author Anita Katherine Dennis walked into the anthropology class during her sophomore year at Ohio University in 1964, she was sure the class would prove interesting. She had no idea how right she would be. In Beyond Myself, she narrates the love story that developed between her and her anthropology professor, Dr. Ben Dennis, an African tribal chief.

In this memoir, she shares how God sustained her during her interracial, cross-cultural marriage—especially as she played the role of chief’s wife in a remote village in Liberia, West Africa. Her life was full of extremes. She met the president of Liberia in the Executive Mansion—and slept in a mud hut. She visited European capitals—and lived in a remote African village. She flew on transatlantic flights—and was carried through the high forest in a chief’s hammock. Anita shares her struggles as she is accepted into the Mende tribe and lived in Vahun with an off and on kerosene fridge, swarming termites on the screens, a cyclone barely missing the house, and pungent elephant meat delivered in the middle of the night.

Beyond Myself offers an example of West meets Africa personified. Anita tells how life with Ben was more than a marriage. It was an education and adventure wrapped into one. Ben allowed Anita to escape her narrow cultural confines and embark on a journey from farm girl to global citizen, with plenty of missteps throughout.

Reviews

Slaves to Racism

The book is provocative. They pull no punches and come straight at the reader with one story after another evidencing the horrors of racism. Philip S. Cornell, Esq

A historical eyewitness account of the effect of racism in two countries, one white and one black, on two very different continents. Dennis describes how racism traps blacks – even in Africa – comparing it with America’s bigotry as well as subliminal boundaries that still exist even among liberal communities that ‘want more blacks’ Algoro Publishing, 2008

Do you want to know the truth? Finally a truthful whistle blower on racism. A must read for a civilized society. Your book is hard to put down. Your personal accounts are amazing. Rev. Robert Forsberg

Reviews

Beyond Myself

I do like a true life love story that beats all the odds and features a prince! When her husband died, Anita penned a memoir of their time together – travelling around Africa, meeting presidents, sleeping in mud huts… Linda Hobden

Boots & Shoes, Twitter

Dennis led a life filled with remarkable events and translated them into an entertaining memoir….overall she proves to be a storyteller with a keen eye for detail and fully re-creates the complexities of her marriage and the exciting challenges she faced in Africa.

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Kirkus Reviews

Once I started reading I couldn’t stop, even getting up in the middle of the night to continue. Gwen Brown

top-quote-marks-light  We are all part of the human family in the world community.

Dr. Benjamin G. Dennis  bottom-quote-mark-lisght

 

top-quote-marks-lightGod has a plan for all of our lives even if we go off the beaten path.

Anita Katherine Dennis  bottom-quote-mark-lisght

 

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