Black Girl from Pyongyang with Brixton Radical Readers

Friday 13th October

Join Brixton Library’s Radical Readers to discuss the extraordinary true story of a West African girl’s upbringing in North Korea under the protection of President Kim Il Sung.


In 1979, Monica Macias, aged only seven, was transplanted from West Africa to the unfamiliar surroundings of North Korea. She was sent by her father Francisco, the first president of post-Independence Equatorial Guinea, to be educated under the guardianship of his ally, Kim Il Sung. Within months, her father was executed in a military coup; her mother became unreachable. Effectively orphaned, she and two siblings had to make their life in Pyongyang. At military boarding school, Monica learned to mix with older children, speak fluent Korean and handle weapons on training exercises.

After university, she went in search of her roots, passing through Beijing, Seoul, Madrid, Guinea, New York and finally London – forced at every step to reckon with damning perceptions of her adoptive homeland. Optimistic yet unflinching, Monica’s astonishing and unique story challenges us to see the world through different eyes.

More Brixton Listings MORE