Pray the Devil Back to Hell is the astonishing story of the Liberian women who took on the warlords and regime of dictator Charles Taylor in the midst of a brutal civil war and won a once unimaginable peace for their shattered country in 2003.
As the rebel noose tightened around the capital city of Monrovia, thousands of women – ordinary mothers, grandmothers, aunts and daughters, both Christian and Muslim – formed a thin but unshakeable line between the opposing forces. Armed only with white t-shirts and the courage of their convictions, they literally faced down the killers who had turned Liberia into hell on earth. In one memorable scene, the women barricaded the site of stalled peace talks in Ghana and refused to move until a deal was done. Their demonstrations culminated in Taylor’s exile and the rise of Africa’s first female head of state, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Inspiring and uplifting, Pray the Devil Back to Hell is a compelling example of how grassroots activism can alter the history of nations.
Among the women featured is Leymah Gbowee, the leader of the Liberian women’s peace movement. Gbowee is based in Accra, Ghana, where she is executive director of the Women Peace and Security Network – Africa. Her book, Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War, with Carol Mithers will be published in September 2011 by Beast Books.
Leymah Gbowee, in conversation with Tina Brown, Editor in Chief of Newsweek and The Daily Beast, will deliver a keynote address at the 2011 Social Enterpsie Conference: Social Innovation in a Networked World on October 7th, 2011 at Columbia University.
Uris Hall, Room 141
Columbia Business School
New York, NY 10027