The Root Reading List: Summer Mix

Our ubiquitous reader offers a potpourri that ranges from racial optimism to the role of indigo in the slave trade to the search for a kidnapped woman in the Nigerian Delta.

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In the oil-rich and environmentally devastated Nigerian Delta, the wife of a British oil executive has been kidnapped. Two journalists -- a young upstart, Rufus, and a once-great, now disillusioned veteran, Zaq -- are sent to find her. As Rufus and Zaq navigate polluted rivers in search of "the white woman," they must contend with the brutality of both government soldiers and militants. Assailed by irresolvable versions of the "truth" about the woman's disappearance, dependent on the kindness of strangers of unknowable loyalties, their journalistic objectivity will prove unsustainable, but other values might yet salvage their human dignity.

 Rebecca Walker is a frequent contributor to The Root.

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