“They slashed my people with their machetes. They set my people on fire. They shot my people in the head.” Native Congolese Sandra Uwiringiyimana reflects back to the August 2004 massacre in Gatumba, Burundi, that took the life of her 6-year-old sister and mother in the opening passage of her new memoir, How Dare the Sun Rise.
Emotional numbness and sleepless nights follow for Uwiringiyimana and her remaining family as they struggle to live. Two years later, a United Nations resettlement program sends Uwiringiyimana and her family to live in the United States. But assimilating to “the land of opportunity” turns out to be a wake-up call for Uwiringiyimana, especially when others define her by the color of her skin. In order to embrace her true identity, Uwiringiyimana will have to face her deepest fears.
Uwiringiyimana and award-winning journalist Abigail Pesta have joined forces to produce a gutwrenching yet highly inspiring read. Together they offer a glimpse into a sparsely publicized, horrific event along with an intimate portrayal of a child who was born into war. Eye-opening chapters brim with Uwiringiyimana’s plight as a refugee, and she finds herself caught between two cultures amid her determination to make a difference in the world. Uwiringiyimana captures it best when she states, “We must not fall prey to the kind of thinking that separates us.” How Dare the Sun Rise sends a powerful message to the tenacity of the human spirit.