Nigeria: Half a Yellow Sun

Bryn Donovan

6 September 2018

Memo #1: Half a Yellow Sun


In Chapter 11, of Adichie’s Half A Yellow Sun, the depiction of the dead child’s head in the woman’s basket shows the cruel reality of the coup. Olanna is about to visit her families home when news comes that the Igbo people have been massacred and her family is dead. As she flees on the train packed with people, a woman a few feet away shows her the baby’s head in the basket.

The abuse of children in ethnic conflict is still present as children are separated from their parents at the United States Border by the Trump Administration. The children are separated to deter parents from using their children as leverage to get into the country. The effects the separation has on the children and the parents are damaging, as most of the children are younger than seven years old.


How does a group of people justify harming children to advance their own agendas?

The tensions between the Igbo people and the Hausa-Fulani people is a racial prejudice that was exacerbated by the multiple coups. The Igbo people fled to Biafra just as the refugees fled to the United States in search of asylum. The fear of people who are of a different religion or ethnicity than you have been used to raise people to power both in the Nigerian coups and in the 2016 US elections. The second coup took the fear of the Igbo people and turned them into a common enemy for Husan-Fulani people. In the same way, Trump used the fear of immigrants to justify separating them from their children at the border in the name of national security.


Michelle Brané, and Margo Schlanger. “Analysis | This Is What’s Really Happening to Kids at the Border.” The Washington Post. May 30, 2018. September 07, 2018.

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