Staff Recommended Read

Asylum bookcover a Memoir and manifesto by Edafe Okporo. Cover features black wavy horizontal lines with orange writing.

“Asylum: A Memoir & Manifesto” by Edafe Okporo

“The author, an activist and asylee, shares his experience seeking asylum in America with readers in a way that is accessible and direct. Many Americans live oblivious to the cruelty and dehumanizing process asylees face when they arrive in our country. Edafe left Nigeria because he was no longer safe after being mobbed for being gay, which is illegal there, and arrived in the U.S. only to be detained in a private prison for 6 months. Upon release, Edafe realized he then felt unsafe in America because he is Black. But this book is about belonging just as much as it is about immigrating to America. Oftentimes, Edafe found solace through houses of worship and the people there. I’ve always struggled with the idea of a god that hates gay people, but a line that I want to carry with me from this book is this: ‘Transcendent experiences do not have to happen exclusively in churches; the world offers us many opportunities to broaden our world views and expand our perspectives. Doing so I believe is similar to the experience of finding faith in a higher calling or an extraordinary power you cannot define.’ Edafe never lost faith in himself and humanity. His faith that there are good people in the world and his need to connect with them is what keeps him going.”

— Julian, Main Library