FORT MYERS, Fla. – Anita Dennis’ college anthropology class led to an unprecedented life journey as she married her professor, the chief of the Mende tribe in Liberia, West Africa. For more than 10-years, Dennis and her husband traveled throughout Africa and experienced a side of life that most can only imagine. Dennis met the president of Liberia, slept in mud huts, visited European capitals and was carried through the high forest in a chief’s hammock. Upon her husband’s passing, Dennis penned a memoir of their time together titled Beyond Myself: The Farm Girl and the African Chief. The book shares her struggles as she is accepted into the Mende tribe and lives in Vahun with an ‘off and on’ kerosene fridge, swarming termites and pungent elephant meat delivered in the middle of the night. “In addition to entertainment value, I hope that my story provides a forum to share racial and cultural experiences and thus expand understanding between races and cultures,” Dennis said.
Meet the Author
ANITA DENNIS received her BA in sociology, with a minor in anthropology from the University of Michigan-Flint in 1973. She was not only accepted into her husband’s Mende tribe in 1972, but she lived in his village for a year in 1983–84 as a lay missionary. She is the co-author of Slaves to Racism: An Unbroken Chain from America to Liberia, 2009.