Someone Knows My Name

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Click for availability and more information Someone Knows My Name, by Lawrence Hill
 
Originally published in Canada as The Book of Negroes, Someone Knows My Name is historical fiction at its very best. Lawrence Hill has based his wonderfully written book on an actual document from American history that listed blacks living during the American Revolutionary War era who were rewarded for being loyal to the British by being transported to Canada. Those who had been slaves were supposedly emancipated from slavery and could begin life anew in Canada. Aminata Diallo, his main character, goes from a wonderfully secure and idyllic childhood in her West African village of Bayo to the horrors of being captured by slavers and then shipped to South Carolina and sold to an owner of an indigo plantation. Her life becomes a nightmare of slavery - abusive owners, horrible living conditions and heartbreaking personal traumas. However, Aminata is strong and somehow she proves herself to be a survivor. She eventually finds her way to New York City, Canada and lands in London in the final days of her life. Hill's writing is filled with historical detail of the terror and dreadfulness of slavery as a part of American history. Most interesting is his having Aminata being one of the writers of actual Book of Negroes. This gives the reader a direct accounting of the creation of that remarkable document. By the way, there is a copy of it at The New York Public Library. In all, Someone Knows My Name is a remarkably powerful and moving story that illuminates a disturbing chapter in United States history. This book is highly recommended.
-Roy

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry published on June 23, 2010 7:52 PM.

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