In the twilight of the Cold War, a strange and horrific civil war erupted in Sierra Leone that would ultimately lead to a UN War Crimes Tribunal for Crimes Against Humanity. Where Witch Birds Fly captures the toxic brew of forces at play in the small West African country—Big Oil, Big Diamonds, competing outside powers, foreign mercenaries, and the local dominant Lebanese Christian trading community––all intriguing to pillage the African population’s assets, degrading and destroying its chances for development to the point that a brutal insurrection breaks out. Here amid the tumult, an African-American international lawyer comes face to face with all that he is, and all that he has become. Many years enjoyment of the accoutrements of professional success—sharp clothes, fast cars, and flashy white women—have left Richard White feeling troubled and alone. Long-term psychoanalysis has brought no peace. He is wrestling with an identity crisis brought on by rejection of his black, lower-class background, and estrangement from his family and community. White first arrives in Sierra Leone during the Cold War on a mission to collect a forty million dollar oil debt owed by the local Freetown refinery. There, even as he is swept into the ex-patriate community’s bacchanal, his pursuit of an ancestral linkage to the country via the slave trade begins. He returns a second time, post-Cold War, representing Lebanese interests in the largely illicit diamond trade, only to be kidnapped and held for ransom by Foday Sankoh’s Revolutionary United Front. The anguish of Sierra Leone will change Richard White’s life.