What is Njinga’s legacy?

heywood-bookI have been encouraged to add a last chapter to the second book I am writing on Queen Njinga, provisionally titled  Memory, History, Culture and Politics in the African Diaspora, including North America.

The new chapter on Njinga in the US will focus on the construction of a memory of Njinga in the United States from the 19th century to the 1990s.

Over the years I have gathered a great deal of information in books and on the web about Njinga in America. In the early 1990s I was involved in the African American dramatist Ione’s play Njinga: The Queen King. The play premiered at BAM in Brooklyn, and had a run at Shakespeare Theater in Washington DC. I was the scholar who Black Sisterhood in Action [hyperlink?] consulted when they commissioned Leo Sarkesian’s beautiful portrait of Queen Njinga.

I am now looking to gather additional information on how Njinga’s name and history continues to be relevant today.  If you have heard of Njinga, please get in touch! 

I’d like to know where, when and how you first heard Njinga’s name and/or about her history.  I’d also be interested in whether you or any of your friends have the name Njinga, or have changed your name to Njinga.

Please add your comments below!

2 thoughts on “What is Njinga’s legacy?

  1. Hi Dr.Heywood – I am so thrilled about your book! I first heard of your work from Kathleen McDermott, who queried me on Njinga at this year’s AHA conference. I first learned of Njinga as an AP World History teacher in 2004. My own degrees from the University of Michigan did not bring me into contact with her prior to teaching world history at the secondary school level (B.A. Economics, M.A. Chinese Studies), She factors into the AP World History curriculum as an example of resistance against colonial power. After my husband’s work took us to another state, I decided to pursue my Ph.D. in History at Georgia State University, where I teach a world history survey course as part of my fellowship – and I have the iconic image of Njinga sitting on a human on the front page of my syllabus! I look forward to rounding out my understanding of this complicated, amazing woman.


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