Robtel Neajai Pailey

Reading unlocks the imagination, but it also unlocks the soul of a person. It has the potential to unlock the soul of a nation like Liberia struggling so desperately to find and define itself.


Thousands of Liberian refugees will leave the Ghanaian camp they have lived in for years to an uncertain future back in their country. UNHCR is closing the camp on the grounds that Liberia is now a stable democracy. But is that so?


On the eve of Sierra Leone’s Independence Day, former Liberian President Charles Taylor was found guilty of war crimes committed during that country’s civil war. But does the verdict represent a major victory for Sierra Leoneans beyond its symbolic value?


The shocking news that the former Liberian strongman was indeed a CIA informant in the early years of his rise to notoriety calls into question America’s complicity in Taylor’s destruction of Liberia. Robtel Neajai Pailey questions the legitimacy of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the international criminal justice system, which, she states: 'serves as a band-aid imprint of appeasement from the West, which is just as complicit in Africa’s civil wars as the warlords who have been indicted, Taylor more England celebrates its 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade, plantation workers in Liberia are trapped in a time warp of monumental proportions. They exist in the parallel universe of multinational corporate checkmate, where the prize goes to the highest more

Eating disorders seem to be a rarity in the issues raised by contemporary African writers. That’s most likely why Tsitsi Dangarembga’s 1988 classic “Nervous Conditions” became an immediate modern African classic. It was a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story about the affects of patriarchy and colonialism on a female protagonist, Tambudzai. Nyasha, Tambudzai’s cousin, suffers from an acute case of bulimia. In many respects, she attempts to regurgitate centuries of societal repression more

In late 2005, the International Labor Rights Fund filed an Alien Tort Claims Act case in the US District Court in California against Bridgestone, alleging "forced labor, the modern equivalent of slavery" on a Firestone Plantation in Harbel, Liberia. The lawsuit states: "The Plantation workers allege, among other things, that they remain trapped by poverty and coercion on a frozen-in-time Plantation operated by Firestone in a manner identical to how the Plantation was operated when it was more