Identities: A Short Story Collection (Discussion Guide)

Companion discussion guide to accompany Dr. Yabome Gilpin-Jackson’s book Identities

This companion discussion guide accompanies Identities: A short story collection.

The stories in the collection evoke the global experiences of Africans of diverse backgrounds, races, ethnicities and identities. It explores, through story, the everyday identity concerns of diasporan or global Africans, such as experiences of being asked: where are you from, immigrant and refugee integration, personal vs. ascribed social standing, remittance responsibilities, traditional vs. contemporary cultural values and many others.

Ultimately, Identities is about the experiences of bridging, balancing and weaving together the multiple strands that form contemporary African identities on and off the continent.

The companion discussion guide is designed for educators and book club enthusiasts or even an individual reader – to delve deeper into the themes that Identities provokes.

The guide is meant to jumpstart you into further meaning-making through your own storytelling. For each story in the collection, this guide includes a story quote or snippet, behind the book commentary adapted from the blog series on the book and discussion questions.

However, these are just guidelines. The invitation is for you to tell the stories your way and make this guide your own.

This guide is meant to facilitate discussion and learning after reading each story. The questions are designed to promote open dialogue and not for debates on each person’s position relative to the issues and questions raised. The intent, therefore, is that all who use this guide in a group setting will engage in transformational listening and questioning of each other for the purpose of learning.


What people are saying about Identities:

“The book was so full of life that I couldn’t wait to get to the next page. Flip, flip, flip I went through the pages. Great Book.”


“My almost teen daughter and I have an informal book club. Every week, She tells me about the book on her nightstand and I tell about mine. She picked up Identities and read the page where I had my bookmark and exclaimed “Wow Mommy! She has hair tips!” I smiled and told her that the book was about a collection of stories on ‘the immigrant life’. The trending buzz word – immigrant. She is now keen to read it. Yabome Gilpin-Jackson tackles postpartum depression, unsolicited sexual advances and several other topics in her book. If you read Chimamanda Adichie’s Americanah then you will enjoy Yabome’s. This is her debut literary work and against all odds, still she persisted.”

Dr. Yabome Gilpin-Jackson was born in Germany, grew up in Sierra Leone, West Africa, and completed her undergraduate and graduate studies in Canada and the United States. She is a multi-award winning social scientist, writer, facilitator and curator of African identity and leadership stories.

Yabome holds a doctorate in Human and Organization Development. She has been named International African Woman of the Year for her work on African leadership and Identity narratives. Yabome is married to Adelana Gilpin-Jackson and has 3 children, Kayla, Jaaziah and Perez.