Emira Woods – Q&A from September Community Cinema

A lot has happened since our Community Cinema [DC] screenings of “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” in September. Weeks after our screenings, Liberia held elections for president. On November 10 the first woman president of an African nation, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was re-elected in a presidential runoff in Liberia by a 90.2% majority. Turnout was low with an opposition boycott of the elections. Prior to the run-off Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee (featured in “Pray the Devil Back to Hell”) were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Gbowee received the news while on her book tour for her memoir Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War.


Emira Woods

One of Leymah’s proud sisters sharing the good news is Emira Woods of the Institute for Policy Studies, our guest speaker for “Pray the Devil Back to Hell.” After the Nobel prize announcement, Woods joined a panel on the PBS Newshour to talk about the meaning of the Nobel prize for Liberia, peace and women’s rights. Community Cinema is proud to be part of Emira Woods’ sisterhood over the years and especially for the first Women and Girls Lead Community Cinema [DC] event.


MP3 audio of the Q&A with Emira Woods on September 18, 2011 at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center is available on these links:
Emira_Woods, part 1
Emira Woods, part 2


Emira recommends both Leyhmah Gbowee’s memoir, Mighty Be Our Powers; and a second book (novel), Redemption Road: The Quest for Peace and Justice in Liberia by Elma Shaw. And I will add the documentary “Liberia: America’s Stepchild” by Nancee Oku Bright will give you historical context about the country and its leadership struggles from 1820 until the rise and fall of Charles Taylor. And a link to the discussion guide for “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” is posted on this site’s Discussion Guide page.