My Country, Africa

My Country, Africa:Autobiography of the Black Pasionaria

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“We who have been colonized can never forget”

Andrée Blouin—once called the most dangerous woman in Africa—played a leading role in the struggles for decolonization that shook the continent in the 1950s and ’60s, advising the postcolonial leaders of Algeria, both Congos, Ivory Coast, Mali, Guinea, and Ghana.

In this autobiography, Blouin retraces her remarkable journey as an African revolutionary. Born in French Equatorial Africa and abandoned at the age of three, she endured years of neglect and abuse in a colonial orphanage, which she escaped after being forced by nuns into an arranged marriage at fifteen. She later became radicalized by the death of her two-year-old son, who was denied malaria medication by French officials because he was one-quarter African.

In Guinea, where Blouin was active in Sékou Touré’s campaign for independence, she came into contact with leaders of the liberation movement in the Belgian Congo. Blouin witnessed the Congolese tragedy up close as an adviser to Patrice Lumumba, whose arrest and assassination she narrates in unforgettable detail.

Blouin offers a sweeping survey of pan-African nationalism, capturing the intricacies of revolutionary diplomacy, comradeship, and betrayal. Alongside intimate portraits of the movement’s leaders, Blouin provides insights into the often-overlooked contribution of African women in the struggle for independence.


  • Embodying pan-Africanism, Blouin befriended, counseled or lobbied the first presidents or prime ministers of Algeria, both Congos, Ivory Coast, Mali, Guinea and Ghana.

    Stuart A. ReidNew York Times
  • An amazingly good and moving description of a childhood blighted by the horrors of colonialism, told by an extraordinary woman … Riveting.

    Jessica Mitford
  • A penetrating study of colonial society.

    Studs Terkel