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The Book Of Negroes By Lawrence Hill

1698 words - 7 pages

“To gaze into another person’s face is to do two things: to recognize their humanity and to assert your own” –Aminata Diallo. The Book of Negros was written by Canadian author Lawrence Hill. The Book of Negros is about a young girl named Aminata who is brought to London, England, in 1802, by abolitionists who are petitioning to end the slave trade. As she awaits an audience with King George to speak on her personal experience of being a captured slave, she recounts on paper her life story. Aminata was abducted as an 11-year-old child from her village, Bayo in West Africa and forced to walk for months to the sea in a coffle—a string of slaves. Aminata Diallo is sent to live as a slave in South Carolina. Despite suffering humiliation and languishing in starvation, fortunately years later, she forges her way to freedom; by following the Slave Triangle: living in Africa to working on a plantation in the southern states and serving the British in the Revolutionary War and registering her name in the historic “Book of Negroes”, which eventually leads her to manor houses of London. “This book, an actual document, provides a short but immensely revealing record of freed Loyalist slaves who requested permission to leave the United States for resettlement in Nova Scotia, only to find that the haven they sought was steeped in an oppression all of its own” (Haper Collins Canada, 2007). The Slave Triangle had a huge impact on everyone all over the world, and it was significant for Aminata Diallo to follow the slave triangle in The Book of Negros because it teaches the reader about the cruelty of slavery, the process or different stages of the slave triangle and the exploitation of people and goods.
There are many possible contributing factors as to why the slave triangle itself is important such as the making and selling of sugar from the plantations, but it was significant that Aminata follows this specific route on her journey because gives awareness to the reader on the devastating cruelty of slavery. Prior to the major journey Aminata had lost both her mother and father before her eyes. At that point who else was going to fight for her because she lost everything she ever had before the sun came up. Although at times she begins to lose hope because she has lost so much but remember that her father told her strength is the most important thing you can have, “beauty comes and goes. Strength, you keep forever” (Hill, 2007). Even though her parents died, their voices never died; instead they lived along side Aminata through her treacherous journey. These are the voices that gave her strength in time of despair when she needed it the most to continue on the journey especially at the times when slaves that didn’t make it through the walk died, their bodies were just left on the side of the path. There was no grave for them, or no empathy shown to the people who passed away before they even worked as slaves. Each day, “each rising sun...more people died” (Hill,...

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