Category: Book Reviews Published on Friday, 28 October 2011 05:33 Written by Andrew Scott Hits: 737
Late one afternoon, this reviewer was shopping at our local pharmacy when all of the sudden a book and its cover just hollered at me. Immediately I picked it up and just purchased it without even reading the back cover to find out what it was about. Let this reviewer introduce you to this modern day classic, “The Book of Negroes” by Lawrence Hill.
This is the story of Aminata Diallo or “Meenie” and the story of her life while on a journey to arrive to her homeland of Africa after being captured for the slave trade.
Aminata was born in a village in West Africa, where family and faith were taught at a very young age. A sense of safety and community given to all who lived there. Aminata was taught the values of working hard, keeping proper faith and , secretly, how to read and write. Even at a very young age, “Meenie” was taught how to be a midwife and how to “catch” babies by her mother.
The story of her life takes a turn when slave traders attack and murder her mother and father before her very eyes at the tender age of eleven years old. This is where Aminata’s story and journey through life truly begins as she is shown a world that is utterly horrific. From the moment she is captured, “Meenie” laid plans to someday return home as she is traded and shipped throughout the United States through Loyalists and the English. Aminata went from one family to the next and learned the harshness of being a slave. Here she went through many obstacles with just living and the prejudice with the color of her skin. The horror of watching people die and be tortured in the most inhumane ways. The realization that she is a piece of property in the eyes of others and not a human being.
Originally released in 2007, “The Book of Negroes” was re-released this year, 2011, for a wider audience and deservingly so. You are pushing for Aminata to make it home in this eye opening, incredible journey. As a reader, you learn about how the human race has progressed in its thinking of how to treat people and how , unfortunately, we have not changed. You also forget this is a work of fiction as you turn every page and follow along with this lady who just wishes to just go home in this world using the strength of determination and the human spirit.
To learn more about the author, Lawrence Hill, please see:
Five paper cuts out of Five
Andrew Scott is a published international author, reviewer and radio show host.