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Author Lawrence Hill insists upon fairness. He does not gloss over the fact that Black men throughout Africa colluded in the betrayal of their own people, chained them, and marched them for deathly months to the shores of the Atlantic to be sold to white slave traders - a betrayal that continued for decades.
Furthermore, the main protagonist herself, dear Aminata Diallo, states that slaves were a common feature even in her childhood village.
She concludes that it is not at all about color, but about character.
The brilliant creation of a female protagonist who we first meet at the age of 11 and with whom we walk for many decades establishes a sense of journey and closeness that reels us into her terrible liberation.
Step by step we learn of her unspeakable abuse, the love that motivates her, the devastation that awaits her, and then, because of Aminata's astonishing will to live, a wonderful surprise.
I learned about the early history of the Black community in Nova Scotia, where British promises of land were broken. I had no idea that Sierra Leone's Freetown was settled by Nova Scotian Blacks.
The Book of Negroes insists that each of us, whatever our heritage, is responsible for our own freedom, integrity, and character.
Posted December 17, 2012