Category Archives: environment

B. Obama’s Africa Reading List

Obama, 7-13-18

This week, I’m traveling to Africa for the first time since I left office – a continent of wonderful diversity, thriving culture, and remarkable stories.

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
A true classic of world literature, this novel paints a picture of traditional society wrestling with the arrival of foreign influence, from Christian missionaries to British colonialism. A masterpiece that has inspired generations of writers in Nigeria, across Africa, and around the world.

A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong’o
A chronicle of the events leading up to Kenya’s independence, and a compelling story of how the transformative events of history weigh on individual lives and relationships.

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
Mandela’s life was one of the epic stories of the 20th century. This definitive memoir traces the arc of his life from a small village, to his years as a revolutionary, to his long imprisonment, and ultimately his ascension to unifying President, leader, and global icon. Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand history – and then go out and change it.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
From one of the world’s great contemporary writers comes the story of two Nigerians making their way in the U.S. and the UK, raising universal questions of race and belonging, the overseas experience for the African diaspora, and the search for identity and a home.

The Return by Hisham Matar
A beautifully-written memoir that skillfully balances a graceful guide through Libya’s recent history with the author’s dogged quest to find his father who disappeared in Gaddafi’s prisons.

The World As It Is by Ben Rhodes
It’s true, Ben does not have African blood running through his veins. But few others so closely see the world through my eyes like he can. Ben’s one of the few who’ve been with me since that first presidential campaign. His memoir is one of the smartest reflections I’ve seen as to how we approached foreign policy, and one of the most compelling stories I’ve seen about what it’s actually like to serve the American people for eight years in the White House.



Office of Students shut down by Mulvaney

“Trump’s head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) just shut down the Office of Students. The decision by acting director Mick Mulvaney gravely harms federal efforts to protect student loan borrowers.
Overseeing predatory student loan companies, holding for-profit colleges accountable, and shutting down debt-relief scams are vital components of the CFPB’s core mission. Mr. Mulvaney’s decision to abandon these efforts, by dismantling the Office of Students, will put millions of Americans at risk.”
Take action now. Send a letter telling lawmakers in Washington you oppose any plan that diminishes the CFPB’s ability to protect student loan borrowers.”

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, 17, leads Earth Guardians, wrote “We Rise.”

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is amazing; he’s done so much by age 17. His 2017 book is “We Rise.”” He leads Earth Guardian groups around the world to end global warming. He’s also a rapper. An 8-year-old boy said  in the q&A period after the talk today at CSUC that he thought he was the only one who cared about the earth, was happy when he heard about X.
Earth Guardians is growing a resilient movement with youth at the forefront by empowering them as leaders and amplifying their impact. We invite you to join us in our mission to protect the planet for future generations. Our age doesn’t define our ability to create change.”

Children’s Trust suit against climate change


The lawsuit, filed by Our Children’s Trust in 2015, relies on a novel legal strategy that has yielded victories for climate activists seeking sweeping policy change in other countries. The federal government, under both the Obama and Trump administrations, and the fossil fuel industry have repeatedly sought to have the case dismissed. But federal judges have so far upheld the plaintiffs’ right to a hearing, which means the case could come to trial as early as November.