Reading Together Blog

The History of Burundi and Rwanda

We’ve read the book, Tracy Kidder has enlightened and entertained us with the inside story of how it came to be written, and this Reading Together season is now in full swing. On Monday night, KPL hosted the program The History of Burundi and Rwanda presented by Kalamazoo College African studies professor, Joseph Bangura. Strength in What Remains has made me naturally curious to know more about the country of Burundi, so I was anxious to hear its history and that of neighboring Rwanda. Apparently many Reading Together participants felt the same way as nearly fifty people attended the program.

Dr. Bangura skillfully took us through the often complicated history and answered many questions posed by the fascinated audience members. The Hutu and Tutsi people, who make up the majority of the population of both countries, were the subject of much of the discussion. It was interesting to learn that the two groups lived quite peacefully together before European colonization. I won’t offer more of an explanation for fear of over-simplifying the situation, but I recommend that you watch for Dr. Bangura’s thorough and highly informed account in video form, which will soon be available on our website.

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http://www.kpl.gov/reading-together/2011/
Beth T