INTERVIEW | Tyrone Givens, author of The Bennu Project @TheBennuProject

Tell us about yourself.
Im a very private person, introverted, a homeschool parent, a pilot and an amateur historian with an interest in historical events that take place all over Africa and in the Diaspora. I would say that I am very passionate about teaching historically accurate lessons regarding Africa and the Diaspora to future generations.

How do you find time to connect with God?
Through study. I enjoy learning the accurate histories of the major religions and especially those religions that predated the current ones, which many of us have not been exposed to.

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?
My top three favorites would have to be “The Destruction of Black Civilization,” By Chancellor Williams as well as “Civilization or Barbarism,” by Cheikh Anta Diop and “The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors,” by Frances Cress Welsing

Tell us about your journey to publication.
I’m a self-publisher who struggled with learning the industry at first. I’m still learning but I’ve come a long way. The books are available in several online platforms and is also included in The Schomburg Center for Research in Black culture. It also has an LCCN for easy access to librarians who may be interested in including it in their catalogues.

Tell us about your current book, The Bennu Project?
The book itself is a metaphor for “ourstory,” told as science fiction, and tells the tale of a young man whose whole world has been overrun and oppressed by foreign invaders. I have taken my knowledge of several Nile valley civilizations and added a science fiction spin on it. Many of the characters, dates and locations are either named or dated to highlight some historically relevant fact or event. I have done this in order to entertain young (and old) readers while conveying history that is usually withheld from us.

How did you come up with ideas for this book?
I didn’t have a title for the book until it was completely finished. While researching for the book, I decided to use a lot of names from African mythology all over the continent. The premise of the book fit perfectly with Bennu bird so that became the title. The decision wasn’t final until I had reread the book and felt comfortable with it.

What valuable lessons do you want readers to learn from your book?
The Bennu Project is a science fiction metaphor for actual historical events with relevance to pre-colonial Africa and beyond. Due to that, and the current events referenced, it is a favorite among home school teachers and inner city educators. If it is intended to be used as a teaching aid, it should be incorporated into the lesson plan of your history classes. The Most valuable lesson of all is that our history did not begin with the enslavement of Africans in the Americas.

What’s next for you?
I plan on doing a trilogy for The Bennu Project and those characters followed by a possible prequel trilogy. Specifically, I plan on starting the second book in The Bennu Project trilogy soon.

Please tell us where we can connect with you online.
My website is at http://TyroneGivens.com
Facebook, Twitter and IG are all @TheBennuProject

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