An African Princess Who Stood Unafraid Among Nazis
Her autobiography is a one-of-a-kind perspective of an educated, empowered, world-traveling daughter of a royal family, which no one wanted to publish until now.
By Jenee Desmond-Harris
Between 1939 and 1946, Fatima Massaquoi penned one of the earliest known autobiographies by an African woman. But few outside of Liberian circles were aware of it until this week, when Palgrave McMillian published The Autobiography of an African Princess, edited by two historians and the author’s daughter.
The book follows Massaquoi, born the daughter of the King of Gallinas of Southern Sierra Leone in 1904, to Liberia, Nazi Germany and the segregated American South, where she wrote her memoirs while enrolled at Tennessee’s Fisk University.