Skip To Main Content

One Book Project

Homegoing book by YAA GYASI

The Fall 2017 One Book is Homegoing

The unforgettable New York Times best seller begins with the story of two half-sisters, separated by forces beyond their control: one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver. Written with tremendous sweep and power, Homegoing traces the generations of family who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and three hundred years of history, each life indelibly drawn, as the legacy of slavery is fully revealed in light of the present day.

Effia and Esi are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.

About the One Book project

The One Book project, an idea originated by the Washington Center for the Book, is an opportunity for communities to read and discuss a book together. Ellsworth Community College has formed partnerships with the Robert W. Barlow Memorial Library in Iowa Falls, Dr. Grace O. Doane Alden Public Library, and groups and organizations in the surrounding communities, such as the American Legion, Hardin County Recreational Trails, and Iowa Valley Continuing Education. The One Book partnership strives to increase interaction among ECC students and local community members. Through discussion groups and activities planned throughout the fall, participants will develop knowledge and understanding about various people and cultures, as well as increasing overall literacy and joy of reading.

Academically, ECC faculty pair book topics with classroom projects and discussions. The Barlow and Doane Libraries include the One Book title in their monthly book discussions. Movies, lectures, panel discussions, and other activities are open to both students and any interested readers, both on the ECC campus and at the public libraries, as well other venues throughout the community.

One Book Project Activities Spring 2017


For more information about the One Book Project contact English Instructor Michael Rottink.