My Heart Will Cross This Ocean
My Story, My Son, Amadou
Publication Date: August 31, 2004
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Descended from West African kings and healers, raised in the turbulence of Guinea in the 1960s, Kadiatou Diallo was married off at the age of thirteen and bore her first child when she was sixteen. Twenty-three years later, that child–a gentle, innocent young man named Amadou Diallo–was gunned down without cause on the streets of New York City. Now Kadi Diallo tells the astonishing, inspiring story of her life, her loss, and the defiant strength she has always found within.
Kadiatou Diallo, a frequent lecturer, is the founder of the Amadou Diallo Foundation to promote racial healing through educational programs. Born in Guinea in 1959, she now divides her time between New York City and Rockville, Maryland, where her three younger children are in school.
Craig Wolff is an assistant professor at Columbia University School of Journalism and a former reporter for The New York Times, where he was part of the team that won a Pulitzer for coverage of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He has contributed to The New York Times Magazine, GQ, Rolling Stone, and the Daily News (New York).
“REMARKABLE . . . A GRIPPING BOOK.”
“A moving story that makes the tragedy of Amadou Diallo’s death all the more poignant and present. With the help of Craig Wolff, Kadiatou Diallo shows us the roots of her son’s story in Africa and in a mother’s heart.”
“A rare, rich, and quite moving portrait . . . in prose that is alive with the smell of herbs, the taste of sweet sauces, the weight of deep traditions, the tensions of political life in post-colonial Africa.”
–The Washington Post Book World
“An unexpectedly enchanting, unflinching story of Amadou’s upbringing, culture, and his mother’s life struggles in their native Guinea.”
“This lyrical memoir is both moving and disturbing. Its subtle tone exposes the aggression inherent in patriarchy (whether it functions in rural Africa or the New York City police department) in a way that the usual rhetoric cannot.”