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the book of negroes. lawrence hill Paperback – January 1, 2010
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It is a cannot-put-it-down book.
The story of Aminata Diallo is moving and compelling. A Bamananka (Bambara=those who didn't accept Islam. But that changed later on.) and a fulfede (fulani), Amina was the protagonist I was looking for in all the books I read so far. As a Madinka, I have never read a story in English that is close to my ancestral roots and the Book of Negroes does a good job at telling a story from such a missing character in African-American literature. Madinka is very similar to Bambara so I understood the tidbits included in the book. I also recognized the tribes mentioned without the author even telling the names of such tribes. Just by his skillful descriptions, I just smiled as I read. I also cried too. Anyways, this is not much of a review but how I felt. It's a must read. I can't explain it ;) .
happened before, during and after the American revolution, slave times and counter-revolutionary period.
Superb miniseries historically significant but AWOL from US history books...must read/see and internalize for
all to heal the wounds of racist apartheid, segregation and slavery....fascinating "lost" history that took place
in Canada and much more....excellent learning tool.
Top international reviews
The reader knows, by reading the jacket, what this book is about, and it does not disappoint.
While it gives a fictional account of one woman's survival as a slave, from her home in Africa as a child, through America, back to Africa and then to England, it makes it easy for the reader to imagine the lives of the real slaves and what they had to endure. Not just the physical brutality but the emotional and mental torment inflicted upon these people who are first stolen from their homes by their own race, and then kept enslaved by white masters from a country and culture totally alien to their own. To keep them 'in their place' they are often separated from husbands and other family members (if they have been able to stay with them thus far), but the worst act by far of these slave owners is the removal of children from their mothers. How many adults are there in the world today whose grandmother or great-grandmother had her baby wrenched away from her. The tragedy has reached down through generation after generation.
Like me, you may think you know a lot about this subject, but I still found a couple of things to surprise me, most especially the role of the British in the so-called 'repatriation' of thousands of slaves. It's a part of British history that deserves to be taught in schools.
Very well written. I give it the highest recommendation.
When my friend first recommend the book to me I did have my reservations as I wasn’t sure whether it would be my cup of tea as it is about black slavery and bound to be very historical and political which is very different from the fluffy romantic stuff I usually read!
From the very first pages I knew this was going to be an amazing read and I would be taken on a journey. Indeed I was and I feel shattered just reading it!
The story centres around a young woman, Aminata Diallo and her family, who is brought to London, England, in 1802, by abolitionists who are petitioning to end the slave trade. While she is there she is asked to write an account of her life story which included being abducted from her family at age 11, seeing the death of her mother and father, and being marched in a coffle of captives to the coast along with others from her village. Aminata manages to survive the passage to America because she is able to apply the knowledge and skills passed on to her by her parents, especially the ability to “catch” (i.e., deliver) babies and to understand some African languages. I don’t want to give too much away is it is a book everyone should read.
The imagery in the book is just stupendous. I could picture every track she walked on, the ship she sailed on and the disgusting conditions she and her fellow slaves were made to endure. The book just flows easily from one chapter to the next and not once did I ever feel lost. I was there the whole way.
The book is also home to some wonderful quotes that have really struck a cord with me.
“Beauty comes and goes. Strength, you keep forever”
“That, I decided, was what it meant to be a slave: your past didn’t matter; in the present you were invisible and you had no claim on the future” imagine that as your outlook on life? It’s so upsetting to read.
‘It doesn’t matter what we call your soul, what matters is where it travels and who uplifts it’
The book is full of them but I especially love the last one. As long as you keep your strength and your faith the rest will sort itself out. It’s all about inner beauty which Aminata clearly displays throughout the book. A fantastic read that won't disappoint!
Written beautifully, Amianta is an amazing and courageous character who endures and witnesses great hardship along the way. A must read for fans of Twelve Years a Slave.
It is 502 pages long and split into four “books” with a total of 21 chapters.
I found this novel to be a rewarding and easy read, with well written prose and an interesting story. Characters are clearly defined and well developed.
There is information at the end of the novel with regard to the real book of Negroes, and also with regard to characters and events depicted in the novel.