PBS Books and ASALH celebrated Black History Month February 28th with acclaimed Kenyan author Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o who discussed his recent book The Perfect Nine: The Epic of Gĩkũyũ and Mũmbi, along with scholars Nubia Kai and Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua. The book is a dazzling modern epic, myth and feminist re-imagining of Kenya’s origins, which subverts patriarchy and promotes social equity. They discussed elements relevant to today’s struggles for social justice, gender equity and spiritual rebirth while illuminating eternal African values essential for wholesome family life.


About the Author – Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o is a perennial favorite for the Nobel Prize of Literature, the recipient of 12 honorable degrees, and has been nominated for the Man Booker International Prize. He was a professor at Yale University and New York University and is currently a Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature and the Director of the International Center for Writing and Translation at the University of California – Irvin and is considered one of the greatest writers of our time.

About Moderator Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua

Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua serves on the Executive Council of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) and is an Associate Professor of African American Studies, History, and Global Studies at the University of Illinois – Urbana; the former senior editor of The Black Scholar; and the former president of the National Council of Black Studies.

About Nubia Kai

Nubia Kai (Al-Nura Salaam), Ph.D. is a researcher, professor, and multidisciplinary writer. Winner of 23 literary awards including two from the National Endowment of the Arts awards, her work has been seen in publications such as Essence and Black World. This event is the second collaborative virtual program between ASALH (the Association for the Study of African American Life and History) and PBS Books: A Celebration of African American Life and History in Black History Month, which will continue to offer programs throughout the year.