About the Author
Manu Herbstein is the Ghanaian author of Ama: A Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade which won the 2002 Commonwealth Writer's prize for best first book. Brave Music of a Distant Drum makes fresh use of his original research material for a younger, North American audience.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
I am blind. Knaggs' whip took out my right eye many years ago; and now my left eye too is only good for shedding tears. My hand can still hold a quill, but without guidance the marks it makes are mere scribbles. I have a story to tell. It lies within me, kicking like a child in the womb, a child whose time has come. If I had died last night, my story would by now be lying with me in my shallow grave; but I did not die last night and I will still tell my story...
I pray that Kwame will bring ink and paper with him as I asked. Then I will tell him the story of my life, from the beginning; and Tomba's, such of it as I know; and he will write it all down. And one day Nandzi Ama will read it; and her children too. Then they will know who their ancestors were and where they came from; and they will understand that the shame of their enslavement lies with the slave traders not with the enslaved.