Bed 26 book review
Edafe Okporo is a skilled educator and passionate advocate for HIV/AIDS services. We first met when he visited Gay Activist Alliance in Morris County. Okporo was there for the annual Hyacinth AIDS Foundation visit during Sex Month. Edafe’s lilting accent, and incisive way of delivering his portion of the state of HIV/AIDS in New Jersey had many of us paying extra attention. His heartfelt advocacy added punch to his message. It was only during the social time after the program that we learned he is an author as well.
Bed 26 could well have been ripped from today’s headlines. Bloody war is waged in this country and abroad to prevent immigration for asylum purposes. How odd, considering our entire country is based on freedom from persecution. Yet it abounds in some ways that are subtle, and some not so subtle as Edafe outlines in his book.
Growing up in Asaba, Delta State, Nigeria
The story in Bed 26 begins with the stark reality of what it is like to try to live your authentic life in a country that does not support anything but what the State mandates. Growing up in Asaba, Delta State, Nigeria, Edafe was surrounded by the love of family. The opening of the book paints a picture of a man devoted to those who brought him up. He is wrapped in the love of a strong family. His mother figures lavished care on him, and he grew up educated, strong, and passionate.
Later he began to realize that he was not destined to travel the path of a typical Nigerian man. Then his life began to change in ways that East African culture did not support.
Several narrow escapes, beatings, and censure lead Edafe to seek asylum in the United States. The conditions he found are nearly as bad as what he left. You must read his first hand account of what is happening literally in our back yard in Elizabeth, NJ, and all over the country. Not all immigration experiences are hearts and flowers, and conditions are worsening daily.
Heart wrenching truths emerge in Edafe’s book. Several times I had to put it down to absorb what he relates. Several times I had to re-read passages. Buy this book, meet Edafe, and revel that his journey’s end has a happy ending, for now.
- Library of Congress Control Number: 2018902408
- ISBN: Hardcover 978-1-9845-1101-0
- Softcover 978-1-9845-1100-3
- eBook 978-1-9845-1099-0