By: Monica Staton
The Sexy of Part of the Bible takes place in several locations. We meet the main character Eternity Frankenheimer; a “descendant of the laboratory,” in an AIDS clinic in West Cassavaland. Her Caucasian parents were scientist from the U.S. – Stevedore and Dr. Juliet. Eternity is raised by the native Oluchi river women on the weekend who teach her how to be an African.
The Oluchi women didn’t trust Eternity; they treated her as if she was also a Caucasian. Genetically Eternity is a native Ajowan, but a descendant of the secret cloning laboratory that’s operated under the guise of an AIDS clinic for which her parents operate along with several other scientists.
The writer of The Sexy Part of the Bible, Kola Boof garnered success from her autobiography “The Diaries of a Lost Girl"; Boof became infamous for a notorious affair she had with terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, detailed in her autobiography. “Osama raped me the first night we met. But out of my fear and determination to survive we became comrades,” said Boof.
Boof is tough, she’s blunt, and uplifts the African diaspora throughout The Sexy Part of the Bible. She examines the culture of swallowers- those that take “the Michael Jackson pills” to lighten their skin. The swallowers are described as much lighter than their fellow West Africans, unnatural, discolored, with peeling complexions. They are noted as also having “a faint blue film across the gums” that is also endemic among the swallowers. Kola examines the self-hate due to the lingering psychological scars of colonization, and the physical side effect from the process of swallowing with great effect.
Globally those apart of the African diaspora tend to examine aesthetic beauty through the lens of a European standard. Eternity the protagonist in The Sexy Part of the Bible is in direct contrast of the European aesthetic. The opposite of what some may consider the black male ideal. She’s tall, thin, dark-skinned, and bald, her head is shaven.
In a land where people are obsessed with a European ideal of beauty Eternity realizes her loveliness and self-worth early on because it had not been diminished from its inception. In some sense she’s shielded from a negative self-image by her Caucasian parents. They each have high regard for their creation. Eternity raises the question “if Jesus was black, why would black people be swallowing pills to make them white and straightening their hair?”
“But the black woman is the sex in the Bible; everything about her is wicked. Eternity Frakenheimer is described by Kola as the female counterpart of Djimon Hounsou; in color and physical feature. She’s also described as having the appearance of a mannequin and deemed exotic and mysterious because of her coal black skin.
The Sexy Part of the Bible is more than just a commentary on color and class in Africa, It’s a love story. It also describes in colorful detail Eternity’s ascent within the fashion world as she becomes an elite model. She falls in love with a prominent West African rapper Sea Horse. He’s more than just a tortured artist. His male burdens are far heavier than the weight of his own ego. He carries upon his shoulders the hopes, dreams, and futures of the men women and children of his village. Sea Horse has garnered fame and suffers the resentments and concerns of most within the music industry. He could be viewed as a monster, activist, a genius, a poet, a racist woman-basher and a very passionate, and a deeply sensitive confused being.
The Sexy Part of the Bible is more than an entertaining novel. Kola allows us to view our world from another lens, a world in which black self-worth and culture is predominant.